Virtual Reality Avatar Therapy for People Hearing Voices

2019-09-27 06:30:47 | BioPortfolio


Hearing voices is probably the worst form of acoustic hallucinations; which can be experienced as severely disturbing and is influenced by diverse factors including the ability of the individual to influence and control the hallucinatory experience itself. In recent years virtual reality has become a treatment option. In the so-called AVATAR Therapy, patients with schizophrenia and acoustic hallucinations design a visual and auditory recreation (avatar) of the entity to which they attribute their hallucinations. Working with a therapist over the course of several sessions, participants change the avatar from controlling to benevolent. Avatar Therapy involves similar processes to learning and cognitive restructuring, comparable to other psychotherapeutic interventions. The investigators plan to conduct an interventional study using a cross-over design, to compare the feasibility and efficacy of virtual reality avatar therapy for patients with acoustic hallucinations (independent of psychiatric diagnosis) with a cognitive behavioural group therapy aimed to improve social competence.

Study Design




Virtual Reality Avatar Therapy (VRAT), Assertiveness Training Program (ATP)


Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik Zürich


Not yet recruiting


Psychiatric University Hospital, Zurich

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-09-27T06:30:47-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Treatment technique in a virtual environment which allows the participant to experience a sense of presence in an immersive, computer-generated, three-dimensional, interactive environment that minimizes avoidance behavior and facilitates emotional involvement. (from Curr Psychiatry Rep (2010) 12:298)

Using computer technology to create and maintain an environment and project a user's physical presence in that environment allowing the user to interact with it.

A controlled learning environment that closely represents reality.

A highly customized interactive medium or program that allows individuals to learn and practice real world activities in an accurate, realistic, safe and secure environment.

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Hearing, auditory perception, or audition is the ability to perceive sound by detecting vibrations, changes in the pressure of the surrounding medium through time, through an organ such as the ear. Sound may be heard through solid, liquid, or gaseous mat...

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