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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Virtual reality plus psychedelics is being trialed in therapy. Are they effective? | ABC

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Researchers in Australia have conducted a pilot study into the use of virtual reality as a therapeutic tool to assist patients in recalling and processing psychedelic experiences.  

The researchers, from Swinburne University and a start-up called Enosis Therapeutics, founded by a medical doctor and a neurocognition professor, respectively, conducted the study on attendees of a two-day psychedelics retreat in the Netherlands, who had consumed psilocybin. After their experience, they put on VR headsets that immersed them in an outdoor environment, allowing them to grab stars to use as audio recording devices to speak about their trips. The audio recordings were then organized in a constellation representing their experience. The following day, they returned to this VR world to access their recordings to unpack and make sense of their experience. The researchers suggest that VR could bridge the gap between dosing and integration phases by helping patients recall what they had experienced during psychedelic experiences, which can be emotional and embodied, making them challenging to process through cognitive and analytical processes. 

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2023-02-20/virtual-reality-psychedelic-therapy-psychology-mental-health/101983510 


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