Virtual Reality Therapy for Fear of Spiders
If you are afraid of spiders, then you are not alone. In fact, approximately 55% of women and 18% of men in the United States suffer from arachnophobia, which is the fear of spiders. Virtual Reality Therapy may be able to help you overcome that fear!
Although not everyone who dislikes spiders has the actual phobia, there are some symptoms to watch out for. If you freeze or run away if you see a spider, refuse to go into a room that may have a spider, and if you will not go camping, hiking, or do any other outdoor activities you used to enjoy for fear of seeing a spider, you may have arachnophobia.
According to licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, President of the Virtual Reality Medical Center (VRMC) in La Jolla, California, “A phobia is a diagnosable disorder that impacts your life negatively.” But don’t worry, there are treatments that can help. Virtual Reality (VR) exposure therapy helps the sufferer desensitize to the stimuli that causes their phobia. For example, those who have arachnophobia may be exposed to VR scenarios of spiders in a non-threatening way to gradually decrease the fear at the patient’s own individual pace.
Virtual Reality therapy exposes you to the scenarios in the safety and comfort of the therapist’s office. Licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, has been practicing Virtual Reality (VR) therapy for over 2 decades. She completed the first randomized controlled clinical trial in 1996 using Virtual Reality and biofeedback to treat patients with phobias. And the VRMC has been successfully performing VR therapy now for 23 years! With a new set of skills on how to react differently and think differently about spiders, followed by gradual exposure through VR, you can be enjoying that camping trip in no time!
Most individuals with a specific phobia require on average one clinical intake session and 10 treatment sessions. If you live in the San Diego area, you can choose to come once a week or twice a week. If you are coming from out of the area, we can accommodate “condensed treatment” where you will experience one VR session per day, each day, Monday-Friday.