Treating phobias in virtual reality

Treating phobias with virtual reality

Representing a new wave of cognitive and behavioral approaches, virtual reality exposure therapies allow patients to be exposed to anxiety-provoking stimuli in complete safety and in the privacy of your practice. Many studies recognize virtual reality exposure therapies assignificantly more satisfactory for patients. They facilitate therapeutic engagement and compliance with treatment. Virtual reality offers many advantages: accessibility, confidentiality, care facilitation, patient safety, financial gain. Healthcare professionals describe virtual reality exposure therapies as more accessible thanks to the possibilities of controlling the graduation of virtual environments and the accessibility of developed environments. C2Phobia is the complete therapeutic software for treating phobias by VRET. It is also an effective complement to conventional therapies. Try the free demo version of the software by creating your MyC2Care account.
New technology anxiety disorders virtual reality virtual reality

C2Phobia: Advanced technology for a complete sense of realism

Recognised as a CE (European Conformity) medical device, C2Phobia’s virtual environments have been designed and developed to generate full immersion and maximise transfer of learning.

Easy to use for both practitioner and patient, C2Phobia offers optimal sensory stimulation that immerses the user in a reality comparable to the anxiety-provoking situations they encounter every day.

From your C2Services interface, you can access several functions and environments for the treatment of agoraphobia, social phobia and specific phobias such as arachnophobia or acrophobia.

Functions include increasing or reducing the density of the crowd, or controlling the avatars’ emotions and how often they look at the user.

You can also interact directly in virtuo with your patients, as an avatar who simulates a conversation.

Practical case study: Treating vertigo by in virtuo exposure

Thanks to C2Phobia, you can develop incremental exposures. The scenes are designed to respect the hierarchy of anxiety-provoking situations. In the treatment of acrophobia, the phobia-inducing contexts are under the control of the healthcare provider. The realism of the stimuli will increase cognitive and emotional activation for optimal exposure. From a building, the patient will gradually be exposed to different heights: immersion at the foot of the building, from the 1st to the 15th floor, up to the roof of a skyscraper. Controlling the stimulation gradient helps provoke the anxiety necessary to suppress the anxious reaction.
To complete the treatment, the patient may be exposed to their fear from an outdoor balcony or elevator. The therapist has control over the environment via functions such as the walkway configuration (increasing the phobia-inducing context by adding or removing affordances such as walls, ropes or no protection).
Treat virtual reality vertigo
Treating virtual reality agoraphobia

Phobias and VRET: what the research says

Virtual reality exposure therapies have been explored through the prism of research. Many studies have thus assessed their efficacy and have obtained significant results confirming the clinical relevance of VRETs. Concerning social phobia, Malbos (2016) not only demonstrated the efficacy of virtual reality on this disorder but also showed that the therapeutic gains are maintained over the long term. The authors also agree that the safety this method provides will facilitate patient engagement in exposure. From activating to suppressing the anxious reaction, the literature confirms that virtual reality therapy has proven its efficacy in maximising the therapeutic benefits for treating specific phobias, agoraphobia and social phobia.

Virtual environments available for the treatment of phobias







Fear of hospitals



Fear of driving

Fear of animals

Fear of insects



School phobia

Fear of cats
Fear of dogs
School phobia