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19th Apr 2024

World’s first virtual reality therapy for overcoming phobias launches in Ireland – Here’s what we know

Sophie Collins

VR Virtual Reality

This could be a real game-changer for those of us with phobias

Ireland has become the first country in the world to launch virtual reality hypnotherapy sessions for people who want to overcome fears and phobias.

The launch of VR hypnotherapy by the D4 Clinic in Dublin comes after the success of a pilot project, which used virtual reality hypnosis in the Crumlin children’s hospital to help patients overcome their fear of needles.

The project was so successful, the findings were published by the world famous ‘Mayo Clinic‘, named as the number one hospital in the world.

The process was even hailed by television and radio star Lucy Kennedy, who was one of the first to try the therapy.

She gave a glowing testimonial after it helped her daughter overcome her fear of flying.

Following its successful trials in Ireland, the D4 clinic – which developed the VR hypnotherapy – has made the treatment available to its clients.

Speaking about the success of the programme, Psychologist Jason O’Callaghan said: “We saw how helpful this type of immersive therapy was with children in Crumlin hospital and helping the with a fear of needles that was put a similar set up in our clinic to help other clients with everything from insomnia to anxiety.

“Unlike the Crumlin research, in the clinic we don’t use the headset as there is a therapist present.

“Also there is little point in the headset as the client’s eyes would be closed in the clinic.

“Instead, we set an immersive environment using fans to simulate hot and cold air, a PA system to simulate surround sound and an eye mask to block out any light.

“Recently, we helped TV and radio star Lucy Kennedy’s daughter overcome her fear of flying using this new hypnotherapy process and we have started to use it with all our client’s for everything from public speaking phobias to weight loss and stop smoking,” O’Callaghan added.

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