Features of the Use of Virtual Reality Technologies in the Rehabilitation and Treatment of Depression in Clinical Psychology



The work focused on the examining the use of virtual reality (VR) technologies in the reduction of depression in Europe. More than 70 issues of the journals “Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking”, “European Psychologist” were analyzed. We used the bibliometric analysis, the "keyword method" to analyze the text, which is understood as a search for typical terms, content analysis of the content of articles that used VR and depression. In the journal "European Psychologist" the term VR has not been mentioned for the last 2 years, which indicates the secondary importance of this issue for general psychology. In cyberpsychology, on the contrary, since 2019 in Europe, the interest of researchers in the use of VR technologies in clinical psychology has increased. By the content of the journal articles. "Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking" VR technologies are used primarily for the correction of anxiety disorders, and secondly, for the correction of depression. These technologies are used in various ways. The first option is to create VR programs with a direct impact on depression reduction. Here, VR is used as a symptom awareness tool, to create an avatar environment for client dialogue in a non- judgmental environment. Research has shown that such VR programs are rated by users as a useful tool for informing and emotionally responding to depressive states. The second option is an indirect effect on reducing the level of depression through the reduction of fears, phobias; increased activation, tone, euphoria in mental states; the development of a positive mood, cognitive motivation; an increase in indicators of field independence (cognitive style). A study based on the methods of psychosemantics is presented, which has demonstrated the effect of a specially created VR program with an avatar on changing the unconscious attitudes of the personality, reducing phobia of darkness. The effectiveness of using of VR technologies in reducing depression is determined by modeling of mental experiences and actions in VR, creating a virtual ontology, the influence of VR on conscious and unconscious attitudes, the possibility of responding to unconscious experiences through the user's identification with an avatar.

General Information

Keywords: depression, virtual reality, phobias, anxiety disorders, presence effect

Journal rubric: Applied Research

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/cpse.2021100312

Funding. The work was carried out within the framework of the state assignment of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation (2020–2022) No. 730000Ф.99.1.БВ09АА00006, the project "Influence of high-level virtual reality technologies on mental development in adolescence".

Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful for the help in the creation of high-tech products to the VR professionals V.P. Titov, A.V. Selivanov, E.M. Agafonov.

For citation: Selivanov V.V., Meitner L., Griber Y.A. Features of the Use of Virtual Reality Technologies in the Rehabilitation and Treatment of Depression in Clinical Psychology [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2021. Vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 231–255. DOI: 10.17759/cpse.2021100312. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Vladimir V. Selivanov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of the Department of General Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Head of the Chair of General Psychology, Smolensk State University, Smolensk, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8386-591X, e-mail: vvsel@list.ru

Lothar Meitner, Senior Lecturer, International School of Management, University of Applied Sciences, Dortmundt, Germany, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8920-1890, e-mail: lothar.meitner@yahoo.com

Yulia A. Griber, Doctor of Cultural Studies, Professor, Director of the Color Laboratory, Smolensk State University (FGBOU VO SmolSU), Smolensk, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2603-5928, e-mail: y.griber@gmail.com



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