Social interactions are frequently disturbed in a range of psychiatric disorders, incl. social anxiety disorder, depression, and substance abuse. While traditional exposure therapies can effectively alleviate such symptoms, they are difficult to implement, standardize, and adapt to the individual needs of a given patient. In this talk, we describe our journey from developing - in an academic setting - therapeutic concepts for VR based social interactions to the successful launch of our software suite neomento, which implements social VR scenarios with maximum immersion, realism, and efficiency.
Thomas Wolbers, Ph.D.
"Professor for Aging, Cognition and Technology at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases & Chief Science Officer at neomento"
Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University School of Medicine
Margot Paul graduated from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium in 2022, where she won the award for Outstanding Overall Student (2021). She completed her clinical psychology doctoral internship at the Sepulveda VA in Los Angeles. She is currently a clinical psychology postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford School of Medicine, where she is continuing her research on using VR as a method of engaging in behavioral activation for individuals with depression. Dr. Paul began her VR work in 2017 after joining Dr. Kim Bullock’s Virtual Reality-Immersive Technology Clinic & Laboratory in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Stanford School of Medicine. For her doctoral dissertation, Dr. Paul designed a feasibility study and three-arm pilot randomized controlled trial to examine the feasibility of using a VR headset as a way to administer behavioral activation therapy for participants with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. She presented her research findings as a speaker at Shift Medical 2021: Virtual Medical XR Congress and Expo (2021) and at Stanford Psychiatry Grand Rounds (2022). She is scheduled to present her current VR research at IVRHA’s 7th Annual Virtual Reality and Healthcare Global Symposium (2023), VMed23 (2023), and ADAA Conference (2023). Dr. Paul also won the Cheryl Koopman Dissertation of the Year Award. Dr. Paul has worked and consulted with VR companies and local Bay Area startups in the technology and mental health space. She has published on her virtual reality work.