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Revolutionary Virtual Reality Tools Changing Psychology, Consulting, Behavioral Science and Medicine


for Members

Revolutionary Virtual Reality Tools Changing Psychology, Consulting, Behavioral Science and Medicine

Monday, March 28, 2011

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Psychology Section


Entrepreneurial psychologist, corporate President and consultant Richard Wexler and Virtual Reality (VR) pioneer, research scientist and CEO Walter Greenleaf team up to present and demonstrate exciting new applications of Virtual Reality (VR) and avatar-based technologies for psychology, behavioral and medical science, institutional, educational and organizational use. Virtual environments have been used for more than a decade in research laboratories and university clinics to facilitate cognitive behavioral therapy and other therapeutic approaches in behavioral medicine. There is an impressive body of literature demonstrating efficacy and therapeutic value. Examples will be provided showing how virtual environments are currently used to treat PTSD, provide social skills training, provoke cue reactivity in substance abuse treatment, treat conduct and anxiety disorders, etc. Learn how practitioners, researchers and educators are currently staking claims in the rapidly emerging VR continent. Explore VR’s current limits and strengths, including cost effective HIPPA compliant virtual meeting space and avatars that change their gender, race, age and style to break through communication boundaries. Driven by innate needs for human interaction, the social media explosion and rapidly advancing technology, VR has come of age. Now is the time for psychologists, behavioral scientists and practitioners to help clients, organizations, institutions successfully adapt and flourish in the VR world.


Walter Greenleaf, PhD

Virtually Better

Walter Greenleaf, Ph.D. is a research scientist, trained in Neuro and Bio-Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. His current research and product development efforts focuses on the use of simulation technology to improve neurological, cognitive and physical rehabilitation.

Walter Greenleaf is the founder of InWorld Solutions, ( a company specializing in the therapeutic use of Virtual Worlds for behavioral health care, and is the CEO for Virtually Better, ( a company that develops virtual environments for the treatment of phobias, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and treatment of addictions.

Dr. Greenleaf is known internationally as an early pioneer in medical applications for virtual environments, and is attributed as a founder of the field. He has designed and developed numerous clinical products over the last twenty five years. He has created products in the fields of surgical simulation, 3D medical visualization, telerehabilitation , clinical informatics, clinical decision support, point-of-care clinical data collection, ergonomic evaluation technology, automatic sleep-staging, psychophysiological assessment, as well as simulation-assisted rehabilitation technologies.

Walter Greenleaf is scientific adviser and proposal reviewer for the U.S. Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, NASA, and the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Greenleaf founded the California State University Center for Disabilities and has helped found two professional research associations; the International Society of Virtual Rehabilitation, and the International Association of CyberPsychology. He serves as an invited judge for the Annual Medical Device Design Excellence Awards.

Dr. Greenleaf has appeared on CNN, NextStep, Beyond 2000, and The Phil Donahue Show as an expert and pundit regarding next generation technologies in medicine.

Richard H Wexler


Richard Wexler is a past president of the New York State Psychological Association and President of Personnel Systems Inc. He is also Co-Founder and Senior Partner of Psychology21C, an organization of interdisciplinary, innovative and collaborative professionals bringing new technologies (e.g. avatar-based Virtual Reality) and 21st century systems to psychology, behavioral science and consulting. Dr. Wexler is an entrepreneurial psychologist, consultant, association leader, author, speaker and educator. He has four graduate degrees including a Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University and also received certification in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. He has taught graduate courses (e.g. Organization Assessment and Development) at two universities. Dr. Wexler has chaired programs (including Plenary) on Virtual Reality applications for Psychology at the 2009 and 2010 American Psychological Association (APA) Conventions, served as the delegate for NY for the 2009 APA Summit on the Future of Psychology Practice, and has received a number of honors for his work to retool psychologists for the 21st century.

Academic Credentials for Richard Wexler (optional):

Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University in 1981; M.Ph. in Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1980, specializing in assessment, tests and measurement; two M.A. degrees in Psychology, one from TC, Columbia University, and one from the New School for Social Research. He also received certification in psychoanalytic psychotherapy from New York State following completion of a three-year program in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at Washington Square Institute for Psychotherapy & Mental Health.

Dr. Wexler is a member and officer for many professional organizations. He is Past President of the NY State Psychological Association, a past President and current President Elect of the Organization, Consulting and Work Psychology Division of NYSPA, and a past President of the Hudson Valley Chapter of the Association of Personnel Consultants of NY. He is active in many organizations, including the American Psychological Association.

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