Local people with fear of heights sought for new treatment involving Virtual Reality technology

A new project will trial delivering psychological therapy using virtual reality (VR) headsets to help people overcome height phobias. Oasis-Talk, a local non-profit provider of counselling and therapy in the NHS, has teamed up with Oxford University to pilot this state of the art approach to tackling fear of heights, and is looking for people to take part in the free trial.

Height phobia affects up to 5% of the general population, with women twice as likely to experience it as men. A common treatment for height phobia is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), often including a gradual exposure to heights to help overcome the anxiety caused by heights. This is known as desensitisation or exposure therapy.

This new project will combine using a CBT approach with state of the art VR headsets, allowing a participant to visually experience being at height through a powerful VR simulation, while remaining in the safety of the therapy room. The therapy will take place over up to 6 sessions from a venue in Downend.

Any adult in Bristol or South Gloucestershire with a height phobia

Can access this free therapy by contacting Oasis-Talk on 0117 970 9423 and asking for Viks Williams or emailing [email protected]

"We are delighted to be taking part in this innovative and exciting approach to treating a phobia that affects the lives of many people. The advancement of VR technology provides many opportunities to help people overcome phobias and traumatic episodes in their past. We would highly recommend anyone with a height phobia to get in touch with Oasis-Talk and take part in this opportunity.” said Vicki Palmer, CEO & Clinical Director of Oasis-Talk.

Contact: Ruth Richardson, Deputy Chief Executive

([email protected] / 0117 9277 577 / 07380 901 036)