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The Rise Of Virtual Reality: Implications For Psychology And Mental Health Treatment

www.trends9.com | September 5, 2023

In This Article, Prof. Shalaka Shah, Department Of Social Sciences, FLAME University Has Shared Insights On The Implications Of Virtual Reality On Psychology And Mental Health.

In spite of its significance, mental health hasn’t received much attention in India. The National Mental Health Survey 201516 reported that only 23% of psychiatrists, 3% of clinical psychologists, and 10% of psychiatric social workers are legitimately functional in India. The paucity of mental health professionals is making the availability and accessibility of treatment in traditional clinical settings nearly impossible for the needy.

Could virtual reality be one of the ways to address this deficit? In our daily lives, we encounter stress in many forms, and virtual reality (VR) has shown promise in relieving pain, stress, and anxiety, along with other severe mental disorders. In the West and gradually in India, VR is strengthening its presence as an innovative tool in the field of psychology and mental health treatment. The multi-sensory immersive experience in VR is a computer-generated, three-dimensional environment that offers various types of simulations and is seen as cost-effective, giving more control and access to situations that are otherwise difficult to create in a clinical setting.

VR allows mental health professionals to create simulated environments mimicking real-life situations, offering a safe space for patients to confront their issues. For example, in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), individuals learn to identify and improve faulty or unhelpful negative thoughts and beliefs that exacerbate their mental health issues. VR can help by creating interactive scenarios that allow patients to practice new coping skills and challenge maladaptive beliefs in a safe and controlled environment.

VR also has the potential to alleviate pain during dressing wounds or dental treatment by diverting patients attention to the virtual environment, thus improving their overall experience. Additionally, through VR-guided experiences, individuals can escape from their daily stressors and immerse themselves in calming surroundings. VR can transport users to serene landscapes, tranquil beaches, or peaceful gardens, creating a sense of presence that promotes relaxation and reduces stress levels.

In conclusion, virtual reality is revolutionizing the field of psychology and mental health treatment. Embracing the power of virtual reality in India can significantly help remove the stigma associated with mental health and make treatment affordable and accessible to anyone who is in need.

This article has been authored by Prof. Shalaka Shah, Faculty of Psychology, FLAME University.

(Source:- https://www.trends9.com/technology/the-rise-of-virtual-reality-implications-for-psychology-and-mental-health-treatment-56723.html )