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2018 Pre-Congress Workshop 1: Treating Simple and Complex Anxiety-Related Disorders with Virtual Reality: Evidence for Best Practices

Jun 24, 2018 01:00PM to Jun 24, 2018 04:30PM
Palais des congrès de Montréal

Presented by: Stéphane Bouchard
Sponsored by: Clinical Psychology
Continuing Education Credits: 3.25

Cet atelier est aussi disponible en français (le 25 juin, 8h30 à 12h00)


CPA/IAAP Members: $195.00 + GST + QST 

Non-Members: $275.00 + GST + QST

CPA/IAAP Student Affiliates: $125.00 + GST + QST

Delegate categories will be as per the World Bank Economic Categories:

  • Category A = Higher-income economies (GNI per capita: $12,236 or more)
  • Category B = Upper-middle-income economies (GNI per capita: $3,956 to $12,235)
  • Category C = Lower-middle-income economies (GNI per capita: $1,006 to $3,955)
                           & Low-income economies (GNI per capita: $1,005 or less)

Click here to download the country list

If you are a Non-Canadian Resident residing in a Category B or C country, please click here.

Duration: Half Day (13:00 – 16:30)
Target Audience: Clinicians, Researchers, and Students
Skill/Difficulty Level: Intermediate Level

Workshop Description:

Virtual reality (VR) possesses significant assets for the treatment of anxiety disorders (as they were defined in DSM-IV) and can lead to reliable changes in behaviors for people suffering from phobias, panic, social anxiety, GAD, OCD and PTSD. This powerful technology offers more control over exposure stimuli, is less intimidating for patients than in vivo exposure, provides easy access to feared stimuli in the therapist’s office, and allows therapists to expose patients to various situations in ways they might not dare to do in vivo. Several studies have confirmed the efficacy of VR in the treatment of specific phobias and randomized control trials (RCTs) are now replicating these findings for more complex anxiety disorders. Experimental studies and smaller trials have also confirmed the potential of VR for OCD and GAD. However, treating anxiety-related disorders with VR requires some specialized training, such as understanding the concepts of presence and immersion, being aware of cybersickness and how to reduce it, and knowing how to use the technology. Finally, the increase in popularity of head-mounted displays is leading to a plethora of new immersive applications, leaving clinicians with few cues to decide which can be effective, and how to use them. The goal of this workshop is to present evidence-based data on phobias and complex anxiety-related disorders and their treatment, and the nuances required to know when and how to use them.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Outline the scientific results about exposure in VR for complex anxiety disorders.
  2. Identify the key ingredients relevant to use VR in the treatment of phobias, panic disorder, social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  3. Know how to include VR in the traditional CBT treatment of anxiety disorders, OCD and PTSD.
  4. Recognize and deal with cybersickness and take necessary clinical precaution.
  5. Describe how to increase the sense of presence in order to make VR work more efficiently.