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Publication Detail
Embodying self-compassion within virtual reality and its effects on patients with depression.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Falconer CJ, Rovira A, King JA, Gilbert P, Antley A, Fearon P, Ralph N, Slater M, Brewin CR
  • Publication date:
    15/02/2016
  • Pagination:
    74, 80
  • Journal:
    BJPsych open
  • Volume:
    2
  • Issue:
    1
  • Medium:
    Electronic-eCollection
  • Language:
    eng
  • Addresses:
    , PhD, Clinical Educational & Health Psychology.
Abstract
Self-criticism is a ubiquitous feature of psychopathology and can be combatted by increasing levels of self-compassion. However, some patients are resistant to self-compassion.To investigate whether the effects of self-identification with virtual bodies within immersive virtual reality could be exploited to increase self-compassion in patients with depression.We developed an 8-minute scenario in which 15 patients practised delivering compassion in one virtual body and then experienced receiving it from themselves in another virtual body.In an open trial, three repetitions of this scenario led to significant reductions in depression severity and self-criticism, as well as to a significant increase in self-compassion, from baseline to 4-week follow-up. Four patients showed clinically significant improvement.The results indicate that interventions using immersive virtual reality may have considerable clinical potential and that further development of these methods preparatory to a controlled trial is now warranted.None.© The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2016. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence.
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