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How Technology Influences the Therapeutic Process: Evaluation of the Patient-Therapist Relationship in Augmented Reality Exposure Therapy and In Vivo Exposure Therapy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 February 2013

Maja Wrzesien*
Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain
Juana Bretón-López
Universidad Jaume I, Castellón, Spain
Cristina Botella
Universidad Jaume I, Castellón and Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain
Jean-Marie Burkhardt
Institut Français des Sciences et Technologies des Transports, Versailles, France
Mariano Alcañiz
Universitat Politècnica de València, and Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain
María Ángeles Pérez-Ara
Universidad Jaume I, Castellón, Spain
Antonio Riera del Amo
Universidad Jaume I, Castellón, Spain
Reprint requests to Maja Wrzesien, Instituto Interuniversitario de Investigación en Bioingeniería y Tecnología Orientada al Ser Humano, Universitat Politècnica de València, I3BH/LabHuman, Cubo Azul - Edif. 8B – Acceso N, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain. E-mail:


Background: New technologies have slowly become a part of psychologists’ therapeutic office. However, many therapists still have doubts about the possibility of creating a good therapeutic relationship with patients in the presence of technology. Aims: This study evaluates the development of the therapeutic alliance in individuals with small animal phobia disorder who were treated with Augmented Reality Exposure Therapy or In Vivo Exposure Therapy. Method: Twenty-two participants received an intensive session of cognitive behavioural therapy in either a technology-mediated therapeutic context or in a traditional therapeutic context. Results: The results show no significant difference for the therapeutic alliance between two conditions. Conclusions: The results seem to show that technologies such as Augmented Reality do not represent a danger to negatively influence the therapeutic alliance.

Brief Clinical Reports
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2013 

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