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CREATIVE PSYCHOLOGY WITH DR. DUG
  • Dr. Dug

Hypnosis and Mindfulness in VRET

The major component of Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy is, of course, the virtual reality component. However, in preparation and continued support of the VR work, it is necessary to have a foundation upon which to build. That foundation is bolstered by hypnosis and mindfulness.


Hypnosis


Hypnosis is used in order to support exposure therapy. Contrary to what you see in movies, during hypnosis you are in total control of yourself and very much aware of what is happening. Hypnosis is merely when one is in a state of deep focus (similar to when you "daze out" when watching a bonfire) during which time your typical defenses (e.g., yes, but...!) don't get in the way and you are more open to new ways of thinking.


Mindfulness


The ultimate goal of exposure therapy is to improve your quality of life and help you regain a sense of meaning, connection, and hope. To that end, it is vital to build your mindfulness skills so that you are aware of how you feel and think and can identify what is really important to you (versus what others tell you should be important to you).


Mindfulness should not be confused with "mind-iness." This is a form of avoidance that takes the form of rationalizing, judging, and evaluating. Yes, going down the rabbit hole is often an avoidance strategy!


People who struggle with anxiety often say they have difficulty with mindfulness and focus. This is another area where VR is a game-changer. For some, being in an immersive environment facilitates improved focus and self-awareness.


Hypnosis and mindfulness are interwoven into the VRET treatment plan.


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