Virtual Reality Therapy?
Virtual reality treatment is now over 35yrs old, the first study into its use as a treatment option for psychological problems was conducted in1995. Over this time there have been many studies conducted which show the effectiveness of virtual reality treatment.
In some therapies, we are asked to learn to be mindful or learn mindfulness techniques through meditation or Yoga. While there are undoubtedly advantages to this form of therapy not everyone is good at focusing their mind or visualising, so virtual reality can be a great alternative and really helpful as it removes the need for them to use their imagination.
Increasingly VR therapy has been found to be effective in the treatment of chronic pain. Using sophisticated VR headsets, you become immersed in a safe environment that provides a relaxing experience and that temporarily alters your perception of reality, in effect “tricking your brain” and providing a distraction from the symptoms that trigger your pain. Being immersed in such a calm and pleasant environment can help increase your sense of control and can provide a new, safe way to cope with pain.
We know you will find it a reassuring, pleasing and, indeed, delightful experience.
What are Binaural Beats?
Binaural beats are a result of listening to two tones that are set at slightly different frequencies at the same time. This results in an illusion created by the brain, in which the two tones are interpreted as a single beat separate from the other two. This new tone is at a frequency of the difference between the original frequencies.
Sound complicated? Lets simplify with an example:
You put on a set of headphones and we played ‘Tone A’ in your left ear. ‘Tone A’ is a sound of 500Hz
In your right ear we played ‘Tone B’. ‘Tone B’ is a sound of 504Hz
You would hear another tone of 4Hz, the difference between the two tones.
It sounds a bit like a much quieter version of an MRI machine.
This illusion is created by a part of your brain known as the Superior Olivary Complex. Within this part of the brain Neurons (which use electrical signals to create our thoughts, behaviours and emotions) are synchronised which alters various activities of these neurons. When it hears two frequencies that are really close together it creates a Binaural beat.
Interestingly this could explain why some people find the sound of bagpipes soothing, and some annoying. The long sticks over a players shoulder called drones are tuned to 475Hz to 480Hz, when they are tuned and one drone is slightly out of tune this same Binaural Beat can be heard.
There are different brain waves that can be affected by these beats and theses can be linked to low frequency for improved sleep and relaxation all the way to high frequency which can help with higher concentration and memory retention.
When used in conjunction with hypnotherapy, binaural beats can be used to help with a wide range of conditions.
Strategic Psychotherapy is a more up to date version of cognitive behaviour therapy or CBT as you may know it as. It was influenced by the works of Milton Erickson and Jay Healey. It is strictly speaking not a therapy but rather a collection of individual therapies used to tailor make individual sessions in order to help the client reach a pre-determined goal.
The main difference between strategic and other forms of therapy is that strategic therapy concentrates on the process by which individuals “create” there problems. How the process maintains these problems and how we can change this process. In essence it aims to change this process not the symptoms.
Almost everything we do is steeped in unconscious processed steps, such as how we tie our shoe laces, a process of steps we first learned as a child, now just an unconscious series of steps.
As Strategic Therapists we aim to bring these unconscious steps back into the conscious awareness where they can be examined and dissected until we find where the process goes wrong. This is the stage where we can alter the steps to give a more useful process to follow.
When you think about it this makes logical sense, why go see a therapist who will teach you to avoid trigger situations when this particular style will teach you to face the problem and deal with it as it arises.