20.11.2018 in Exploratory
Virtual Reality in Clinical Psychology


Virtual reality refers to a type of technology that combines both artificial interface and experience. In that case, the facets become the bases of emerging clinical aspects that is applied in integration and enhancement of real therapeutic procedures. In that way, virtual reality has been regarded as a vital player in clinical psychology. This has become evident especially in treatment of illnesses and phobias. Most importantly, virtual reality has been used in clinical psychology for treating eating disorders such as obesity and also posttraumatic stress as well as men erectile problems. These applications of virtual reality in clinical psychology have been forecasted to increase in the future. This paper presents a clear description of various technologies and processes used, the reasons for selecting these procedures, the challenges encountered, the lessons learned, and the future efforts and approaches of decision making of the team developing this topic.

Technologies Used and Process

Clinical psychology requires the application of the most appropriate technologies keeping in mind that treatment is part of improving a patient’s welfare. Clinical psychology procedures should be carried out at a high level of professionalism in order to prevent pain and improve the wellbeing of a patient. In this case, the most appropriate technologies have been introduced into the health sector and are playing a vital role in treating patients with disorders among other illnesses. Virtual reality has extensively been used in clinical psychology through technology and procedures. The notable development in personal computer hardware, which has been evident in the last few years, has changed the computer-based virtual reality. Consequently, the cost of an ordinary desktop virtual reality system has been lowered by a significant amount.

Most importantly, the functionality has drastically risen with regard to graphic processing strength. Moreover, a common immersive virtual reality system used in clinical psychology in the absence of dedicated software needs only around $6,000 or even less. In clinical psychology, a general Celeron or Duron processor is used. This processor is composed of 128 Mbytes of random access memory (RAM) and can offer enough processing strength for a common virtual simulation procedure in clinical psychology. Moreover, a quick Pentium IV or Athlon XP personal computer containing 512 Mbytes of RAM can move users to attain an effective virtual reality environment. The next technology required in this field is a dual Xenon platform containing 1 Gbyte of RAM. It is also composed of OpenGL acceleration as well as 128 Mbytes of virtual reality access memory that operates under Windows XP. That is also done under the premises of pro rivals that consist of horsepower of the central degree graphics.

In order to exploit the potential of these technologies in clinical psychology, a quick graphics card containing considerable amount of RAM is needed. It has become evident that new chip components involved in customer graphics cards contain 8 times more of RAM and 3.5 times beyond 3-D acceleration when compared with the initial generation of chips. More evidently, it can be deduced that there are only two major suppliers of usable virtual reality solutions in America, and these are the Virtually Better and VRHealth. In that case, an organization can acquire certain software from these distributors since Virtually Better provides five categories of virtual components including virtual airplanes, audiences, heights, and storms as well as Vietnam. Virtually Better is also a provider of two major programs including clinical partners and research. These programs offer hardware and software for only a starting fee and an additional monthly service. On the other hand, VRHealth is involved in distributing five virtual environments including body image modification, panic along with agoraphobia, acrophobia, virtual flights, and opening out. Within clinical psychology, any patient ready to experience virtual reality at a low cost can use 3-D engines that are integrated in the commercial 3-D games. It is also vital to note that there are various virtual reality developmental equipments that are easily accessible for personal computers. Most importantly, the set-up in a virtual reality system needs patience in handling conflicting hardware or the lack of drivers.

The process of using virtual reality in clinical psychology follows a precise rationale by the psychologists. They use a procedure within a new human-to-computer integration, whereby users are impassive as well as external viewers of the on-screen pictures. However, users become active respondents within the 3-D virtual platform. According to this strategy, the patient is at a position of manipulating solutions associated with the problem that he or she faces. It has become clear that the most commonly used process in clinical psychology’s virtual reality is the diagnosis of phobias. In fact, virtual reality in exposure therapy has been encouraged for carrying the latter out. In that case, the entire process is simple to accomplish in patient’s confronting using a fear stimuli in order to allow the patient’s fear to attenuate. Furthermore, avoidance of a dreaded condition tends to reinforce fear and every exposure of the patient tends to reduce the anxiety. That is clearly attained through the process of both extinction and habituation. Virtual reality exposure therapy has been regarded as an effective tool in treating phobias due to the fact that it is better than imaginal exposure under the premises offered in traditional settings. Therefore, it is convenient as well as cost-effective.


