People experience many different types of fear and anxiety. In some cases, a small amount of anxiety can lead to improved performance, such as trying to meet a deadline at work. However, when anxiety about a situation or object becomes uncontrolled and interferes with a person's life, it may be that the person has a phobia.
Some people have an unreasonable fear of injections/needles/blood/dental visits etc., to such an extent that they will often avoid medical treatment. A fear of travelling by airplane or shinkansen may prevent someone from advancing their career, or just enjoying travel for pleasure. A fear of thunder storms may lead people to be preoccupied with the weather forecast in the summer, constantly checking to see if the weather might turn bad. And then there is one of the most common fears, speaking in public. Some people become so terrified at just the thought of standing up in front of an audience, they are unable to prepare and deliver presentations.
Fortunately most phobias can be eliminated or significantly improved in a relatively short period of time. Our approach to treatment is primarily based on cognitive behavior therapy. We help our clients to make changes in how they think about their phobic situation or object, and address how to overcome maladaptive behaviors that may be actually making their phobia stronger. The main approach for changing behaviors is to participate in exposure therapy. With exposure therapy, the client is subjected to different situations that evoke anxiety, starting with low anxiety situations, and steadily increasing the amount of anxiety, after the low anxiety situations are cleared.
A unique feature of the Tokyo Cyber Clinic is that we are the only clinic in Japan offering virtual reality based exposure therapy. We have virtual reality environments for:
Fear of Flying
In the fear of flying treatment program, you take a virtual flight on a commercial airliner.
Fear of Thunder and Lightning
You can encounter a virtual thunderstorm, where the amount of rain, thunder, wind, and lightning is controlled by the counselor. Stay inside the house or go outside.
Fear of Heights
Overcoming a fear of heights can be quite challenging. Start by take a ride in a glass or enclosed elevator in a 20 floor building, only going as high as you feel comfortable. Move on to bridges or walkways that are suspended across a river in a canyon.
Fear of Public Speaking
The fear of speaking to an audience is one of the most reported fearful situations. Bring your PowerPoint presentation, a text file with your speech, and you can practice your presentation skills in front of a virtual audience. You can practice in front of a small audience of 5 people, or a larger group of about 30 or 100 people. The reaction of the audience changes as you deliver your presentation.
Fear of Spiders, Butterflies, and Moths
You can explore an apartment building that has spiders in various places. Get close to small or big ones. Outdoors, you can encounter butterflies and moths.
Our treatment programs are not limited to those above, as we have vast experience treating all kinds of anxieties, fears, and phobias without the use of virtual reality.
If you have an unreasonable fear or phobia that you would like to get under control, please contact us to set up an initial consultation.