Realidad Virtual, una herramienta para tratar las fobias

Las fobias son concebidas como uno de los trastornos que afectan más comúnmente a los seres humanos. La persona experimenta un miedo irracional y desmedido ante un objeto o situación específica, como el temor a las alturas, a hablar en público, a las agujas, a los insectos, a los espacios […]

Las fobias son concebidas como uno de los trastornos que afectan más comúnmente a los seres humanos. La persona experimenta un miedo irracional y desmedido ante un objeto o situación específica, como el temor a las alturas, a hablar en público, a las agujas, a los insectos, a los espacios cerrados, a los transportes y a volar, entre otros.

“Cuando ocurren accidentes como el del avión que cayó en Taiwán esta semana, hay un notable incremento de consultas, tanto de nuevos como de viejos pacientes”, afirma Claudio Pla, psiquiatra especializado en el tratamiento de fobias y trastornos de la ansiedad, reconocido tanto a nivel local como internacional.
La persona que sufre este tipo de dificultades -para evitar la ansiedad que estas situaciones le generan- suele buscar evitarlas, interfiriendo en el normal desarrollo de su vida cotidiana.

Para tratar eficazmente las fobias, la persona debe ser expuesta a la situación temida. Hasta el momento, esto se llevaba a cabo “en vivo” o a través de la imaginación.

La organización Poder Volar que, desde 1995, se dedica en Argentina a brindar recursos a personas que tienen fobia a los vuelos, presentó recientemente  el casco de Realidad Virtual Psious, un nuevo recurso para el tratamiento de las fobias. “Es una herramienta que renueva las esperanzas y facilita el tratamiento”, sostiene Pla.
Se trata de un sistema basado en el uso del casco y un Smartphone, comandados desde una computadora, que permiten generar escenarios tridimensionales dentro de los cuales el paciente tiene la sensación de estar físicamente presente, siendo capaz de interactuar con ellos.
El tratamiento con Realidad Virtual se realiza utilizando escenarios diseñados específicamente para cada tipo de fobia. Cada escenario está compuesto de una secuencia que recrea la situación temida por el paciente. De esta manera, el terapeuta puede regular la exposición del paciente a la situación en función de la reacción que éste tenga.
El escenario virtual es controlado por el profesional para conseguir una exposición gradual de las escenas programadas para el paciente en sesiones de terapia de entre 45 y 60 minutos. La exposición debe ser recurrente, a fin de reducir el malestar y, en última instancia, la eliminación de las respuestas de ansiedad del paciente ante dichas situaciones.
En el caso de la fobia a volar en avión, el tratamiento se puede complementar, además, con la práctica de horas de vuelo virtuales en el X-plain, con un comandante de línea aérea en un simulador de cabina preparado especialmente a tal fin. Y, por otra parte, se puede acceder al asesoramiento de un destacado profesional especializado en coaching y manejo de técnicas para combatir el stress. “En los encuentros se trabaja sobre cuatro pilares: información clave sobre aviones, ejercicios de afrontamiento físicos, asesoramiento sobre medicación y el simulador de realidad virtual y el de cabina”, concluye Pla.

Ventajas de la Realidad Virtual:
• El tratamiento es individual.
• La exposición se realiza en el consultorio del terapeuta, garantizando confidencialidad.
• Permite una exposición gradual y controlada en un ambiente estructurado y seguro.
• Se puede repetir cualquier escena de la situación fóbica tantas veces como sea necesario.
• Elimina los riesgos de daño físico potencial.
• Permite manejar los escenarios y estímulos fóbicos de formas que no son posibles en el mundo real.

 

 

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Realidad Virtual, una herramienta para tratar las fobias

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