The Metaverse Psychotherapy Practice
One of the most exciting questions for me to think about is: “: How will Metaverse Psychotherapy practice work?”
Different Options for the Metaverse Practice for Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy and Coaching
In the first section of this article I’d like to explore the different options we have for conducting our practice in the Metaverse. What option is best or is right for you will be determined by technology, the level of cooperation, and the options of your patient.
Idea 1: The Metaverse Practice in a Virtual World
This one isn’t so hypothetical. There are already some so-called single layers of the Metaverse out there, that allow you to have your own space. Such places are e.g. Decentraland, Sandbox or Somnium Space. Other projects, like Victoria VR, are in the making. All these places work on the blockchain.
The benefit of the blockchain connection is that you can buy land and build a house on it. That’s right! If you are new to the Metaverse, that might sound crazy but that’s one of the main elements of it. When you buy the land, it will be encoded in the blockchain that it belongs to you. From this point forward, you can more or less do what you want with this land. There are examples in Decentraland where people have built complex institutions like casinos and department stores. They let real (living) personnel work there and they even rent out slot machines as an investment.
In some games, such land is endlessly reproduced (Somnium Space). In others, land is scarce and either already sold out, now only to be acquired on the marketplace from other users (Decentraland), or is given out little by little (Sandbox).
This scarcity of land can be a benefit as well as a problem. Prices tend to rise and it is possible that there is not enough land for everyone. On the other hand, a good spot near the center of the map can work like a billboard. Owning such an address could bring massive attention to the service you offer.
Now imagine you could buy your own piece of land in the Metaverse and build your own practice on it. You can design it in any way, shape or form you like. You might need help from a professional game designer (if there isn’t an editor that allows you to do it on your own), but regardless, you’ll have the option to conduct therapy with your client in your very own, curated practice!
Idea 2: A Separate Space in the Metaverse
When we do psychotherapy, patient confidentiality is paramount. But how can we assure the privacy of our conversations? There are telemedicine apps for a reason. Laws like GDPR (European Union) regulate the processing of sensitive protected data like religious, political or philosophical beliefs, health-related data or sexual orientation.
To be completely sure that patient data is private, we need a certified space that is built by a company for medical information technology. The positive side is that this space does not need to be limited by the rules of the game in a public virtual world. That means it can allow access to a variety of rooms for different purposes. Some rooms are maybe ideal for exposure therapy of phobic patients. Other rooms try to enlist the opposite feeling, by creating a safe and calming environment. Another room might produce sounds and visuals in certain frequencies to fasten the process of going into hypnosis, or can be used for bilateral eye stimulation like in EMDR.
Applications for Virtual Reality Therapy (VRT) do already exist and, as interconnectivity is a basic principle of the Metaverse, there are good chances that these apps can be connected to your practice in the future and become a room inside your practice.
How do Patients Find the Separated Metaverse Practice?
There are two obvious ways of getting to your virtual practice. The first is through a virtual world like Decentraland that is more or less used as an information center and a place to get to know each other and the process. Inside this, you could place a hotspot. A hotspot could be a button, a picture, or a mirror that connects this world and your practice, like a hyperlink in the World Wide Web.
The second way would be to use a website and acquire patients like you normally do. On the website you can place a link or alternatively send it to your clients after you have the first conversation via video call.