In collaboration with Samsung and Mimerse we developed Itsy, an automatic arachnophobia treatment. It was released for the Oculus GearVR, was featured in PR-campaign by Samsung Electronics and tested in a randomised controlled trial at Stockholm University.
Gradually exposing people to the thing that they fear, in this case spiders, in a controlled environment has long been the most common method in treating phobias.
Treating arachnophobia through exposure therapy may prove difficult, however this treatment has proven to work within the virtual world as well. Despite significant evidence that exposure therapy works about a third of people with specific phobia’s do not seek treatment, and even if they do seek treatment, they often avoid exposure therapy as the mere idea of facing their phobias is just too stressful. This is why Virtual Reality may be very effective in the treatment of any phobias, not only phobia of spiders.
For decades virtual reality exposure therapy has been highly effective in treating a number of different phobias. These include acrophobia(fear of heights), aviophobia (fear of flying) and, claustrophobia (the fear of confined spaces).
If you are interested in this VR experience you may also be interested in Happy Place