University of Cambridge > > Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series > Virtual reality in the assessment, understanding, and treatment of mental health disorders

Virtual reality in the assessment, understanding, and treatment of mental health disorders

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Chair: Dr Graham Murray

Abstract A twenty-year programme of work using immersive virtual reality to assess, understand, and treat mental health disorders will be outlined. A chronological presentation of studies will illustrate the issues addressed, show the evolution of the technology, and highlight key areas for the future. The case will be made that much greater access to the best psychological treatments can be achieved using automated delivery in VR. In this automation process VR therapies need not simply replicate face-to-face therapy but can be used in innovative ways – impossible in the real world – to enhance treatment outcomes. The results of the first trials of automated VR therapy with patients with psychosis will be described (gameChange and THRIVE ).

Biography Daniel Freeman is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and NIHR Senior Investigator at the University of Oxford and a consultant clinical psychologist in Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. Professor Freeman’s research has focussed on using psychological theory to develop more powerful psychological treatments. He has also been pioneering the development of automated virtual reality treatments for mental health conditions. He founded Oxford VR, a University of Oxford spin-out company. He is the recipient of the 2020 British Psychological Society Presidents’ Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychological Knowledge. He presented the BBC Radio 4 series ‘A History of Delusions’.

This talk is part of the Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series series.

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