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This profile was last updated on 11/20/13  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Darren Piercey

Wrong Dr. Darren Piercey?

Psychology Professor

University of New Brunswick
P.O. Box 4400
Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5A3

Company Description: The University of New Brunswick ( is the oldest public university in North America. It has a broadly based scholarly capacity, which has been...   more

Employment History


  • Ph.D.
19 Total References
Web References
Darren Piercey, a psychology ..., 20 Nov 2013 [cached]
Darren Piercey, a psychology professor at the University of New Brunswick, founded the Fredericton company. Piercey was researching virtual reality treatments for anxiety and phobias, but he wanted to find a more accessible and affordable way to use technology to implement cognitive behaviour therapy. That is where CyberPsyc, accessible on any device connected to the Internet and focusing on dental phobia, general anxiety and public speaking anxiety, comes in.
How does it work?
In Step 1, the user is given some education, learning about anxiety and how it is treated. Which, says Piercey, "is the same info a psychologist would provide."
Piercey explains one United Kingdom patient is now able to sit through a dental appointment without taking sedatives.
"The cost of anxiety and stress and phobia in North America is around $45 billion in decreased productivity, missed (workdays) and the actual cost of providing health care," Piercey says.
Despite the fact five per cent of the population "will experience some form of mental disorder at some point," he adds, about one-third won't seek treatment. Accessibility, cost and stigma keep them away and prevent them from overcoming challenges.
"We're really reaching out to help those people who will never make an appointment to help people get over (anxiety) and become more productive and get back to work," Piercey says.
Darren ..., 27 Oct 2012 [cached]
Darren Piercey
Darren Piercey Dr. Darren Piercey is the founder and CEO of CyberPsyc. He has a Ph.D. is cognitive psychology. He is a professor of psychology at the University of New Brunswick where he investigates the effectiveness of various 3D environments for the treatment of anxiety and phobia.
UNB | Fredericton | Faculty of Arts, 2 June 2013 [cached]
UNB Fredericton psychology professor Dr. Darren Piercey is using virtual reality to fight fear and anxiety.   More »
NBIF Invests $100K in CyberPsyc - NBIF - FINB, 23 April 2012 [cached]
Founded by University of New Brunswick psychology professor Darren Piercey, CyberPsyc has delivered a string of recent achievements. Earlier this year, the company was accepted into Launch36, a New Brunswick-based accelerator program that aims to help launch 36 Maritime startups in 36 months. Each company in the Launch36 program is linked to a dedicated mentor. So whom did Piercey secure as his mentor?
"I got really lucky there," Piercey says through a large smile.
Piercey's acceptance into the Launch36 program came at a key time - just as he was wrapping up a round of fundraising. Potential investors, he recalls, were "extremely impressed" by the resources available to CyberPsyc through the Launch36 program. In the end, Piercey secured $250,000 in funding, including $100,000 from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation.
"For the virtual reality therapy to be effective, it has to elicit a fear response," Piercey says.
Whiledoing so, Piercey took key measurements, including heart rate and skin conductance - both indicators of nervousness. The experiment, he says, showed promise in fighting public speaking fears. "They felt positive about the experience."
Piercey's first attempt at fighting phobias with software involved another common fear: arachnophobia. That work resulted in a software program that is still available for sale through iTunes. But Piercey soon decided that arachnophobia software was not going to generate much money. Most people who fear spiders simply avoid the creepy crawlers. Avoiding the dentist, on the other hand, can lead to health complications. And a fear of public speaking can impact your career trajectory.
Piercey believes dentists will buy his software to help ease their patients' fears. And large corporations, he says, are expected to incorporate his public speaking software into their employee training regimes.
The startup CEO is now securing early adopters for both the public speaking and dentistry software. Those early trials will help refine and "perfect" the two products. Then he'll push forward into what he says is a lucrative market. According to Piercey, anxieties and phobias cost North Americans close to $50 billion a year in medication, doctor visits and lost productivity.
UNB prof helps fight your eight-legged fear - CUP Newswire, 7 Dec 2011 [cached]
University of New Brunswick professor Darren Piercey and his spider-spooking technology. (Photo by Mike Erb/The Brunswickan)
FREDERICTON (CUP) - Darren Piercey isn't afraid of spiders, but he knows you might be. And, he has a solution that will spook the arachnophobia right out of you.
Piercey is a psychology professor at the University of New Brunswick and a large part of his research has been devoted to virtual reality treatments for people with phobias or anxiety disorders.
"If at the very first level there are spiders falling from the ceiling and jumping on you and stuff, it's just too much for them to take," Piercey said.
Piercey prefers active virtual reality treatment to hypnosis, a commonly used method for tackling phobias.
"I know some people say they've had good experiences with it ... of course if it works for you, that's great. [Virtual reality treatment] has been tested and shown to be effective. You're actually getting used to seeing the thing that you're afraid of so that when you do see one in real life, you don't overreact," he said.
Some phobias are so severe that even glancing at a photo is too much. But to Piercey, the beauty of virtual reality is that it's more acceptable to people because they know it's going to scare them, but they also know it's not real and feel safe and more willing to undergo the therapy.
Next, Piercey plans to create modified versions of the software for people who are afraid of dogs, snakes, cats and insects. He's also working on software for people who fear public speaking.
Fear of Spiders has sold across the world, including France, Great Britain and Portugal. Piercey said it takes about six months before an app gains a reputation in the app store, but he's hopeful given the success it has already. It was also recently submitted to the Mac store.
Piercey entered his company, CyberPsych, in the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation's Breakthrough Competition for new entrepreneurs, in which 30 companies pitch their business plans. CyberPsych was one of six finalists.
On March 10, NBIF will be releasing a two-minute video online about each company for a viewer's choice award. The company with most votes will win a spot on Dragon's Den, a show on CBC for aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to a panel in hopes of winning start-up money.
On March 16, Piercey pitched his ideas to a Dragon's Den-style panel of three judges for one of three winning prizes.
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