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Geek Therapy
How Geek Culture is saving the world. Can geeky, nerdy, and techy things help heal the world? Absolutely. | For the Geek Therapy Podcast and more, visit http://www.geektherapy.com.
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Virtual Reality: A New Therapy for PTSD

Virtual Reality: A New Therapy for PTSD | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Researchers at the University of California and a Pasadena counseling center for first-responders have hit upon the idea of using virtual reality -- computer simulations -- not only to treat the emotional ravages of war and catastrophe, but also to try to prevent them. As post-traumatic stress disorder -- the scourge of battle-weary warriors -- reaches epidemic proportions, the nation's fascination with video games is about to propel PTSD therapy into an entirely new dimension.

 

Headington's research has focused, in part, on dissecting the physiological causes and symptoms of post-traumatic stress, using sophisticated monitoring devices to track changes in body chemistry and the effectiveness of coping strategies.

 

Part of the program is a repair effort, to help victims of PTSD get over it by putting them back into terrifying situations -- only this time in a safe "virtual" environment where they can learn to rein in their emotions without the crushing pressure of actual threat.

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Tetris Shown to Lessen PTSD and Flashbacks

Tetris Shown to Lessen PTSD and Flashbacks | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
The visual-spatial demands of playing Tetris disrupt the formation of the mental imagery involved in flashbacks...

 

Researchers are now corroborating what some trauma sufferers have happened upon by chance: Focusing on a highly engaging visual-spatial task, such as playing video games, may significantly reduce the occurrence of flashbacks, the mental images concerning the trauma that intrude on the sufferer afterward.

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Canadian military to test PTSD video therapy

Canadian military to test PTSD video therapy | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
CBC News has learned that the Canadian military has decided to use "virtual reality therapy" in a pilot project to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

The new therapy method puts soldiers in a computer-animated situation that recreates the specific incident that left the soldiers traumatized. A therapist then helps the soldiers to work through their memories.

 

It is estimated that 17 per cent of Canadian soldiers who did dangerous patrols outside of their base in Afghanistan, and who are now home, are reporting symptoms of PTSD.

 

Dr. Rakesh Jetley says virtual reality therapy is a new and promising tool in the treatment of PTSD. 


The Canadian Forces says the therapy seems to appeal to a younger generation of soldiers comfortable with video games.

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Can Playing the Computer Game “Tetris” Reduce the Build-Up of Flashbacks for Trauma? A Proposal from Cognitive Science

Can Playing the Computer Game “Tetris” Reduce the Build-Up of Flashbacks for Trauma? A Proposal from Cognitive Science | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Conslusions: Playing “Tetris” after viewing traumatic material reduces unwanted, involuntary memory flashbacks to that traumatic film, leaving deliberate memory recall of the event intact. Pathological aspects of human memory in the aftermath of trauma may be malleable using non-invasive, cognitive interventions. This has implications for a novel avenue of preventative treatment development, much-needed as a crisis intervention for the aftermath of traumatic events.
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