Increasing self-compassion in young people through virtual reality

Nilufar Baghaei, Sylvia Hach, Imran Khaliq, Lehan Stemmet, Jamuna Krishnan, John Naslund, Hai Ning Liang, Hamid Sharifzadeh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Mental health conditions pose a major challenge to healthcare providers and society at large. According to the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, one in five people will develop a serious mood disorder, including depression, at some time in their life [2]. Early intervention can have significant positive impact on a person's prognosis, particularly important in affecting outcomes for young people [38]. Co-designed solutions to improve resilience and well-being in young people have specifically been recognised as part of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy and the New Zealand Health Strategy. Innovative interventions that support long-Term change for individuals are urgently needed [10]. Self-compassion/self-criticism constitutes a protective/risk factor with regard to developing and maintaining depression [3]; particularly in young people [4]. Self-criticism is one of the major psychological factors, defined as dominant response style of negative evaluation and judgement of self to perceived failure [5]. One effective method to increase self-compassion and reduction in depression may be to address self-criticism through compassion-focused therapy [6]. Virtual Reality (VR) in Health is an emerging field. It is becoming more commonplace with the advent of affordable consumer head mounted devices, and has significant potential for the understanding, assessment and treatment of mental health problems [7]. It can provide a non-Threatening, zero risk environment which allows for free exploring of different strategies [16]. We propose to take this new technology and co-design Virtual Reality scenarios with young people, which focuses on real world situations that impact the sample group most and assists them to view these experiences with a self-compassionate lens. This is achieved by being taught compassionate manners of responding to a scenario and by switching perspective. We provide an overview of an initial proof-of-concept study, propose a study in different social settings and highlight key points for discussion pertaining to technology use, data safety, privacy, and considerations for addressing depressive symptoms necessary to advance this work.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdjunct Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, ISMAR-Adjunct 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages404-407
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781728147659
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event18th IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, ISMAR-Adjunct 2019 - Beijing, China
Duration: 14 Oct 201918 Oct 2019

Publication series

NameAdjunct Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, ISMAR-Adjunct 2019

Conference

Conference18th IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, ISMAR-Adjunct 2019
CountryChina
CityBeijing
Period14/10/1918/10/19

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Keywords

  • Mental health
  • Self compassion
  • Virtual reality

Cite this

Baghaei, N., Hach, S., Khaliq, I., Stemmet, L., Krishnan, J., Naslund, J., Liang, H. N., & Sharifzadeh, H. (2019). Increasing self-compassion in young people through virtual reality. In Adjunct Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, ISMAR-Adjunct 2019 (pp. 404-407). [8951911] (Adjunct Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, ISMAR-Adjunct 2019). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/ISMAR-Adjunct.2019.00042