An Immersive Form of PTSD Therapy Gets Veterans to Relive Trauma

By: Alyson Wyers - Jun 11, 2014
References: ict.usc.edu & fastcoexist
A virtual reality form of PTSD therapy gets veterans to experience the sounds, smells and feelings of an IED with the support to help them heal.

Research performed by the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technology resulted in the Bravemind system, which recreates traumatic events for the former soldiers. The PTSD therapy system consists of a 360-degree headset, a standard issue video game controller, a haptic plate and a smell kit capable of emitting scents such as burning plastic, diesel fuel and body odor.

Typically exposure therapy sessions involve therapists talking patients through guided experiences where they originally faced a traumatic event. USC's ICT in collaboration with partners in the American military and a Canadian veteran support group called True Patriot Love are looking into whether this immersive form of exposure therapy will be helpful for PTSD-suffering soldiers.