The ever-expanding box of virtual reality (VR) has been utilized in well being care settings like bodily rehabilitation. It’s additionally made its approach into treatment settings to cut back phobias and delusions. Could inventive arts remedies be the following frontier for VR? Researchers from Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions within the Creative Arts Therapies Department carried out a learn about to peer if VR can be utilized as an expressive device in artwork treatment.
“Art therapy is founded on the idea that creative expression with an art therapist facilitates communication and problem solving, reduces inhibition, alleviates depressive symptoms and promotes personal development,” mentioned lead writer of the learn about Girija Kaimal, EdD, an affiliate professor within the College of Nursing and Health Professions.
VR can facilitate the exploration of imaginal worlds, which is a central guiding principle of the inventive processes of each artwork and play. Tools like VR even have the possible to lend a hand sufferers with sensory, cognitive and motor-related disabilities who’re not able to make use of conventional artwork media in healing techniques or who want choice choices for inventive self-expression.
“With the availability of cost-effective VR solutions, we are seeing an increased adoption of these technologies in hospitals, clinics and healthcare facilities,” mentioned Arun Ramakrishnan, PhD, director of Research Labs within the College of Nursing and Health Professions and co-investigator in this venture.
In the learn about, 5 males and 12 ladies engaged in free-from, immersive VR artwork making for approximately 20 to 25 mins.
The artwork treatment periods had been carried out with the HTC VIVE VR headset, remote keep an eye on units and Leap Motion controller operating on a private computer that would make stronger a consultation in a virtual house. The instrument used was once Tilt Brush by way of Google, to create 3-D pictures in VR; Kodon, for virtual sculpting; and Nature Treks, for an immersive third-dimensional atmosphere for leisure.
After the consultation, contributors had been invited to save lots of their art work and discuss their revel in with the artwork therapist.
“Most participants reported feeling energized and elated by the experience of being in an imaginal space that was unlike anything that existed in the material world,” mentioned Kaimal. “Some were, however, disappointed by the lack of tangible, physical engagement with the medium and for a few, the experience was disorienting.”
Creative expression in VR lowered inhibitions, activated full-body actions and enhanced temper and artistic play exploration amongst contributors. They loved the 3-D virtual atmosphere and having the ability to see the artwork from other angles and views. It additionally challenged the contributors’ perceptions of bodily reality, conventional artwork making and artwork media.
The learn about did in finding some downsides to VR in artwork treatment. VR will also be disorienting for the ones with cognitive, belief and/or inside ear problems. Researchers counsel additional exploration of ways those stories would possibly vary for people with medical stipulations, variations in bodily and/or psychological functioning and luxury with virtual media.
The virtual shape intended it was once simple to retailer and save the completed — or, in some instances, unfinished — artwork, however some contributors discussed it was once dissatisfying not to have a tangible product.
Three dimensional virtual reality art work created by way of learn about player.
“This study provides the groundwork for VR as an art therapy tool, especially as the technology becomes more sophisticated,” mentioned Kaimal.
Researchers from the College of Nursing and Health Professions are proceeding this paintings via a number of ongoing immersive reality initiatives within the College’s VR labs.
“These applications are not only improving health and wellness but also enhancing learning,” mentioned Deborah Clegg, PhD, affiliate dean of research within the College of Nursing and Health Professions. “Drexel is on the cutting edge of incorporating this technology into the classroom to enhance education and ultimately health care.”
The learn about, “Virtual Reality in Art Therapy: A Pilot Qualitative Study of the Novel Medium and Implications for Practice” was once printed within the Journal of Art Therapy Association in September 2019. Co-authors come with Katrina Carroll-Haskins and Marygrace Berberian, doctoral scholars; Abby Dougherty, PhD; and Natalie Carlton, PhD, of Drexel University.