Asher Rodriguez '21 – Augmented Reality for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing



Presented by Asher O Rodriguez ‘21 (Major: Computer Science)
Faculty Mentor: Nanette Veilleux

Augmented Reality for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

The purpose of the Augmented Reality for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (AR4EMDR) project is to provide an Augmented Reality (AR) environment and therapeutic functionality for remote Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. In Augmented Reality, virtual elements are inserted into real environments. EMDR is a psychotherapy created specifically to treat patients with acute or chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The scope for this Capstone project is an Android application with PTSD client-centered functionality. However, it has been noted that beyond this Capstone project it would be useful for there to be interaction with the application on the provider side as well.

Therapists utilizing telehealth (phone or video) for communicating with patients may have difficulties in providing EMDR therapy due to its requirements for bilateral stimulation and the need to create an environment capable of engendering a sense of emotional safety for the client throughout the process. The objective of this project is to aid in creating the necessary therapeutic setting for a remote client by developing an Augmented Reality application that can simulate the necessary bilateral stimulation as well as a safe virtual setting for EMDR therapy. Research focused on Augmented Reality and any of its uses in similar environments will inform the possibilities of a potential existing project baseline. Training in AR and its tool sets will be necessary to enable application development. Agile methodologies will shape the course of application development. A professional psychologist and a client will be utilized for end user requirements and testing.

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