Using board games, video games, and other play activities in therapeutic settings is nothing new. They’re widely used to start conversations, to get around barriers, and to build relationships between therapists and their clients. Play can be a safe, less-threatening way to get us to re-evaluate our assumptions, try out different modes of thinking, and share our thoughts. These kinds of play tools may be particularly helpful when working with kids, but I’m told that many therapists also use them quite successfully with adults.
So what about using virtual reality or augmented reality in this way? It’s not only an appealing, novel experience for many people, but by all accounts playing around in VR with a good head-mounted display can be a pretty transformative experience. It’s richer, it’s more immersive, it may feel closer to real life. This may even be true about off-the-shelf games that you yourself may be playing. But many therapists –and patients– may feel a bit unprepared for such experiences. My guest this episode is an expert in using virtual reality as a therapeutic tool, and she will help us understand what it can do, what it can’t do, and what those who want to use it should know.
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