Telehealth Activity: Virtual Roller Coaster

I continue to be amazed by the new doors that telehealth opens for me in my practice. Virtual backgrounds, Google Earth vacations, and Minecraft are just three things I never would have thought to use in my sessions before I went online. Necessity breeds innovation, as they say.

I am sure you have heard about virtual reality headsets – a way to immerse yourself more fully in a digital world. When I was a graduate student, I did a practicum rotation at a CBT clinic where we used VR to do exposure therapy for people with phobias of airplanes. It was effective, though the VR I have been using in my sessions is a lot more fun.

Photo by Athena on

You do not need any fancy VR equipment to do this activity, but if your client has access to a headset, that could enhance the experience. I recommend using this on devices the size of a tablet or larger to make it more realistic, preferably a laptop.

There are dozens of first-person videos of roller coasters available to use for free! If a client has a favorite amusement park, you can search for specific options.

This is a great activity to practice body awareness (What do you feel, and where in your body do you feel it?), big breath activities (Inhale going up, exhale going down), or give you a more concrete version of a guided visualization activity (Did you know 1-3% of the population can’t visualize things in their mind?)

Have you ever wished you could do a therapy field trip to an amusement park? Through the power of telehealth, you can…virtually!

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. Her clinical interests are varied and include child and adolescent therapy, TF-CBT, rural psychology, telemental health, sexual and domestic violence, psychological assessment, and mental illness prevention. Dr. Marschall presently works in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic at Sioux Falls Psychological Services in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she provides individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and college students. She also facilitates an art therapy group for adolescents and college students with anxiety and depression. Dr. Amy Marschall is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Telemental Health.

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