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Healing Potential Of Virtual Reality: Part 1 - An Introduction To VR Psychology

Saturday, June 2, 2018, 10:00 AM until 12:30 PM
NewPathVR HQ
1062 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA  94103
Bruce F Pither
(415) 694-0254
CE Workshops
Registration is required
Payment In Advance Only

Healing Potential of Virtual Reality: An Introduction to VR Psychology Workshop

Part 1 - Intro to VR

Host:               NewPathVR

Date:               Saturday, June 2             

Time:              10:00 am - 12:30 pm

CE Credits:     2.5 hrs (Pending approval)

Participants:   Maximum:  15

$45 per person (+ $15 for CE credits) for SFPA and SCCPA members

$55 per person (+ $15 for CE credits) for non-members          

Location:        Newpathvr HQ - 1062 Folsom St., San Francisco 94103      

“VR has the potential to transform the assessment, understanding and treatment of mental health problems...The capability of VR to simulate reality could greatly increase access to psychological therapies, while treatment outcomes could be enhanced by the technology's ability to create new realities.” - Dr. Daniel Freeman, PhD, University of Oxford

Workshop Description: In this workshop participants will receive a comprehensive tutorial on VR hardware, software, and basic troubleshooting. If there is interest, we can reserve some time at the end to discuss the potential therapeutic applications but that conversation will be largely reserved for Part 2 of this series when we explore embodiment in virtual space.

Between 12:30-1:30pm we will offer free time for those who want to continue their exploration of clinical apps. Any lingering questions around hardware, software, or clinical application and impact can also be addressed then.

Disclaimer:  In a small number of people (up to 3% of the population according to one Harvard professor) virtual reality has been associated with adverse physical reactions, such as nausea or what can be intense anxiety. Instructors will review safety precautions with students prior to use. By signing up for this workshop, you agree to waive all claims, and hold NewpathVR, the San Francisco and California State Psychological Associations harmless, with respect to personal injury that you might suffer or cause to others as a result of your participation in the workshop.


10:00 am      Welcome + Didactic Presentation (Research)

11:00 am                    Intro to VR Applications

12:10 pm-12:30 pm    Break out into process groups for reflection

12:30 - 1:30pm    Free time for those who want to continue their exploration of clinical

               Apps and any additional Q+A


Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Dell Visor WMR, Samsung GearVR, Google Daydream, Google cardboard.

Learning Objectives:

  • Feel experienced and comfortable using a VR headset and controllers

  • Experience how to transition and adjust to a virtual play space

  • Learn about the most recent and important research in the field

  • Learn about the potential uses of VR for the assessment and treatment of psychological and medical conditions

Bio of Facilitator:

Michelle Wang, PsyD (

Michelle is an Emotional Intelligence (EQ) coach and traumatologist. She holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been trained in state-of-the-art clinical settings including VA medical centers, centers for survivors of torture, and center for survivors of genocide. For the last decade, Michelle has specialized in the treatment of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. With her extensive research and clinical background, Michelle has been an international trauma consultant for various disaster-relief organizations, assisting with the development of a somatic, body-centered treatment protocol aimed to mitigate the effects of PTSD in school-aged children. Michelle has advanced training in Attachment Theory, Somatic Psychotherapy, Jungian Psychology, Mindfulness and Meditation, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Relational and Interpersonal frameworks, Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies, and Time-Limited Psychodynamic Therapy (TLDP). She is co-founder of NewPathVR. O


Freeman, D., Reeve, S., Robinson, A., Ehlers, A., Clark, D., Spanlang, B., & Slater, M. (2017). Virtual reality in the assessment, understanding, and treatment of mental health disorders. Psychological medicine, 47(14), 2393-2400.

Falconer, C. J., Slater, M., Rovira, A., King, J. A., Gilbert, P., Antley, A., & Brewin, C. R. (2014). Embodying compassion: a virtual reality paradigm for overcoming excessive self-criticism. PloS one, 9(11), e111933.

Cheung, K. L., Tunik, E., Adamovich, S. V., & Boyd, L. A. (2014). Neuroplasticity and virtual reality. In Virtual Reality for Physical and Motor Rehabilitation (pp. 5-24). Springer New York.

Other recommended readings:

Author: Jaron Lanier

Title: Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality

Author: Jeremy Bailenson

Title: Experience on Demand


CPA is co-sponsoring with SFPA. The California Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CPA maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.

Important Notice: Those who attend the workshop and complete the CPA evaluation form will receive 2.5 continuing education credits (approval pending). Please note that APA CE rules require that we only give credit to those who attend the entire workshop. Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credits.

Attendance certificates will be emailed, please make sure your email address is entered accurately.  Thank you