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CUTTING EDGE DEVELOPMENTS IN PSYCHOLOGY: VIRTUAL REALITY APPLICATIONS. INTERVIEW WITH TWO LEADING EXPERTS

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Virtual reality (VR) has captured the attention of professionals in the filed of psychology as a highly promising method/tool in the assessment and management of various psychological problems (e.g., anxiety, pain, ADHD). The International Institute for the Advanced Studies of Psychotherapy and Applied Mental Health at the Babes-Bolyai University has recently developed a complex Virtual Reality Platform with multiple applications in the field of applied psychology (e.g., psychological assessment, psychotherapy, education, motor rehabilitation) (www.clinicalpsychology.ro). To explore the cutting-edge developments in the field, I spoke to two leading experts in VR applications in psychology about the potential and benefits of this technology: Dr. Albert “Skip” Rizzo and Ken Graap. The current state, future developments and challenges are discussed.

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VIRTUAL REALITY IN THE REHABILITATION OF ATTENTION DEFICIT / HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER. INSTRUMENT CONSTRUCTION PRINCIPLES

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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent psychiatric childhood disorders. Good clinical practices are therefore needed regarding both assessment and therapy. In which assessment is concerned, valid instruments are available, one of the last developments in the field being the virtual reality guided assessment (VirtualClassroom). Regarding intervention, the multimodal, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) oriented approach is the most frequently employed. However, this approach has some limitations, one of them concerning ecological validity. Our VR-based intervention addresses this issue, by providing a high ecological validity therapeutic tool. We do not propose a new therapeutic paradigm. We instead move the intervention from the clinician’s office into the virtual classroom, where we still use cognitive restructuring and the behavioral techniques of the classic intervention. This paper highlights the implementation of the psychotherapeutic principles of ADHD therapy in the VR environment. The different features of this instrument are designed to address specific cognitive-behavioral modifications involved in the therapeutic process.

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Logotherapy-enhanced REBT: an integration of discovery and reason

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A close review of Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy and Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) demonstrates remarkable similarities between these two systems of psychotherapy. An integrated Logotherapy-enhanced REBT is examined in respect to cognitions, emotions, and the reduction of rumination. Its unique contribution is to balancing discovery of meaning with the use of reason during the process of psychotherapy. Conclusions are drawn, limitations are discussed, and future recommendations are outlined.

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