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ProReal helps people think and feel better, about themselves and their world:

We have been developing and improving ProReal over the past seven years, combining insights from academic studies with feedback from our clients and practitioners. There is a growing body of evidence for the effectiveness of our software in different settings.

Research Findings in Adults

ProReal helps people to:

  • Develop insights, into their selves, their relationships and their emotions
  • Identify and label thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and recognise relationships between themes
  • Express and gain distance from difficult thoughts and feelings
  • Engage and participate in talking therapies, counselling and coaching that they have previously found difficult
  • Develop empathy for others and understand others’ perspective

In common with other virtual reality interventions, ProReal provides a powerful experience which can be a useful for complex environments and difficult situations.

Research Findings in Young People

ProReal helps young people to:

  • Express themselves and externalise their inner worlds
  • Address presenting psychological issues
  • Engage in talking therapies or counselling, which many young people find difficult
  • Communicate better with their counsellor or therapist
  • Reappraise difficult thoughts, feelings and experiences
  • Gain insights into their emotions and relationships
  • Be more self-compassionate and mindful

ProReal is associated with significant reductions in psychological distress, particularly in young males and clients who may find verbal expression difficult, when used as part of a school counselling intervention. Use of the software has low drop-out rates and high ratings of satisfaction.

We have been pleased to work with independent academic researchers from some of the most highly regarded universities and research facilities in the world. To find out more, use the links below:

July 2015 Avatar-Based Therapy within Prison Settings: Pilot Evaluation (click to open in a new tab)
Prof. Mick Cooper, Dr Evi Chryssafidou, Dr Biljana vn Rijn, Andrew Jackson
June 2016 ProReal Avatar-Based Counselling with Young People (click to open in a new tab)
Prof. Mick Cooper, Dr Evi Chryssafidou, Dr Biljana van Rijn
February 2017 Avatar-Based Counselling within a School Setting. Case Study ‘Richard’ Research Report (click to open in a new tab)
Dr Biljana vn Rijn, Dr Caroline Falconer, Prof. Mick Cooper, Dr Evi Chryssafidou, Prof. William Stiles
October 2017 Adjunctive Avatar Therapy for Mentalisation-Based Treatment for people with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (click to open in a new tab)
Dr Caroline Falconer, Penny Cutting, Bethan Davies, Prof. Chris Hollis, Prof. Paul Stallard, Dr Paul Moran
November 2017 Evaluating Avatar-Based Therapy for Young People with Eating Disorders (click to request a copy)
Liv-Rebekka Pedersen
August 2018 Avatar-Based VR in CAMHS Case Study (click to open in a new tab)
Dr Caroline Falconer, Rebecca Grist, Bethan Davies, Prof. Paul Stallard
October 2019 Evaluation of avatar-assisted therapy in Bradford Community Mental Health Psychological Therapy Services and Early Intervention in Psychosis (click to open in a new tab)
Nicola Holt
March 2020 Searching for safety: Building meaning bridges using digital imagery in school counselling with a female adolescent, ‘Sally’ (click to open in a new tab)
Dr, Biljana van Rijn , Prof. William B. Stiles , Dr. Evi Chryssafidou
November 2020 Using Avatar Software as an Adjunct to Clinical Interventions and Reflective Practice in a Medium Secure Setting (click to open in a new tab)
S. Bicknell et al.
June 2021 ProReal®: The ‘good enough’ online alternative to face-to-face Dramatherapy (click to open in a new tab)
Quigley, C.A.
December 2021 An Executive Summary of learning and outcomes from the MiHUB project (click to open in a new tab)
C.B. Matheson-Monnet and G. Riley
January 2022 Implementing ‘ProReal’ a therapeutic avatar platform to enhance engagement with online psychosocial groups for young people in mental health services: A mixed methods feasibility pilot: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (click to open in a new tab)
E. Robson and K. Greenwood