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Virtual Reality Therapy

Traditional treatments have paved the way for many years when considering addiction and mental health recovery. Yet, by harnessing the latest technologies, non-traditional treatment options are now elevating recovery, such as virtual reality therapy.

Although virtual reality therapy cannot cure the initial causation of a drug and alcohol addiction or anxiety disorder, it can support recovery maintenance. In unison, virtual reality exposure therapy can contribute to effective relapse prevention, and post-rehab, by exposing individuals to real-life events surrounding their underlying triggers.

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  • Benefits

  • Proven Faster Recovery Times

  • Immersive Treatment

  • Increased Engagement In Treatment

  • Evidence Based

Here at Asana Lodge, we utilise the most effective available treatment options. Through this, we embrace methods such as virtual reality therapy, helping to promote recovery for individuals receiving inpatient treatment for addiction.

We appreciate how physiological and psychological responses can contribute to overall recovery, whether that’s from addiction, a specific phobia or depression.

If you’re currently suffering from a behavioural habit, mood disorder, or receive a dual diagnosis during our admissions process, virtual reality therapy may be recommended as a treatment option, helping to strengthen your coping mechanism and long-term recovery goals.


What is virtual reality therapy?

Virtual reality therapy involves the utilisation and integration of cutting-edge virtual reality technology within a treatment programme.

Virtual reality therapy is used to treat addiction, anxiety disorders, avoidance behaviour disorders, and specific phobias. It provides patients with a realistic and immersive environment that is separate from the real world, allowing for trials and tests to be conducted safely and effectively.

Once patients have completed an initial round of treatment, where causations and triggers are pinpointed, optional virtual reality exposure therapy can be used to determine the strength and success of those treatments when considering trigger exposure. Physiological responses and psychological dependencies will be measured to gauge personal progress, along with the suitability of treatments.

Although brand-new to many individuals, if this is a type of therapy you would be interested in participating in, it is important to maintain an open mind during sessions. Initially, the experience may feel uncomfortable, but it holds the potential to be an effective treatment option for those looking to build strength and resilience for life after their rehabilitation programme.

Before virtual reality technology emerged, other than their inpatient treatment programmes, there was no way to effectively prepare for risky situations that could lead to a relapse after completing rehabilitation treatment.

This was because they didn’t have access to immersive experiences that could simulate those situations. Through the advancement of technology, tests can be made in advance through virtual environments, providing greater accuracy rates for recovery. These immersive therapy experiences can also be done at a time and pace that suits the individual.


Virtual Reality and Addiction Recovery

At Asana Lodge, we truly vouch for the immense advantages linked to virtual therapy for addiction recovery, and we have seen many patients immensely benefit from undergoing this form of alternative treatment. Backed by the Institute for Creative Technologies, virtual therapy can be a highly effective treatment option when addressing the challenges of addiction.

Virtual technology assists in measuring the progress of recovery effectively and in a timely manner. Post-rehab is often a period where many individuals encounter their underlying triggers and temptations for the first time after treatment, which can feel very difficult to navigate in early recovery.

Testing the efficacy of treatment for addiction alone can be risky, and in some cases, can lead to immediate relapses. However, through the creation of a virtual environment that mirrors real-life scenarios, a safer environment for such tests can be established. These virtual environments can even be enhanced through the senses, such as visuals and communication.

For those staying at Asana Lodge to recover from a drug or alcohol addiction, everyday environments that may induce cravings can be virtually replicated, allowing patients who experience this form of therapy to build up the strength that will be essential in maintaining their recovery.

Although exposure to triggers may occur in virtual reality therapy sessions, it will be within a safe space under the supervision of a medical professional. Through these controlled methods, the application of virtual therapy during rehab can significantly reduce the chances of future relapses.

Virtual Reality Therapy - a photograph of a young woman wearing virtual reality headset when having therapy session

Virtual Reality and Mental Health Recovery

Virtual reality therapy, especially with patients who receive a dual diagnosis, has shown promising results in aiding patients to form natural and highly effective coping mechanisms in relation to protecting their mental well-being and stability.

Learning effective coping strategies that can be applied to life after treatment is a staple found in all of our rehabilitation programmes, but their true effectiveness is measured post-rehab.

Through virtual reality exposure therapy, individuals can refine and enhance their ability to use the coping mechanisms they have learnt in treatment, better preparing them for life after Asana Lodge.

Typically, the effectiveness of these mechanisms is gauged when confronted with a real-life trigger. However, with virtual reality therapy, individuals can experience scenarios where their coping mechanisms are needed within a virtual space. In situations where these strategies are not enough, resulting in negative thoughts or a stress response, virtual reality can provide assistance in strengthening these coping mechanisms.

Given that addiction and mood disorders affect everyone differently, virtual reality also offers unique potential for personalising treatment programmes and coping mechanisms. By visually identifying how psychological and physiological responses present themselves, a more accurate insight can be provided to treatment specialists. Similarly, a recovery timeline can be established and charted through the progression made in virtual reality therapy.


Additional treatments here at Asana Lodge

Virtual reality therapy can offer significant insight when considering the maintenance of recovery and the avoidance of relapses. However, to ensure that initial recovery can be achieved, additional treatments will be required.

Through measuring biological, spiritual, psychological and social factors, our team will aim to understand the underlying causation, resulting in abnormal behaviours, emotions and outlooks.

Virtual reality is an incredibly valuable form of therapy, but patients at Asana Lodge will have access to a broad range of both holistic and traditional therapies, which will be outlined within a personalised treatment programme. Evidence-based therapies will be a core part of any programme, which can include participating in structured sessions, such as individual counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy sessions, and group therapy.

Once an evaluation has been completed, treatments will be recommended, commonly promoting physical and psychological recovery. This is where virtual reality therapy can come into play, helping to measure the effectiveness of treatment options, based on evaluation data.

In tandem, virtual therapy can strengthen aspects of rehab, including coping mechanism sessions and relapse prevention techniques. Both are very important to continue recovery, and virtual reality therapy can help to strengthen their makeup.

For more information on recovering here at Asana Lodge, or to consider virtual reality therapy, get in touch with our team today. We will complete an initial evaluation to measure the effectiveness of virtual reality.


What's Included?

The therapy aims to put you in certain places where triggers to addictive substances usually takes place.

VR Addiction Therapy (Bar/Restaurant)


This will help guide you through visiting a pub/restaurant where our team will help you navigate through the different triggers that are exposed.


VR Addiction Therapy (Party)

A party scenario is another feature which includes being confronted with different triggers such as being offered alcohol.

VR Addiction Therapy (Paraphernalia)


This is a home setting where you are surrounded by certain narcotics and alcoholic triggers.

Client Feedback

"The virtual reality therapy provided during my stay at Asana Lodge was a truly remarkable experience and gave me a clear understanding about how my addictive mind works when faced with different scenarios. It helped show me the path towards long term recovery and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. "

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