It’s estimated that nearly 20 percent of people have anger issues, ranging from mild to severe. The good news is that such issues can be fairly effectively managed using techniques such as Anger Exposure Training and Mindfulness Training.
Now, a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking has revealed that the same therapy techniques are effective even when used in virtual reality.
Entitled “The Applicability of Virtual Reality-Based Training for Controlling Anger in Aggressive Individuals,” the study was led by Jae-Jin Kim, MD, PhD, from Yonsei University, Seoul Republic of Korea, and it included 60 young male participants into two groups: high and low aggression.
“The program consisted of Anger Exposure Training for provoking anger and facilitating anger control and Mindfulness Training for providing the meditation experience for controlling anger,” explain the researchers. “The anger scores and comfort scores obtained from these tasks, respectively, were analyzed for differences between the groups and between the experimental conditions.”
Virtual reality-based training turned out to be effective in both cases, indicating that anger management therapy can be successfully performed in virtual environments.
That’s good news for anyone who is suffering from anger issues but can’t afford traditional therapy or is afraid to talk to a therapist face to face.
There are already several VR therapy apps, such as oVRcome, that help individuals overcome phobias and social anxiety in the privacy of their own homes. Hopefully, the availability of such apps will only continue to increase, giving people with mental health issues more options to get the help they need.