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Wrong Darren Piercey?

Dr. Darren Piercey


University of New Brunswick

HQ Phone: (506) 453-4666

University of New Brunswick

3 Bailey Drive Room 317

Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5A3


Company Description

The University of New Brunswick (www.unb.ca) is the oldest public university in North America. It has a broadly based scholarly capacity, which has been characterized by excellent research and faculty of international caliber. UNB is a comprehensive, mult ... more

Find other employees at this company (8,709)

Background Information

Employment History

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
CyberPsyc Software Solutions Inc

The Brunswickan



Web References (52 Total References)

The MoodCheck app is part of ...

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The MoodCheck app is part of a larger program called WellTrack, which was developed by Dr. Darren Piercey, a psychology professor at the University of New Brunswick.

Online counselling really does help beat anxiety - NBIF - FINB

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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.

NBIF Invests $100K in CyberPsyc - NBIF - FINB

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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.

Blog - NBIF - FINB

nbif.ca, $reference.date [cached]

NBIF-backed 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...

Unfortunately, some people who could ...

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Unfortunately, some people who could benefit from seeing a psychologist never make the appointment-"because of cost, accessibility and stigma," says Dr. Darren Piercey, a professor of psychology at the University of New Brunswick, and founder and CEO of CyberPsyc Software Solutions.

Piercey says dentists who have used the software have found that it increased some patients' comfort levels and preparedness. "That reduces the number of no-shows and last-minute cancellations. If someone is anxious about visiting the dentist, the worst part of their day is anticipating the event," Piercey says. He adds that research shows that combining therapy with virtual exposure to the fear stimulus is as effective as combining it with exposure to the real thing. He also notes that people are more likely to be willing to participate in the virtual, rather than the actual, experience.

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