Treating Fear of Flying Using Biofeedback and Virtual Reality Therapy
Fear of flying is a growing problem, that currently affects about 25 Million Americans.
The study featured in this book compared two behavior therapy programs for the treatment of Flight Anxiety. Both treatments used virtual reality and biofeedback therapy but in 2 different treatment models.
The study was conducted on a total of 40 participants who had a fear of flying: 20 patients were treated using the experimental model known as the “Competing Response Method” and 20 with the existing standard of treatment, known as the “Strict Exposure Method”.
Both groups received Virtual Reality (VR) as the method exposure to the stimulus and biofeedback on autonomic functioning (heart rate, breathing rate, and skin response).
“Strict Exposure Method” or the control group was treated with graded exposure, where the participants were repeatedly exposed to flight situations through use of the Virtual Reality Therapy (VR) while receiving continuous biofeedback on physiological sensations.
The experimental group was treated using a “Competing Response Method” based on systematic desensitization. With this method participants were repeatedly exposed to flight situations through Virtual Reality (VR) while engaging in relaxation techniques to counter the anxiety response. They were taught to alter their breathing through the continuous feedback provided by the biofeedback on physiological sensations (Heart rate, breathing and skin response).
Outcome measures on flight and general anxiety focusing on both thoughts and physical symptoms of anxiety revealed that while both treatment models were effective at reducing or eliminating flight anxiety, the experimental treatment (as developed by Dr. Albin) relying on the “Competing Response Method’ was significantly better.
See Dr. Jayme Albin in action working with a patient with Phobias YouTube
Dr. Jayme Albin is an expert in treating phobias using Virtual Reality, Biofeedback and other exposure methods. For more information or to inquire about scheduling an appointment please contact
212-631-1133 or DrJayme@asktheCBT.com