According to researchers, a ‘game changer’ therapy that uses digital avatars could be massively beneficial for people with psychosis.
The Avatar2 trial is deploying unique therapy to help patients augment power and control over auditory hallucinations and minimize the distress they cause.
Building on a previous clinical trial, Avatar1, led by King’s College London and hosted by South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, the recent trial concluded that the therapy resulted in a quick and significant reduction in frequency and associated distress of voices, as compared to supportive counseling alone after 12 weeks.
The Avatar2 trial has been developed by King’s College London, University College London (UCL), and UCL Business and is led by the University of Glasgow in Scotland.
Professor Andrew Gumley, who leads the University of Glasgow’s Psychosis Research Group, said his team “has been at the forefront of developing new therapies for people with distressing voices.”
“This includes digital therapies to promote recovery, wellbeing and empowerment in people who have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Avatar therapy is a new digital therapy that can help people change their relationship with distressing auditory hallucinations. People with distressing voices have had poor access to talking therapies in Scotland.”
“If this trial is successful, it could be a game-changer in terms of enabling access to psychological therapies for people with distressing voices,” he added.
The trial is now being extended to locations across the country, including at the University of Manchester and King’s College London, and UCL.
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