Applying Virtual Reality In Therapy: How to Use VR in Mindfulness Therapy

VR in mindfulness therapy is a growing trend among clinicians. Therapists today use virtual reality mindfulness environments to help their clients explore calming and soothing environments and practice different activities that foster awareness.

Mindfulness can be integrated into a variety of therapeutic approaches, and tailored to many client concerns—making it an incredibly valuable tool in the therapeutic arsenal. And with the advent of virtual reality technology, many mental health professionals are seeing big benefits in using VR in mindfulness therapy.

If you’re curious about how virtual reality can help you easily and effectively incorporate mindfulness techniques into your therapeutic practice—keep reading.

Here, we cover how VR can help therapists who use mindfulness-based interventions. Plus, we’ll show you how to use one of our mindfulness virtual reality environments in your practice.

Mindfulness In Virtual Reality: How VR Can Help Therapists

First, why is VR such a powerful tool for mindfulness?

Research has demonstrated that mindfulness VR environments are effective at cultivating a sense of presence and state mindfulness and may even be more effective than traditional, audio-only guided mindfulness approaches.(1,2)

By using virtual reality, therapists can create experiences that help make mindfulness techniques more accessible and engaging for their patients.

Teaching Mindfulness Skills In Therapy

Mindfulness can be difficult for beginners. Patients often get caught up in whether they’re doing techniques correctly, or if they’re focusing on the right things. Those who struggle with visualization or find it difficult to cultivate awareness can benefit from virtual reality.

In a VR environment, the patient can consciously explore the present moment and practice basic mindfulness techniques immediately.

Virtual reality helps patients visualize the practice and reduce distractions—so they can start building their mindfulness skill set.

Facilitating Relaxation

Therapists can also use virtual reality to support relaxation. Mindfulness VR environments are designed to induce feelings of peace and serenity, with calming visuals and soothing audio.

You can use these mindfulness virtual reality environments to help clients relax after challenging therapy sessions.

For instance, if you and your client have been working on exposures, you can finish your session with a calming guided meditation environment.

Through the use of immersive soundscapes and visual stimuli, patients can explore a place of relaxation and leave the session feeling calmer and more in control.

How to Support Your Patients With a Virtual Reality Mindfulness Environment

With a comprehensive library of VR environments, the Amelia platform gives therapists the tools they need to incorporate mindfulness into their therapy practice.

Let’s take a look at how to use the “Body Scanning” VR environment in your therapy sessions.

Virtual Reality Mindfulness Technique: Body Scanning

Amelia's body scanning virtual reality environment

Body scanning in mindfulness is a slow and deliberate practice of feeling and focusing on different areas of the body.

With the Amelia platform, patients can do this virtually using our Body Scanning environment. The Body Scanning exercise is set up so that patients can experience each part of the body in a relaxing forest environment. The patient is instructed to focus on areas of tension, and then work towards relaxing those areas.

Step 1: Introducing the Skill

Many patients can have trouble visualizing or knowing what to focus on when they’re doing a body scan. The environment does the work for them, helping guide the patient, both with visuals and audio.

Simply connect the VR headset and start the environment.

In the Body Scanning session, a light appears, illuminating the part of the body the patient should focus on. All the patient needs to do is follow the guided prompts and the environment will help them build the skills.

Many environments—including this one—have additional guided audios you can add to the sessions. You can find audio guides for abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and even guides for detecting and managing cognitive distortions.

Step 2: Evaluating Skills

Next, it’s important to evaluate your patients’ skills in developing their awareness and mindfulness skills.

Your clinical judgment will drive the objectives you set with your patient, but some questions to evaluate progress may include:

– How well can they recognize physical sensations?

– Can the patient focus on each section of their body for a sustained period?

– Can they identify areas of tension and then relax them?

– Do they use these new skills during moments of distress?

Step 3: Establishing Goals & Applying Learned Skills

After your patient has developed their skills, you can then establish goals to use the mindfulness techniques in different environments.

For instance, if your patient tenses up in social gatherings, you can establish goals to use the body scanning technique and other mindfulness skills before entering those situations. You can even build up to real-life situations by first applying the skills in another VR environment.

Here are just a few of the VR environments available for practicing these new skills:

– At a job interview

– While giving a presentation

– At the doctor’s office

– In social situations

Using Amelia’s platform, you can easily set up different sessions and scenarios for your client to hone their mindfulness skills.

Virtual Reality and Mindfulness in Therapy

Virtual Reality technology is more accessible and affordable than ever before, allowing therapists to easily bring it into their practice. And VR provides a unique and powerful platform for introducing and practicing mindfulness.

With Amelia, you can tailor your sessions to help your clients build and strengthen their mindfulness skills. By incorporating VR into therapy sessions, your patients can learn to focus on the present moment and become more aware of their thoughts in a safe and supportive environment.

Want to see our mindfulness VR environments in action? Schedule a free demo!


  1. Seabrook, E., Kelly, R., Foley, F., Theiler, S., Thomas, N., Wadley, G., & Nedeljkovic, M. (2020). Understanding How Virtual Reality Can Support Mindfulness Practice: Mixed Methods Study. Journal of medical Internet research, 22(3), e16106.
  2. Yildirim, C., & O’Grady, T. (2020). The Efficacy of a Virtual Reality-Based Mindfulness Intervention. 2020 IEEE International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality (AIVR), Utrecht, Netherlands, pp. 158-165, doi:10.1109/AIVR50618.2020.00035
Free Online Webinar
VR Therapy 101: How to use virtual reality to effectively treat OCD.
Registed today
Related Articles
Mindfulness and VR: How VR Helps...
Mindfulness is a state of consciousness that comes through intentional awareness and presence. Virtual reality...
Read more
How VR Can Help Patients Connect...
Have you ever had a patient come into your office and recount a traumatic experience,...
Read more
The Top 8 Ways Virtual Reality...
The Top 8 Ways Virtual Reality in Healthcare is Transforming Medicine Virtual reality in healthcare...
Read more
The Top Questions From Patients About...
Virtual reality is transforming the way therapists practice. Using VR in therapy enables therapists to...
Read more
How Virtual Reality Is Helping EMDR...
EMDR virtual reality technology has been rapidly evolving in recent years, providing therapists with new...
Read more
World Mental Health Day 2022
Established in 1992, we celebrate World Mental Health Day to raise awareness about mental health,...
Read more
‘Eco-anxiety’: The Emotional Toll of a...
It’s right to say that we have reached a consensus on the fact that Earth’s...
Read more
5 Tips to Beat the Post-Summer...
Summer is a time for fun and relaxation, but for many people, the end of...
Read more
The mental health crisis among teens
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning of a teen mental...
Read more