Answer to Question #129471 in Psychology for Khanh Ngoc Nguyen

Question #129471
Given how rapidly technological advancements are happening, and how affordable many of these technologies are becoming, how else might we incorporate technology into modern therapeutic approaches like systematic desensitization and cognitive behavioral therapy?
Expert's answer

How to Incorporate Technology into Modern Therapeutic Approaches

Systematic desensitization is a behavioural therapy that has its base on the classical conditioning principle. The treatment focuses on eliminating the fear response of a phobia or anxiety about a particular object or situation. Substitution is done gradually with a relaxation response to the stimuli of the condition by use of counter conditioning. Many individuals with such disorders need to receive adequate treatment, which may be hard to access. However, advancement in technology helps address some of the challenges encountered when administering treatment to patients.

Incorporating modern technology with systematic desensitization will help achieve a milestone. Virtual reality technology allows the user to experience a sense of presence in a three-dimensional environment generated by a computer. In this case, the sensory information will be delivered through a head-mounted display and a set of specialized interface devices. The devices are responsible for tracking the head movements, and change of image comes naturally as the head moves, allowing a sense of immersion.

Incorporating technology into cognitive behavioural therapy will help many patients access treatment at their convenience. Facilitating the dissemination of the evidence-based treatment is done by developing technology-enhanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy interventions. Treatment of specific disorders, including depression, can be done through online therapist training sessions. In other cases, in-sessions can be conducted using a tablet to teach clients certain concepts and skills. A trainer can also send text messages to their client for reminding and self-monitoring the between sessions homework activities. Thus, technology has made therapeutic approaches affordable and convenient as much as possible.        

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