Image: Pixvana and Limbix have collaborated to create virtual reality therapy for adolescent depression. Photo: courtesy of hyena reality / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Virtual reality solutions provider Pixvana has collaborated with Limbix to create an interactive VR therapy for adolescent depression and anxiety.
Pixvana, Limbix, Stony Brook, UT Austin, and Harvard researchers developed VR scenes that support Growth Mindset Training – an understanding that anyone can develop their abilities and intelligence.
By depicting various situations that could lead to depression in adolescents, the VR experience teaches teens how their brain functions and how thoughts and feelings develop.
It helps them understand they have power over these thoughts and, with a growth mindset, can change how they think and feel about their experiences.
Filmed at Youngstown Arts and Cultural Center in full 360 degrees using the Google Jump camera, the VR scenes are intended for use in high school classrooms and by the professional therapist community.
Each scene attempts to depict situations in a gender and age appropriate context and connect with adolescents in a very practical way, while making them feel comfortable, safe and in control of their environment.
Limbix program manager Elise Ogle said: “The purpose of the project is not only to bring insight into depression – and let kids know they aren’t alone in their struggles – but also to teach kids how to process, confront and work through their feelings and challenges.
“Pixvana served as the perfect production partner, allowing us to focus on the lesson plan and research integration, while they ensured high-quality video and provided expert consultation.”
Pixvana chief operating officer Rachel Lanham said: “The use of virtual reality as a medium can quickly put adolescents in familiar classroom settings, or immerse them in real-life scenarios, engaging them in a very meaningful, safe and lasting way.
“It’s an immersive and stimulating learning experience, and highly effective at communicating important messages and coping strategies. We hope this project can make a difference among teens by using technology to help break down stigmas that may exist about depression.”