Reasons for Selecting Technologies

It is clear that integration of the above-mentioned technologies will work effectively in clinical psychology considering the fact that they are all linked to virtual reality. The technologies used in virtual technology are advancing with the ever-expanding innovations. Virtual environments provide new human and computer interaction. The selected technologies are cost-effective because the costs should not surpass the benefits accruing to the process. The technology also allows the developmental toolkits that come with the ability in programming. Moreover, despite the diversity in categories of virtual reality delivered by these technologies, the tools are founded on similar virtual developmental model. Similarly, such toolkits provide a chance for creation or importation of 3-D items. Moreover, they give a chance for application of behavioral attributes including gravity as well as weight to those items. Programming of the items is also inclusive in order to allow them to respond to the interface through visual or audio platforms. These technologies have all the necessary requirements for exposure management standards for individuals in the virtual environments. The virtual environments have been enhanced with screening procedures that are capable of detecting people who demonstrate certain risks. They also contain the procedures for managing individual exposure to virtual reality applications in order to ensure that there is quick adaptation with low-level symptoms and processes in monitoring unexpected influences. It is done in order to ensure that such a system is able to gain the objectives. Therefore, apart from cost effectiveness of technologies chosen, it is clear that they are easily compatible with virtual reality in clinical psychology. The latter is expanding day by day, and devices with high memory capacity along with speed processors are being used. It is clear that such devices have come in favorable prices and can easily work in traditional settings as well.

Challenges Encountered

For this project, several challenges were encountered in the process of carrying out the research. It is evident that the topic of virtual reality is surrounded widely with many aspects of technology. Owing to the fact that technology is expanding day by day, it can be deduced that challenges of making choices between toolkits are evident. The main challenge in this research is the limitation of the available systems’ readiness. Apart from the systems that are provided by two companies across the United States (Virtually Better and VRHealth), there are no solutions that can be attained under the premises of ”off-the-shelf”. Thus, the entire research required patience in order to handle the conflicting hardware. The involved hardware had to be dedicated in order to keep the system of research running smoothly. Most importantly, there is also a challenge of ethics. In fact, it became evident that the introduction of patients as well as clinicians to virtual environments eludes safety along with ethical issues. This fact posed a challenge in selecting the rightful technologies to include in this research. There was also a challenge in choosing the right topic. In this case, choosing the application of virtual reality in clinical psychology was a wise idea for the group. However, finding details about the technologies in order to apply and to link them to the topic was a bit difficult. However, with dedication and planning, it eventually became an easy task after all. It is evident that human information technology embraces many elements and has wide topic meanings, while selecting a precise one for this research required patience and combination of interests.

Lessons Learned

This research introduced many things and a revelation that virtual reality is becoming rampant across many fields of operation. In this case, the health sector is currently using virtual reality in treating patients with disorders and phobias among other illnesses. This research helped one to monitor attitude especially in carrying out research itself. A positive attitude is required in carrying out such a research owing to the fact that it is an evolving world with much technological advancements. It also requires caution in planning and preparation. A need for a good topic becomes also evident. It is important to develop a good topic in order to supplement it with relevant details. Moreover, it is vital to develop a good study design that includes the most appropriate methodology. Looking at the topic of research, it became clear that virtual reality is starting to take part in clinical psychology. Furthermore, selecting technologies requires one to highlight relevant aspects in order to determine the best technology to be used in the most appropriate manner.

