As you watch the standard protocol usage of VR for anxiety you can see, hear, and feel the ramped up sympathetic nervous system of Howie Mandell. This “exposure therapy”, in earlier years it was call “flooding therapy”, although it made Howie feel “empowered” at the end, he learned nothing about how to prepare for situations or how to mange situations and re-regulate his nervous system when he feels anxious. What this type of therapy is likely to lead to for Howie is, he has to repeat this pattern over and over each time he gets activated with anxiety, before he gets calm. This will train his system to a pattern of first going through a highly charged state in order to become calm, which over time has potential to have him become highly avoidant of anything that brings him anxiety. This is the exact opposite of what will help him. In fact there is research that speaks to the dangers of VR and over stimulating a person.
► PSYCHOLOGY TODAY ARTICLE
By understanding the physiology of human responses to stress we have designed a VR tool that operates in a juxtaposed fashion to what is currently on the market. Clients that use ARTA will learn the early warning signs of disregulation, as well as learn ways to titrate and control their anxiety. By doing this our clients will not have to pass through those highly anxious disregulated states before experiencing being regulated. Howie never spoke about being regulated, he was still activated as he tried to wordsmith this uncomfortable state to have a positive twist as he called it “empowered”.
See video. Is Howie better after this exposure experience?
The SLOW, TITRATED WORK-IT-THROUGH model of ARTA will help the client move towards resolution of their fear by helping them see, and feel the early triggers off their anxiety. This will allow them to access their resources that will bring them back into a regulated state thus conserving their energy units for more pleasurable and harmonious interactions with their environment. Clients that use ARTA will remain within a manageable range of anxious states, as they learn, develop, and integrate the tools necessary to overcome the emotional states that hijack their personalities. After using ARTA under the guidance of a trained therapist the client will once again be able to be more in their desired flow of living without fears.
ARTA is a complex VR technological tool that combines the technology with well know psychological and physiological theories.