Virtual Reality Therapy (VRT) for Fear of Flying is an exposure based cognitive behavior therapy (cbt) that utilizes computer generated images to recreate the “experience” of flying. The client wears a head mounted display /screen and is able to “walk” through an airport terminal, “board” an airplane, see the stewardess, “sit” down in their seat, “look out” the window, “hear” the sound of the plane engines and “experience” take off, flight and landing. This experience of sights and sounds is created in a virtual reality environment and is done in the safety of the Anxiety and Depression Center. In addition to exposure to these anxiety producing cues clients are taught relaxation strategies, distress tolerance, mindfulness, stress management and learn how to identify, evaluate and alter their thinking.
Research studies have shown that Virtual Reality therapy is an effective tool in the treatment of fear of flying. Fear of flying often involves extreme anxiety or panic when thinking about being on an airplane or when the time to go on a plane approaches. Fear of flying can result in complete avoidance of air travel and missed opportunities personally and professionally. Exposure based cbt treatments are considered the “gold standard” in the treatment of specific phobias such as fear of flying.
Working through an exposure hierarchy, Virtual Reality therapy and exposure treatments are done in a systematic way in which the client always controls the speed of treatment and the level of exposure that is being done. As clients develop cognitive and behavioral skills that enable them to manage their anxiety and enjoy the experience they move to the next step on the exposure hierarchy. Each step is repeated until the client experiences a significant reduction in their level of anxiety and distress.
If you are interested in more information please contact us
at (949) 222-2848.
The Anxiety and Depression Center
1500 Quail, Suite #250
Newport Beach, California 92660-2732
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