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VR Brings Dramatic Change to Mental Health Care

October 25, 2017

Skip Rizzo, associate director for medical virtual reality at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, has been working with the U.S. Army on ways to use Virtual Reality (VR) to treat soldiers’ Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for over a decade. His system, “Bravemind,” initially funded by the Department of Defense in 2005, can accurately recreate an inciting incident in a war zone, like Iraq, to activate “extinction learning” which can deactivate a deep-seated “flight or fight response,” relieving fear and anxiety. “This is a hard treatment for a hard problem in a safe setting,” Rizzo told me. Together with talk therapy, the treatment can measurably relieve the PTSD symptoms. The Army has found “Bravemind” can also help treat other traumas like sexual assault.

Read more on Forbes.com.