Schizophrenia sufferer
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Video

Avatar therapy for schizophrenia

A revolutionary new therapy for schizophrenia has emerged.

The technique uses sophisticated computer graphics to build realistic models of the hallucinations that patients see and hear, and then encourages them to confront, and ultimately overcome, their demons.

The new therapy, called Avatar Therapy, is about undergo a clinical trial.

Developer, psychiatrist Julian Leff, spoke to BBC science correspondent Tom Feilden about how it works:

"Initially the avatar says the horrible things that they hear every day from the voice but over the course of six sessions I control the avatar so that it gradually loses its horrible character and becomes warm and supportive and more like a friend," said professor Leff.

First broadcast on the Today programme on Tuesday 2 July.

  • 02 Jul 2013
  • From the section Health