Additionally, it was also discovered that team work should be well-organized in order to produce high results of research. Simultaneously, it was important to come together and select a leader who was to execute tasks to the group members. It became clear that decision making is a crucial aspect for the team. In most cases, teams are required to make decisions in order to formulate ways of attaining objectives of a research. That calls for opinions from group members and deciding on an optimal solution that should be the best route to follow. Most importantly, there emerged the idea that time management is of paramount importance in every kind of research. The team was able to formulate a schedule that assisted in completing task in time. It is also vital to use advanced technological toolkits just like the technologies that have been discussed in this paper. The devices have high memory levels and quick speed processors. Virtual reality is becoming clearly real in today’s world and that is revealed by its wide usage in the health sector and clinical psychology.

Planning for the Future

It will be vital to improve some aspects of the research in the future. That means that certain changes have to be done in future researches in order to ensure that everything works smoothly and effectively. It will be important to define the rationale for selecting a topic of research. Future researches will also need to involve control studies that will be effective in determining the efficacy of a research topic. The future researches will call for a small change in group formation. It will require a group to be subdivided into several teams, and each of them will be assigned a subtopic of research. Thus, it will be easy to combine ideas and formulate a final report that has been agreed upon by every member of the group.

Decision Making

The team members had an effective way of making decisions. The team managed to complete tasks in time and overcame all the challenges due to the effective decision making procedures. Conflicts were solved through dialogue and confrontation. When an issue was raised by one or several group members, it was confronted with a high level of intellect owing to the fact that the decisions made could affect every member. Consequently, different opinions were aired by the group members and necessary corrections were made by selecting the best alternatives. The team leader was voted for meaning that the group chose democratic rationale. He was responsible for ensuring that the decisions made were effectively implemented into the tasks in such a way that they could support objectives and goal attaining of the group.


In conclusion, it has become clear that virtual reality is growing in terms of usage. It has been applied in various sectors of the world’s economy and continues to expand to even large areas in the world. Virtual reality is continuously being developed across the health environment with many aspects of virtual environments being implemented as time goes by. In this case, the paper has explored a topic in virtual reality and the way it has being used in clinical psychology. The latter has become effective especially in treating various disorders such as obesity. Combination of artificial interface with one’s experience has proved to be efficient in treating some of the most critical illnesses across the world. For this paper, various technologies have been selected as crucial elements in clinical psychology. There is high application of quick speed processors and high capacity memory. The technologies that are used in clinical psychology are cost-effective and can easily be integrated into traditional systems. The main challenge in selecting such technologies was that only two providers across the United States (Virtual Better and VRHealth) offer virtual reality solutions. They provide programs that can effectively be implemented into the health sector. Throughout this research, it becomes evident that the combination of efforts by group members played a huge role in ensuring that all goals and objectives of the research were gained. Several challenges were encountered including dealing with ethical issues that arise from introducing patients into virtual reality solutions. Selecting the topic and gathering relevant information were also challenging tasks considering the fact that information technology is a wide topic of research, and selecting an optimal topic requires patience and intellect.


Outline: Virtual Reality in Clinical Psychology


Virtual reality refers to the integration of both artificial interface and experience. It has widely been used in clinical psychology, especially in treating illnesses such as disorders and skin diseases.

  1. Technology Used and Processes: Various technologies and a coherent process is applied in clinical psychology when using virtual reality. Graphics and processing strength are the main determinants of selection.
  2. Reasons for Selection of Technologies: The technologies have been selected under the bases of cost effectiveness and flexibility. The selected technologies are affordable and can easily be integrated into the old systems.
  3. Challenges Encountered: Several challenges were encountered including ethical dilemmas, choosing an appropriate topic and only two ware providers in the United States.
  4. Lessons Learned: The lessons learned revolved around the entire research and group formation. It became clear that it is vital to plan and execute tasks effectively. It is also important to involve the entire members in contributing the tasks.
  5. Planning for the Future: The future studies will need control researches that will help in determining the efficacy of the selected topic and technologies.
  6. Decision Making: Decision making process in the group involved every member. Members were required to converse and come up with solutions. Conflicts were solved by confrontation.


In conclusion, virtual reality is widely enhancing in the health sector and, in this case, in clinical psychology. It calls for the application of the most effective technologies and devices.

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