A fear of driving may have a historic cause such as an accident or near miss, or may be a rational fear of potentially dangerous situations magnified out of proportion to the actual risk. Whether the phobia results in a complete avoidance of driving, or causes significant anxiety during driving, the impact on your quality of life can be significant. Fear of driving is also often exacerbated by panic attacks, claustrophia or even PTSD.
Conventional psychotherapy has been used extensively to help patients overcome their fear of driving, including CBT and exposure therapy. This has proven difficult in the past as many patients are reluctant to address their fears in the real world and will take every possible step to avoid confrontation with any anxiety-inducing triggers.
At the VRIT clinic, we use virtual reality immersive therapy to build a safe and measured environment to gradually expose you to situations that would normally have triggered this fear. Under the guidance of our trained therapists, you will learn how to understand and readjust your response over time to ultimately improve your quality of life and achieve greater comfort.
Evidence is growing to support that VRIT is particularly well-suited for treating fear of driving quickly and effectively. Real-time exposure is complex and expensive, and the process can rarely be repeated consistently. That is why until now psychotherapists have relied on imagination exposure, although it is also ineffective as it depends on each person’s ability to imagine the relevant situation.
Virtual reality enables the psychotherapist to offer a safe environment while providing a realistic and accessible experience within the treatment room. At the VRIT clinic, our therapists combine VR with other innovations, such as bio-feedback, to design the most effective treatment programme for you.