Matt Vogl on the Potential of VR-based Treatment


The executive director of the National Mental Health Innovation Center talks in this video about how virtual reality can simulate psychedelics therapy

By the editors of

As founder and executive director of the National Mental Health Innovation Center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Matt Vogl, MPH, is one of the foremost authorities on the role of technology in treating addiction and mood disorders.

One of the most exciting technological developments he sees right now involves virtual reality (VR). In an interview with Annie Peters, PhD, LP, director of research and education for the National Association of Treatment Providers (NAATP), Vogl talks about the treatment possibilities of VR. He believes VR can be used to simulate psychedelics therapy, which has gained considerable traction in the treatment community but also has potential downsides. Says Vogl, “On the one hand, [psychedelics therapy] could be the most revolutionary breakthrough in mental health treatment that we’ve seen in our lifetimes. On the other hand, it’s opening the door for a whole new wave of abuse and addiction. How do you reconcile those things?” VR, he says, could be the answer.

The interview with Vogl is the second installment in the Recovery Reimagined series, a collaboration between the NAATP and The idea behind Recovery Reimagined is to explore ideas that can help take addiction and mental health treatment to a new level, leading to better outcomes.

You can read the entire interview with Vogl here. And while you’re at it, read our Recovery Reimagined interview with John Kelly, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the founder of the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital.