Avatar and other virtual reality therapies

On this page you can watch video's and read articles on a new way to cope with voices and paranoid ideas. 


Avatar therapy helps confront distressing voices

The evidence

Avatar therapy for persecutory auditory hallucinations: What is it and how does it work?
Julian Leff, Geoffrey Williams, Mark Huckvale, Maurice Arbuthnot & Alex P.Leff

Psychosis, 6:2, 166-176,

Abstract We have developed a novel therapy based on a computer program, which
enables the patient to create an avatar of the entity, human or non-human, which
they believe is persecuting them. The therapist encourages the patient to enter
into a dialogue with their avatar, and is able to use the program to change the
avatar so that it comes under the patient's control over the course of six 30-min
sessions and alters from being abusive to becoming friendly and supportive.
The therapy was evaluated in a randomised controlled trial with a partial crossover
design. One group went straight into the therapy arm: "immediate therapy".
The other continued with standard clinical care for 7 weeks then crossed over
into Avatar therapy: "delayed therapy". There was a significant reduction in the
frequency and intensity of the voices and in their omnipotence and malevolence.
Several individuals had a dramatic response, their voices ceasing completely
after a few sessions of the therapy. The average effect size of the therapy was
0.8. We discuss the possible psychological mechanisms for the success of Avatar
therapy and the implications for the origins of persecutory voices.

AVATAR therapy for auditory verbal hallucinations in people with psychosis: a single-blind, randomised controlled trial
Prof Tom KJ Craig, PhD, Mar Rus-Calafell, PhD, Thomas Ward, DClinPsy, Prof Julian P Leff, FRCPsych, Prof Mark Huckvale, PhD, Elizabeth Howarth, PhD, Prof Richard Emsley, PhD, Prof Philippa A Garety, PhD

published in the Lancet on November 23th 2017

A full text research article which prooves that Avatar therapy works.

The use of virtual reality in psychosis research and treatment, Lucia Valmaggia

World Psychiatry. 2017 Oct; 16(3): 246–247.
Published online 2017 Sep 21. doi: 10.1002/wps.20443 

See You Tube

Studying and Treating Schizophrenia Using Virtual Reality: A New ParadigmDaniel Freeman, Pdf 

Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 8AF, UK

Schizophrenia Bulletin vol. 34 no. 4 pp. 605–610, 2008

Batle paranoia

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ISPS Journal


The ISPS Journal Psychosis accepts personal and institutional subscriptions. All Individual Members of ISPS and members of regional ISPS groups receive quarterly issues of the journal as a membership benefit.

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