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."
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
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