Article by Brooke Parker | Link to full article
The Biloxi VA has partnered with SoldierStrong to create a new form of therapy.
Veterans will be able to work through trauma using virtual reality. This works as a form of exposure therapy that limits the body’s trauma response and is often used for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Veterans will work with trained psychologists who have the ability to place them at a scene, such as driving in Iraq. They’ll be hearing, seeing, and feeling the sensations of that day.
The treatment starts small and gradually increases until a patient no longer has a trauma response. Clinical Psychologist Todd Adamson said, “To really immerse that individual so they’re much less likely to avoid, gives them an opportunity to develop a different relationship to the past, to those traumatic experiences, and one where they’re in control, and the trauma is not controlling them.”
Innovation Specialist Elizabeth Williams said, “You know, veterans end up sharing things with their clinicians that they might not have otherwise shared with them, all due to the fact that they’re immersed in this virtual environment that really brings back memories that might not otherwise been present in their session with their clinicians.”
Psychologists are being trained at the moment and veterans will work with them to decide if virtual reality is right for them.