If Virtual Reality treatment is not available in your area, it is possible to undergo condensed treatment at one of the VRMC facilities. The treatment lasts two weeks and involves a commitment of one session per day for ten days (Monday through Friday for two weeks). This method of treatment seems to work quite well for many clients. However, before attempting condensed treatment it is important that you be aware that it will be a time-consuming endeavor. Do not expect the two weeks to be a vacation, and do not attempt to plan other commitments. There is a lot of reading and practice involved outside of the sessions. In addition, many find the process to be emotionally exhausting. However, there are steps you can take to make the course of treatment a little bit easier. Lawrence Nelson, a former patient of the San Diego clinic, created the survival check list on the next page that will help you to prepare yourself for two weeks of rigorous exposure therapy.
After the condensed treatment, you will be well on your way to living life free of your phobia. Yet, you can expect to continue processing the information that you encountered during treatment once you return home. It is important to find a therapist or other support person in your area to help you through this process. You can use them as a sounding board as you continue to learn about your reactions and thoughts related to the situations that cause you anxiety. With the help of a support system and effort on your part, you will overcome your fear.
New Patient Checklist Essentials:
- Note pad (spiral steno book is helpful)
- Smartphone or other device with headphones
- Access to internet in hotel or where you are staying
- Bottled Water
- Eyedrops (what you normally would use)
- Snack or energy bar (not too much sugar)
- Wear comfortable clothing like you would on an airplane
- Smartphone or other device to record your thoughts
- To be tired at the end of the day and plan to rest
- Expect to be more or less hungry depending on your stress nature
- Plan on reading 10-20 pages per night for most nights
- Plan to view a minimum of 2 videos, approximately 45 minutes long
Start to think:
- About suspending your current belief system
- If you enjoyed the phobic stimulus before, why was it so much fun and filled with excitement?
- About an inner strength that you can tap into
- Remember that camera? Use it now to take photos as if you had flown to a vacation spot