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Phoenix VR Self-Confidence Therapy 

The confidence of young people diagnosed with psychosis is often low. Positive self-beliefs may be few and negative self-beliefs many. A sense of defeat and failure is common. Young people often withdraw from many aspects of everyday life. Psychological wellbeing is lowered. Psychological techniques can improve self-confidence, but a shortage of therapists means that very few patients ever receive such help. Virtual reality (VR) offers a potential route out of this impasse. By including a virtual coach, treatment can be automated. As such, delivery of effective therapy is no longer reliant on the availability of therapists. With young people with lived experience, we have developed a staff-assisted automated VR therapy to improve positive self-beliefs (Phoenix). The treatment is based on established cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and positive psychology techniques. A case series indicates that this approach may lead to large improvements in positive self-beliefs and psychological wellbeing. We now conducting the first randomised controlled evaluation of Phoenix VR

The work has been funded by an award to Daniel Freeman from the International Foundation. 


Daniel Freeman (Chief Investigator), Laina Rosebrock, Jason Freeman, Aitor Rovira, Andre Lages Miguel, Rupert Ward, Matthew Bousfield, Ludovic Riffiod, Felicity Waite, José Leal, Thomas Kabir, Ly-Mee Yu.