ProReal is an avatar-based, virtual-world software platform which helps people communicate by accelerating insight and change.
Built using 3D gaming technology, ProReal’s immersive platform helps users create a visual representation of how they experience a situation, enabling them to explore different perspectives, visualise futures and solve problems. Working with trained professionals online or face-to-face, clients use a PC, laptop or tablet to enter a secure, virtual landscape. There, they manipulate avatars and props to create visual representations of real-world scenarios.
Clients experience increased self-awareness and rapid empathy-building, leading to improved relationships. Costs are reduced by enabling faster and more effective change and communication as well as remote, online use. The use of ProReal is associated with significant reductions in stress when used in school counselling settings.
ProReal is currently being used by a wide range of clients in corporate, social- and health-care and education settings.
- Unlimited number of avatars available; their colour and size can be adjusted to aid identification and representation
- Drag and drop for ease of setting up scenes
- Posture, captions, emoticons and inner voice function enable rich visual representations
Landscape and Symbols:
- A selection of symbols (or props) to represent various aspects of a client’s world (eg elephant, minefield, clock, mirror, wall)
- Symbols can be sized, their positions changed and they can be named, deepening meaning and context
- Landscape includes a range of locations (paths, crossings, gates, woods, etc), reflecting metaphors, symbols, stories and the language we use to describe our lives: ‘at a crossroad’, ‘ups and downs’, ‘in the thick of it’, etc
- Users can change their viewpoint and use a roaming camera, providing different perspectives on a situation
- Comprehensive user management system for multi-client use
- Multiple sessions are all saved automatically for later review and reflection
- Complete online security including registration, permissions, sessions, and password-reset
- Faster and more effective change
- Actionable insight
- Increases self-awareness, self-confidence and self-expression and engagement
- Allows effective communication of vision, priorities and values
- Enables rapid empathy-building and improved relationships and trust
- Is associated with reductions in stress and self-criticism
- Reduces costs
- Secure – password protected login and encrypted data
Frequently asked questions
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The ProReal software is an immersive, virtual-world technology platform that helps people create a visual representation of how they experience a situation, explore different perspectives and futures and solve problems. Clients enter a secure, virtual landscape and add avatars and props to create representations of real-world scenarios. It is a digital tool that can be used in a range of organisations and sectors by trained professionals.
No. Although it is built using 3D gaming technology, it is not a game. Whilst it can be fun to use, there are no levels or tasks to complete and no one gets hurt! Once clients start to use the software, they quickly realise that the blank and rural landscapes are a place designed for reflection.
David Tinker, co-founder of ProReal has worked as a development coach and consultant for 20 years and trained in sociodrama, coaching and facilitation. For many years he’d noticed that groups quickly accessed insight when the way they understood and experienced the world could be made visible, and when participants stood in the shoes of another or stood back to view a scenario from a distance. In developing the platform, he explored the thinking of Moreno and Jung as well as research into the part that virtual reality can play in supporting communications.
The avatar functions best when it is be ‘real enough’ and in our testing and use with clients all over the world this was found to be the most effective representation.
Props, or symbols, are useful to represent things about our world; for example, adding a wall might represent a barrier which we want to acknowledge and name, for example “lack of trust”. Similarly, we might add a clock to represent the urgency of a situation or use a part of the landscape such as a gate or the crossroads to help us understand something better. ProReal has a choice between an “empty room” space or a “storytelling” world which helps express the situation in a more metaphorical way by using paths, woods, gates, crossroads, rivers and other landscape features. Future landscape designs may be added in the future, based on client’s preferences.
We have designed the software to be very easy to use - most clients learn how to use it in the first 5-10 minutes. For those using it with others in their work, we have found that most people require 15-20 hours of training, much of which is practice time. We deliver the online training via three webinars, reading material, reflective practice/assignment work and a formal assessment at the end. We also offer face-to-face training for.
Yes, we have Clients and Facilitators in Poland, Romania, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden…and recently even Bali! Technology is a great way to work across geographic boundaries… and our business clients expect that.
We have completed several research studies funded by SBRI Healthcare, an NHS England-funded initiative which supports innovation which addresses unmet health needs. ProReal has also received support from the UK's National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Our research to date has found no harmful effects of using the software. Clients sometimes experience high levels of openness when working with the software and it is important for the facilitator to be properly trained, so that they contract well and provide a safe environment.
The ProReal platform can be used either online or offline. “Online” working means that the worlds can be saved and accessed remotely via an internet connection – this is helpful when working in different locations (e.g. when a coach is in one country, and the client in another). “Offline” working means that the worlds can be saved on the device, and local work (e.g. face to face) can be done without the need for an internet connection. The software’s architecture provides for both options.
Watch this space…we’re working on it. The ProReal software already works well on Windows-based touchscreen laptops and tablets, and we’re soon to launch ProReal for iPads.
This is a very important subject to us. We aim to treat the ‘in world’ data as yours – so the user chooses when to delete worlds and any data associated with this. We have designed a system which relies on secure logins and passwords for users, and data is encrypted at key stages. Further details (including the things you also need to do to protect it) are available on request.