We are pleased to announce the launch of social engagement™.

Social engagement™ is a ground-breaking mental health intervention which uses virtual reality technology to help individuals overcome anxious social avoidance.

Anxious social avoidance is one of the most debilitating features of mental illness and is prevalent in multiple mental health conditions including agoraphobia, panic disorder, social anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.

A patient entering the virtual world of Oxford VR’s social engagement™ program.

Developed by Oxford VR clinicians, our social engagement™ program translates evidence-based cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) through immersive virtual reality environments.

During a session, the user puts on a headset and enters a virtual world. They are guided by a virtual coach and required to complete a series of graded tasks, in different situations such as a street scene, a bus and a shop – reflecting the everyday triggers of anxious social avoidance. 

By completing the tasks, users learn that they can cope in these situations and the evidence confirms that the behavioural changes made in the VR environment transfer to the real world.

Image from Oxford VR’s social engagement™ program – shop environment.  

Oxford VR’s social engagement™ program is now available to NHS patients via providers of NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies and other UK mental healthcare providers.

To find out more about the social engagement™ program, click below to download the UK press release.