Along with aliens and time travel, virtual reality (VR) is often thought of as a science fiction dream. Though it was developed nearly five decades ago, the use of VR in the private sector, particularly in the field of patient care, has become a possibility only in the past decade. As programmers are creating more detailed and interactive environments, the rapid advancement of technology combined with decreasing costs has turned VR into a promising alternative to traditional therapies. VR allows therapists to create a safe, low-cost environment in which they can easily modify the speed and intensity of the therapeutic process. With this ability to tailor the virtual experience to each specific patient’s need, the necessity to educate the patient has become increasingly significant.
Virtual Healing fulfills that need. In twelve clear chapters, Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold, one of the pioneers in the use of VR, plainly discusses the application of VR for Specific Phobias, Posttraumatic Stress Disorders, Panic Disorder, Eating Disorders and Obesity, Pain Distraction, Education and Training, Nicotine Addictions, Physical and Neurological Rehabilitation, Erectile Dysfunction, and Schizophrenia. She will explain the symptoms of each disorder and how VR can help with treatment. Further, the reader will meet researchers from around the world who are working to advance the use of VR treatment, and hear from patients who have undergone the process. It is Dr. Wiederhold’s hope that this book may serve as a source of information as well as comfort.