Helping People & Vets Recover from Stress & Mental Health Using Virtual Reality Therapy
Living with PTSD? This will help.
"Our Why" Every day, on average, 17 U.S. military veterans commit suicide.
OmniLife VR has pioneered with Dr. “Skip” Rizzo and Colonel Monaco (both serve on our Advisory Board) creating innovative VR projects helping our Armed Forces, Veterans, First Responders, and their Families in distress; Operation Hero, ExtremeVets & ExtremeKids (Freeing the Disabled), BraveMind and STRIVE. Check out the ABC News Report:
Exposure therapy, which involves using the imagination to recall the troubling event and talking through it with a therapist, is a proven form of PTSD therapy. But veterans, especially those with depression in addition to PTSD, often have a hard time willingly summoning those memories. Virtual reality therapy changes the equation and offers an innovative alternative to traditional PTSD treatment methods.
The BraveMind program includes 14 different ‘worlds’ from a crowded Iraqi marketplace to a remote Afghan village or a checkpoint in the desert to a forward operating base in the mountains. The therapist can recreate the scene of the traumatic incident in the VR headset, putting the veteran back in the moment. This type of therapy for veterans can be challenging, but confronting symptoms of PTSD can bring incredible healing.
Reliving your worst nightmare isn’t easy, Dr. Rizzo calls virtual reality exposure therapy “hard medicine for a hard problem.” However, doing it in a safe, supportive environment can help veterans open up about the incident and process their emotions around it. This process can help veterans begin to heal and put their PTSD symptoms behind them.
“It gets them to talk about things they’ve never talked to anyone about before,” said Dr. Rizzo. In the end, he said, “those memories don’t have the same intense, painful emotional power that they did before. Patients start to feel empowered, to feel that they got it out, and that they can talk about it.”
Thanks in part to the popularity of virtual gaming, virtual reality therapy appeals to vets who might shy away from traditional talk therapy. This allows veteran service organizations to deliver more engaging and personalized therapy.
A key to BraveMind’s efficacy is the therapist’s ability to customize the world that the patient will experience in the headset. Customizations closely match the setting of the bad memory, down to the sounds, smells, and time of day. From the control panel, the therapist can put the patient in the driver’s seat of a vehicle to match the veteran’s traumatic experiences. He or she can generate explosions or make helicopters fly overhead as the patient narrates the story in the present tense.
“You’re completely immersed in the moment,” said former Marine Chris Merkle, who tried the VR therapy after serving three years in Iraq and close to four years in Afghanistan. “You can feel it in your body when you talk, you just feel so tense. You don’t get that normally unless you’re in a really, really deep therapy session…[The VR] hands you your experience.”
Confronting the memory head-on, over and over again, reduces the brain’s response to it, so that ultimately, the veteran controls the memory and not the other way around. VR therapy allows veterans to regain control of their memories and in turn, how these memories impact their lives.
Proud of Our Experts
How Virtual Reality Helped A Combat Vet Overcome PTSD
Christopher R. Merkle M.A. is an advocate for veterans working to garner community support for veterans and to reduce the stigma of mental health. As a Marine combat veteran, Christopher openly challenges the stigma of mental health by sharing his battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His story is an extraordinary example of VR technology like BraveMind having a life-changing impact on the lives of those living with PTSD.
While he is proud of his service to the nation and local law enforcement, he does not believe service members should be defined by their past. “You fought for everyone’s Freedom to include our own, now fight to regain or maintain your own happiness and the American way of life.”
The OmniRIG Virtual Reality System
Custom, magical & attention-getting designs with immersive technology.
We offer the most premium, advanced, and efficient Virtual Reality solutions in the market. Pending your need, we truly partner with you to identify the best solution for your business & your customers.
Corpus VR Virtual Therapy
Corpus VR: The no.1 choice in Virtual Therapy
With Corpus VR, you offer your patients the most complete, cost-effective and enjoyable form of VR therapy. The intelligent combination of gamification and smart sensors and the solution’s compatibility with various VR headsets and tablets create a powerful and flexible therapy ecosystem that shows results in real time and can adjust exercises. The gaming component turns tedious exercises into more enjoyable exercise sessions; because all results are perfectly logged, the administration burden decreases. So overall, you can spend much more quality time with your patient than without the use of VR.
Corpus VR Pro
The most advanced and complete package for primary care and rehabilitation centers.
With Corpus VR Pro you get the complete package for the professional.
The patient follows the therapy in the VR world, while feedback from sensors is reflected in the dashboard.
The software automatically adjusts the level of difficulty of the training. As a therapist, you can turn the knobs and make exercises more challenging or more accessible. The system also automatically keeps track of the patient’s progress.
Corpus VR Personal
Exercise independently or in collaboration with your therapist from home.
You can also use Corpus VR at home or at work. Download the app on your smartphone and get all the modules.
Do you train independently? Then the software will automatically determine your level and adjust exercises.
If you work together with a therapist, they will receive all the progress and feedback in the dashboard. This way the therapist can see what’s going on, adjust exercises or prepare new ones for you.