Last week saw the welcome return of the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition – a free, week long festival in London that celebrates the cutting edge of UK science.

A particular exhibit generating a great deal of attention, explored the potential for virtual reality (VR) to be used to help children and young people to cope with anxiety.

Dr Charlotte Gayer-Anderson, Postdoctoral Research Associate at King’s College London, spoke to Alex Morgan, from Sky New’s technology show SWIPE, “We want to get an idea of how young people feel in social situations, but our plan is to develop this [canteen] environment into a therapy, so for children who are particularly anxious in social situation, and over therapeutic sessions with a psychologist, we can manipulate the environment to increase the level of stress.”

A therapist in our pockets

Presenter Alex also met with Dr Amy Hardy, Research Clinical Psychologist at King’s College London. She took a moment out of her schedule to describe how an app can help someone manage their feelings the moment that a worry arises, but she was clear to explain that this isn’t a replacement for a conventional therapist, “It’s a way of really improving the access to psychological therapies (IAPT) and we know that there’s not enough supply at the moment to meet the need and the demand.”

Sky news

Watch both demos here on SKY News

Image: courtesy of Sky News