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How Augmented Reality Can Change in 2020: Mental Health

In the past few articles, we’ve looked into the implementation of augmented reality into the medical field and the justice community. Augmented reality (AR) refers to technology that turns the environment around you into a digital interface by putting virtual objects in real-world time. Applying augmented reality to mental health, clinical psychology, and health psychology is not an […]

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In the past few articles, we’ve looked into the implementation of augmented reality into the medical field and the justice community. Augmented reality (AR) refers to technology that turns the environment around you into a digital interface by putting virtual objects in real-world time.

Applying augmented reality to mental health, clinical psychology, and health psychology is not an entirely new concept. However, the synthesis of virtual reality into the mental health field has become more mainstream over the past decade. The nature of AR has a plethora of potential when it comes to cases like eating disorders, phobias, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders. 

There is a long list of reasons why augmented reality is and can continue to be useful for the future. To further flesh out the usage of technology, we can turn to some of the primary uses. 

Embodied Technology

Augmented reality can let people experience things they’ve never done or seem themselves outside of their own perception. For example, we have the popularity of virtual reality used for gaming or expos. This particular usage of AR is advantageous because it changes the bonds of one’s normal existence. Being beyond the limits of one’s body can help professionals to study the emotions, cognition, and action of an individual in a new environment. 

Imaginal Technology

With the assistance of AR, professionals can simulate triggers or situations in the safety of a controlled environment. Usually, the effects of a technique called immersion therapy are achieved through visualization or guided thought within a session. To actually create the elements while therapist have control and can create a safe environment can make treatments more efficient as well as easier to observe. 

Cybertherapy

Cybertherapy refers to a branch of psychology that primarily focuses on the utilization of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to help with a clinical change. The branch uses technology like virtual reality or augmented reality to complement traditional therapy like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). 

More and more cybertherapy and the use of AR in the mental health field is being utilized and accepted within the medical field. As augmented reality continues to evolve, so will the fields of medicine it unequivocally impacts. 

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