Most people are uncomfortable around insects, in particular spiders. However, 1 in 6 of you will have an irrational fear of spiders, which will trigger very high and intense levels of anxiety. Therefore, you’ll most likely actively avoid situations where there may be spiders or even just cobwebs. When confronted with such a situation, you may want to flee or on the contrary remain petrified and feel anxious or distressed even long after the spider has disappeared.
Conventional psychotherapy has been used extensively to help patients overcome their fear of spiders, 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.
Evidence is growing to support that VRIT is particularly well-suited for treating fear of spiders 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.