Conference proceedings article

Virtual environment to treat social anxiety


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Publication Details

Author list: Esteves, Francisco

Publisher: Springer

Publication year: 2013

Start page: 442

End page: 451

Number of pages: 10

ISBN: 9783642392405



The aim of our work is to propose a Virtual Reality solution to treat social anxiety, applying cognitive-behavioral therapies, that preserves the sense of immersion without requiring the use of expensive special purpose hardware. We have developed an application, called Virtual Spectators, that creates a simulation taking place in a virtual scenario inhabited by animated virtual humans whose behaviors are dynamically controlled by the therapist. To evaluate the effective usefulness of the tool from the point of view of the therapist, we performed an evaluation of the application with a set of these professionals familiarized with the use of exposure therapy. Their feedback was positive and they were enthusiastic about the possibility of using such a tool to support a session of exposure therapy. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


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