Confronting Auditory Hallucinations Using Virtual Reality: The Avatar Therapy.
Rus-Calafell M., Garety P., Ward T., Williams G., Huckvale M., Leff J., Craig TK.
The AVATAR therapy is a computer-based intervention which aims to reduce the frequency and severity of voices. The approach is based on computer technology which enables each patient to create an avatar of the entity (human or non-human) that they believe is talking to them. The therapist promotes a dialogue between the patient and the avatar in which the avatar progressively comes under the patient's control. Using real-time voice conversion delivery software, the therapist can modify the relationship between the patient and his/her voice. The innovation of this new intervention is discussed in the present paper as well as the advantages of using a computer based system. The subjective view of the technology from a participant's point of view is also presented.