How can we overcome the fear of thunderstorms and lightning?
Virtual Reality Therapy is a revolutionary treatment used for different phobias, like astraphobia.
All about astraphobia– what is it, what are the causes and how we can treat it.
What is Virtual Reality Therapy?
You can overcome your astraphobia through virtual reality therapy, where you can meet the phobic stimulus(thunderstorms, lightning) in a virtual environment that simulates the real situation that generates anxiety.
Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy uses 3D projection glasses (head-mounted display), equipped with body motion monitoring sensors, which are connected to the doctor’s computer. Thus, it allows the doctor/psychotherapist to offer careful guidance, while maintaining full control over everything that occurs, adjusting the intensity of the therapy according to the individual needs of the patient.
During the process of exposure to virtual reality, you will first be led into a multi-room house with large windows, and the doctor will gradually expose you to a phobic stimulus. You will start exposure from a pure thunder to a thunder combined with lightning, to more and more powerful lightning combined with powerful wind gusts that will open the windows to the level at which they will break.
The anxiety level of the initial patient will increase significantly due to the total lack of safety by exposing them to visually, auditory, and kinesthetic stimuli. Then, by practising the anxiety management techniques and in the presence of the doctor, you will be gradually desensitized.
As you are visually exposed to the causative stimulus, respectively, thunderstorms, and lightning, initially your anxiety state, will increase, but you will be taught how to manage yourself both cognitively through specific anxiety management techniques and physically through relaxation techniques
A minimum number of 6-8 sessions (depending on the severity of the phobia) is required to treat this phobia, as follows:
- in the first session will be assessed astraphobia
- In the second session, you will learn anxiety management techniques
- in the next 4-6 sessions, depending on the severity of the phobia, you will be exposed in the virtual environment to the stimulus(thunderstorm and lightning). So, you will be desensitized to the phobic stimulus.
This whole process happens in the presence of the doctor who will coordinate your step by step throughout the entire therapeutic process.
Although real storm exposure is a viable treatment, more and more research shows that virtual reality can be just as effective.
Breathing techniques, mindfulness, and progressive muscle relaxation may also help treat astraphobia.
There are other ways to treat this condition. More details here.
Schedule your session with ID Therapy Specialist
Dr. Nadia Gorduza is the only psychotherapist and trainer in Romania specialized in Therapy through Virtual Reality for Phobias and Addictions.
Dr. Nadia Gorduza represents Virtually Better Inc. USA in Romania.
Schedule now a psychotherapy session
Address: Naum Ramniceanu Street, no. 23, ap. 1,
Sector 1, Bucharest, Romania