Advances in immersive virtual reality interventions for mental disorders: A new reality?

Curr Opin Psychol. 2021 Oct;41:40-45. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2021.02.004. Epub 2021 Feb 13.


Immersive virtual reality (VR) has been identified as a potentially revolutionary tool for psychological interventions. This study reviews current advances in immersive VR-based therapies for mental disorders. VR has the potential to make psychiatric treatments better and more cost-effective and to make them available to a larger group of patients. However, this may require a new generation of VR therapeutic techniques that use the full potential of VR, such as embodiment, and self-led interventions. VR-based interventions are promising, but further well-designed studies are needed that use novel techniques and investigate efficacy, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of VR interventions compared with current treatments. This will be crucial for implementation and dissemination of VR in regular clinical practice.

Keywords: Automated; Embodiment; Intervention; Perspective change; Psychiatry; Treatment; Virtual reality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders* / therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy*
  • Virtual Reality*