Virtual reality exposure therapy for specific phobia and its clinical application to reduce return of fear
MetadataShow full item record
Virtual reality exposure treatment (VRET) is an emerging technique that overcomes many challenges of in vivo exposure-based treatments in clinical psychology. Research has examined VRET in treating a range of anxiety disorders, predominantly specific phobia. More recently, research has considered the effectiveness of VRET in reducing return of fear for specific phobia. Return of fear is a partial reappearance of anxiety symptoms following successful exposure treatment. There are four mechanisms underlying return of fear: renewal, spontaneous recovery, reacquisition, and reinstatement. This chapter reviews the use of VRET for specific phobia, with a particular focus on the mechanisms of spontaneous recovery and renewal. Furthermore, the relative situations most applicable to VRET and traditional exposure-based treatments are outlined. Virtual reality technology and equipment for clinical settings are evaluated, with particular focus on emerging and accessible techniques that will facilitate further growth of VRET and allow for more individualised treatment plans. Recommendations for reducing return of fear using VRET for specific phobia are also made.
Virtual Reality: Advances in Research and Applications
Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology