Alison-Cullen-Thesis-2020-Final.pdf (3.87 MB)
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Virtual Reality in Psychology: Development and Validation of an Exposure Therapy System

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posted on 18.11.2020, 23:26 by ALISON JEANETTE CULLEN
Virtual Reality (VR) is positioned to transform the treatment of psychological conditions, by overcoming the disconnect between clients’ lived experiences and clinical or research settings. In aide of this, a novel VR exposure therapy system was developed and validated in people with moderate-severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Promisingly, when participant responses were compared to the existing best-practice in psychotherapy, equivalent heart and respiration rates, and self-reported anxiety, were produced. VR helps patients engage better with their treatment and maintains the therapeutic relationship. These findings can improve treatment for the 3 percent of people worldwide living with severe functional impacts of OCD.


Principal supervisor

Murat Yucel

Additional supervisor 1

Nathan Dowling

Additional supervisor 2

Adrian Carter

Additional supervisor 3

Rebecca Segrave

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Psychological Sciences

Additional Institution or Organisation

The Melbourne Clinic

Campus location



Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Neuropsychology

Degree Type