Serving the mental health needs of Long Islanders and New Yorkers.

Virtual Reality Therapy

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What is Virtual reality Therapy (VRT)?

Virtual Reality Therapy entails the use of a proprietary program on a cellphone that is embedded in a head-mounted display. To amplify the experience of the virtual environmental, standard headphones can be added. In addition, if desired, the patient’s anxiety levels can be measured with the use of non- invasive finger leads that measure galvanic skin response.
Why use Virtual Reality Therapy?

On average the number of sessions needed for Virtual Reality Therapy is low, between 6 to 12 sessions. Therefore, it is faster than traditional therapy. The virtual environments are very realistic and customizable, making the exposure therapy more effective. The success rate has been reported to be approximately 90%.
How does VRT work?

In the initial session the patient’s history is taken. The patient is taught the basics of anxiety reactions and the skills to reduce anxiety reactions. The subsequent VRT sessions follow a standard protocol and are matched to the patient’s level of tolerance. The therapist is able to monitor exactly what the patient is seeing and hearing. If the session produces too much anxiety, the patient can request to stop, return to an easier stage, or even, just remove the headset to terminate the experience.

What do I treat with VRT?

Fear of Public Speaking (executives, legal witnesses, other public speakers)
Fear of Flying
Fear of heights
Fear of Needles
Fear of Public Spaces
Fear of Closed Spaces
Fears of Animals and Bugs
Fear of Driving
Relaxation/ Mindfulness

Are there any issues or problems associated with VRT?

A small percentage of the population may experience motion sickness (nausea, vomiting, ataxia, disorientation, eye strain and vertigo) due to “sensory cue incongruity”. That is due to differences between what they are perceiving in the virtual environment being different from what their body is experiencing. It should be noted that improvements in the lag time between the virtual images and head movements have reduced these side effects for many people. Also, some individuals report experiencing aftereffects, including disturbed locomotion, perceptual-motor disturbances, flashbacks, drowsiness or fatigue.
What ages do I serve?

I work with school age children to adults of all ages.
Is VRT covered by insurance?

VRT falls under the category of Exposure therapy. It is considered an individual therapy session. I am not on insurance panels, but I will electronically submit claims on your behalf. You will receive whatever portion of the claim your insurance company reimburses you for out-of network providers. Please note, services rendered in regard to legal cases are not reimbursable by insurance.
For fees and any other questions please call Dr. Howard Gurr at (631) 462-2467 or e-mail him at hgurr@drsgurr.com