Chicago Behavior Center uses innovative virtual reality to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders

Chicago Behavior Center uses innovative virtual reality to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders

Compass Health Center Now Enhances Comprehensive Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and Anxiety Disorders with Innovative Virtual Reality Care

Virtual reality for mental health

Virtual reality for mental health

CHICAGO, Oct. 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Compass is now offering virtual reality care in its Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Complex Anxiety programs for adults at in-person locations and through Compass Virtual. Through virtual reality care, it can further support and elevate exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy by placing the individual in specific environments that challenge their anxiety.

In practice, ERP involves deliberately and repeatedly encountering fears, such as thoughts, situations, and physical sensations, without using anxiety reduction tactics. Virtual Reality Care can be used as a gradual stepping stone to real world exposures and provides exposure to situations that are not easily accessible, e.g. boarding a plane, being on the edge of a tall building, driving on a freeway in the rain or at night, and more.

Individuals enrolled in Compass OCD and Complex Anxiety programs for adults 18+ are paired with a trained and licensed exposure therapist who is an expert in evidence-based treatment modalities and can integrate Exhibit skills and strategies in work using Virtual Reality Care. Program participants can also access virtual reality care from home using a designated headset or their cell phone. Virtual Reality Care is meant to be a creative way for individuals to improve the effectiveness of treatment for certain types of anxiety disorders and OCD while participating in the Partial Hospitalization (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Care (IOP) program of Compass.

“The goal of Compass’ OCD and Complex Anxiety programs is to create exposures that are challenging for the patient, that correspond to real-life experiences, and that are meaningful experiences for patients. Virtual reality exposures allow patients to experience feared situations that therapists couldn’t simulate without VR programs, such as speaking in front of large crowds or driving on a snowy highway.This allows patients to have more “real” fear experiences during exposure, increasing their ability to learn more about their fear and how they relate to their fear,” said Joe Serio, LCPS, Clinical Director, Compass Health Center. lives they value but have sacrificed to avoid the situations they feared. Simply put, it allows patients to recover faster. We are delighted with this addition to our repertoire of treatments.”

While most other OCD and anxiety programs focus on habituation (the process of anxiety naturally decreasing over time due to repeated exposure to a stressor), the Compass program focuses on inhibitory learning (the process of generating and integrating new information associated with a given stressor). This means that Compass individuals learn new information that competes with their initial fears and makes stressors more ambiguous when confronted in the future. Often, this results in a reduction in distress.

While a typical exposure session would focus on tracking the level of distress with the aim of reducing it over time, Compass takes time to discuss the context around the stressor and helps build thoughts or takeaways that help the patient change their relationship with the stressor. forward. This process increases a patient’s ability to tolerate anxiety and stress more effectively so that functioning and the ability to go about daily activities is not hampered. This creates more enduring and generalizable beliefs that allow individuals to confront their fears with more willpower and confidence and to engage more fully in activities and situations that they would otherwise avoid and miss.

Learn more about Compass OCD and Complex Anxiety Program here.

Amelia Virtual Care Examples of videos:

Contact information:
Britt Teasdale
Associate Director, Brand Management, Compass Health Center
Phone 216-926-0550

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