Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Remote Therapy Experience as a Proxy for Understanding Interactional Virtual Reality Therapy
by Webb, John Ralph, Ph.D., University of Louisiana at Monroe, 2020, 160; 27742124
Abstract (Summary)

Virtual reality (VR) (Steuer, 1992) is a prospective medium to replicate a traditional therapy experience, remotely. There are many already established uses of virtual reality for therapy, such as treatment for PTSD and exposure therapy. There is a significant gap in the research regarding how interactional family therapy might be performed in a virtual space. With a framework of systemic assumptions and epistemology (von Bertalanffy, 1968; Bateson, 1972), the purpose of this paper was to propose a grounded theory (Creswell & Poth, 2013) examination of interactional therapy in virtual reality. A social constructionist (Gergen, 1985) theoretical lens is used to develop meanings from the data. Participants were therapeutic professionals of various disciplines with experience in remote therapy. Axial coding resulted in two main categories, VR-specific benefits towards IVRT, and VR-specific concerns about IVRT. 11 subcategories were identified to more fully convey the nuance of the data. Selective coding explores 6 relationships revealed by analysis of the codes, represented by 6 propositions that buttress a theory of IVRT. An example of one of these relationships is Cost of Participating in VR vs. Gradual Reduction in Price of the Relevant Technologies. These intersections of contradictions serve as a map detailing a way forward for VR in Interactional clinical practice. The pillars of this theory state that expansion of relational therapy into a Virtual Reality medium would be productive by 1) Providing research on this intersection where there is none already, 2) Answering ethical and practical questions about the practice of IVRT, and 3) Addressing and updating the familiarity (or lack thereof) with VR technology in the field of MFT.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Thomas, Theresa
Commitee: Sutton, Jana, Shannon, Samuel
School: University of Louisiana at Monroe
Department: Marriage and Family Therapy
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-A 82/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Therapy, Computer science, Information Technology, Artificial intelligence, Clinical psychology, Health care management
Keywords: Remote therapy, Systems theory, Virtual reality, Virtual therapy, Online therapy, Coding, VR technology
Publication Number: 27742124
ISBN: 9798557012324
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