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A study published in The Lancet Psychiatry provides first evidence that psychological therapy can be successfully delivered in virtual reality (VR).

Virtual reality used to treat fear of heights.jpg

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Fear of heights is a significant problem for one in five people at some point in their lives, and most never receive treatment. Although VR has been used in the past for phobias, it has always required a therapist to guide the user through the treatment. Now a team led by Professor Daniel Freeman from the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry has developed a VR programme in which psychological therapy is delivered by a computer-generated virtual coach. Treatment is personalised, with users able to interact with the virtual coach using voice recognition technology.

Find out more (University of Oxford website)