John Libbey Eurotext

L'Information Psychiatrique


Virtual reality therapy in the care management of anxiety disorders Volume 93, issue 8, Octobre 2017

1 Service de psychiatrie adulte, Hôpital La Pitié-Salpêtrière, 47-83 boulevard de l’Hôpital, 75013 Paris, France
2 PRISME-Réalité virtuelle ICM-A- IHU, UPMC UMR S975, Inserm U1127 / CNRS UMR 7225, Social and Affective Neuroscience (SAN) Team, Paris, France
* Correspondance
  • Key words: virtual reality therapy exposure, anxiety disorders, virtuality, behavioral and cognitive therapy
  • DOI : 10.1684/ipe.2017.1688
  • Page(s) : 660-3
  • Published in: 2017

Virtual reality involves the creation of an interactive three dimensional virtual word in which the user can navigate. This technology is proposed for anxiety disorders as an alternative to the in vivo and imaginal exposure provided in cognitive behavioral therapy- the gold standard psychotherapeutic treatment for this pathology. According to a significant number of publications including meta-analyses, virtual reality therapy exposure is at least equivalent to that of in vivo exposure in specific phobias, panic disorder with agoraphobia, post traumatic disorder or social phobia. A fundamental feature of the virtual experience is presence, which is commonly defined as the mental experience of being there in the virtual world. This concept prompts us to consider virtual reality therapy beyond exposition, but more like an embodied therapy.