Virtual Reality Course Based on the SAT Counseling Method for Self-guided Mental Healthcare on ICHI 2018

Our research title “Virtual Reality Course Based on the SAT Counseling Method for Self-guided Mental Healthcare” by Tatsuya Ito, Takeshi Kamita, Atsuko Matsumoto, Tsunetsugu Munakata and Tomoo Inoue was presented at The Sixth IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics (ICHI 2018) held in New York City.

Abstract: The necessity of keeping employees’ good mental health in companies has been widely recognized and even legislated recently in Japan. It is a big issue because of the huge number of target people, which is beyond the capacity of existing number of psychological experts or counselors. The means to keep good mental health by themselves are needed. In this paper, we propose a virtual reality course to meet this purpose based on the existing SAT counseling method. Unlike other conventional counseling methods focusing on the psychological aspects, the SAT method puts importance on physicality, and approaches mental problems from bodily symptoms. It does not need a client to tell his/her traumatic episodes or secrets, and uses visual stimulation by images of light and positive face representation instead of nuanced linguistic expressions. Also, it is well structured which can be practiced in relatively short time in 5 to 10 minutes. Thus, it gives a good basis for developing a self-guided course. We have developed a self-guided digital mental healthcare course SAT-VR based on the SAT method. Using the evaluation scale established by the SAT method, stress mitigation was observed in the lab study.