Augmented Reality (AR) implies the introduction of virtual elements in the real world. It involves
computer-generated virtual objects, images, texts, etc., that can be superimposed or “included”
in the real world. The user sees the “real” context and, at the same time, these virtual elements.
In the field of psychological disorders, AR has shown enormous potential and usefulness.
Our research group has designed and tested two AR applications for the treatment of two specific
- Small animal phobia (spiders and cockroaches)
- Acrophobia (height)
The most important aspect of Augmented Reality is that the virtual element complements the
real world with relevant virtual information for the treatment, offering a situation of controlled
exposure. In this way, a person with fear of cockroaches and/or spiders will be able to learn to
overcome the situations that he/she fears most with virtual animals, as the therapist controls the
number of animals, their size and their movement, while the patient can interact with the virtual
The reduction in cost produced by this technology, along with its potential for psychological
treatments, means that there will be many future developments that will be able to greatly
facilitate the application of treatments for diverse psychological disorders.