Bio Ware sounds like the name of some new technology in a future-set film in a war-torn world. In reality, it’s certainly futuristic, but it’s not something that sounds like it’s arrived decades ahead of its time. In simple terms, Bio Ware allows a patient to virtually step into a situation that aligns with the stress/trauma they’ve endured. Their therapist also gets to accompany them, and helps them to face their traumas.
The treatment is a new take on a common method for treating post-traumatic stress (PTS), called prolonged exposure (PE) therapy. According to the American Psychology Association, PE therapy “teaches individuals to gradually approach their trauma-related memories, feelings and situations.” The goal is to learn that trauma-related memories and cues are not dangerous and do not need to be avoided.
Unlike the standard PE treatment, which is all verbal, Bio Ware allows patients to enter a simulation of the traumatic situation, with their therapist accompanying them. The patient can talk to the therapist as they work on entering a situation that they previously would avoid. The technology also measures the patient’s stress levels, creating a fuller picture of how they react to being placed in the situation again.
Avoidance is one of the hallmark symptoms and effects of PTS. Places, people and/or things can all serve as a reminder of a traumatic experience. It’s common for patients to want to steer clear of those reminders out of fear of how it will affect them. There can be further ramifications for engaging in avoidance during PTS. Depending on the avoidance (for example if it’s people or a place), it can cause a person to feel isolated and alone if they’re suddenly disengaged from people or activities that used to bring them joy.
Bio Ware has been tested and the results of the research are expected to be published soon. It’s one of many treatments actively being researched for PTS which has been known to be difficult to treat, but scientists and researchers are constantly working on new studies like this one in hopes of reaching more solutions.
Posted on November 14 2022 in Blog