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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Social Anxiety Disorder Counseling in Second Life

On September 29, 2009 Erica Yuen defended her masters thesis on using Second Life as a platform to perform counseling with people suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder. Her committee was composed of Ronald Comer, James Herbert, Jean-Claude Bradley and Evan Forman. The project went very well, showing similar effectiveness and drop out rate compared with face to face counseling. There were some technical issues and some patients did not like the absence of non-verbal cues from the interaction. But overall Erica clearly demonstrated the great potential in using virtual worlds for counseling, especially for people far removed from metropolitan areas.

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