Virtual Reality for Treating the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

According to the American Physchiatric Association, the post-traumatic stress disorder is defined as a disorder that may hit people whom have experienced traumatic events such as personal assault, accidents, terroristic attacks, war, and so on. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs manages the the National Center for PTSD which is dedicated to research and help who’s affected by the disorder, assuring the right support to both veterans and their families.

However, over than the national initiatives, the United States are promoting programs and research centers at a local level. Those centers are able to provide an on-site help where the community and social dimensions of active-duty personnels and veterans are.

The University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando, Florida, has recently received a $10 million grant to continue supporting “Restore” – an excellent program that supports veterans in re-elaborating their trauma. The grant is also intended for enlarging the UCF’s cutting-edge clinic in establishing program at three military installations, including the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Georgia, Naval Medical Hospital Portsmouth in Virginia, and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

UCF Psycology Building

The UCF Restore program is aimed at combining medical treatments for the PTSD with innovative ones. This, in order to help veterans in re-acquiring their every day life and – ultimately, comparing the effects of those innovative treatments upon veterans’ social, familial, and occupational relations.

Deborah Beidel – UCF Pegasus Professor of Psychology and Medical Education, said in a latest statement that “[The grant] is a wonderful opportunity to take this program to active-duty military personnel and treat them on their own bases, right where they are. Our early research results show our program to be more effective than traditional PTSD treatment, and this gives us the opportunity to get some additional data to demonstrate it on a larger scale, while providing treatment in a convenient way for our patients.”

In fact, UCF Restore program intends to combine the Virtual Reality with medical treatments, in order to let veterans go through the traumatic experience they had while serving the country. It is possible by recreating exactly how the experience was: in fact, thanks to the equipment and technology available at the UCF clinic, it is possible to show through the Vive, the experience and within the platform where they sit down, the environment (including vibrances and smells). This setting helps veterans to re-live the trauma, this time, having the chance to repeat it as much times as they want until it becomes a memory and while being supported by psychiatrists and psychologists.

UCF Restore program’s VR experience

To learn more about the UCF Restore program watch this video and/or visit the website at this link.


Sara Belligoni