Minding Michigan: Using virtual reality technology to treat anxiety and trauma

Aug 15, 2016


"Minding Michigan" is Stateside's ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state. 

Virtual reality doesn’t immediately pop into mind when you think about psychotherapy, but one therapist is using this burgeoning technology to treat his patients.

Tom Overly is using multi-sensory virtual reality technology to help patients confront their fears and anxieties. He’s the owner of VR Therapy and Counseling Center in Grand Rapids.


Overly uses virtual reality technology for anxiety spectrum disorders, such as PTSD. Before using virtual reality, he would assign patients to spend a certain amount of time in the environment that created anxiety. Virtual reality allows him to bypass that and put his patients into these environments where he can control the conditions.


Overly and one of his patients, Tammy, joined Stateside to discuss how he’s using virtual reality to treat his patients.



Tom Overly is a Psychotherapist and Counselor at VR Therapy and Counseling Center in Grand Rapids.

(Subscribe to the Stateside podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or with this RSS link)