The Virtual News, Volume 1(1)
Happy Holidays! We hope 2000 has been a year of good health and happiness for you and your family. We would like to thank all of you for your past support of the Virtual Reality Medical Center (VRMC), and let you know about some of our news for 2000.
VRMC has expanded since its formation in August 1997, and now includes virtual reality (VR) exposure therapy for the treatment of fear of flying, fear of driving, fear of heights, claustrophobia, agoraphobia and panic, social phobia, and fear of public speaking. The VR treatment is used in conjunction with traditional cognitive-behavioral techniques, including breathing retraining with visual feedback of the respiration, heart rate, sweat gland activity, and skin temperature. Our new flying environment which many of you may not have seen includes other passengers in the airplane and also deals with the anticipatory anxiety many people feel when packing to go on a trip or sitting at the airport waiting for a flight.
VRMC also continues to offer therapy for physiological disorders such as migraine headache, tension headache, urinary incontinence, irritable bowel syndrome, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in addition to offering general stress management techniques. We are also available for testing and assessment.
VRMC is now a beta test site for VR equipment developed in Milan, Italy; Valencia, Spain; and Seoul, Korea. In addition, we have active student exchange programs with the Catholic University in Milan, Jaume I University in Spain, and Hanyang University in Korea.
In the past three years, VRMC therapists have performed over 1,000 sessions in VR environments and have trained 21 graduate students who are completing their doctoral degrees in psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology – San Diego, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Since we are a training center as well as a clinical research and service center, we are proud to offer services based on income level, with a sliding fee scale. Some insurance policies may also cover our services, which are individual psychotherapy and billed under the “mental health” benefit portion of many insurances.
We look forward to being of service to those who need us in the coming year, and hope to continue to expand the services we offer to you.
Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., MBA, BCIA Dr. Mark D. Wiederhold, M.D., Ph.D., FACP Executive Director Medical Director
Donations to support research and training opportunities combining technology and psychology
may be made to our 501c3 nonprofit organization—the Interactive Media Institute.
Donations are tax deductible, and a letter will be provided for tax purposes.