In the last few years, avatars have been increasingly used in treating persistent persecutory auditory verbal hallucinations. The digital representation (an avatar) of persecutory hallucinations is voiced by the therapist and engages the patient in a dialogue, progressively conceding its power and, hence, reducing the stress experienced by the patient. Such attempts at integrating digital representations and cognitive behavior therapy raise a range of philosophical questions, which this chapter tackles along two trajectories. From an epistemological standpoint, we inquire what notion of mental disorder can underlie the use of avatar ther-apy, and how our understanding of psychiatric diseases can be affected by the implementation of such a therapy. Relatedly, from an ethical standpoint, we reflect on some of the controversial issues posed by such therapeutic strategies. Discussing selected epistemological and ethical aspects stemming from the lat-est relevant literature both in philosophy and in psychiatry, the chapter aims to provide a tentative evaluation of trade-offs between the promises of and the limits to this therapeutic option.

In the last few years, avatars have been increasingly used in treating persistent persecutory auditory verbal hallucinations. The digital representation (an avatar) of persecutory hallucinations is voiced by the therapist and engages the patient in a dialogue, progressively conceding its power and, hence, reducing the stress experienced by the patient. Such attempts at integrating digital representations and cognitive behavior therapy raise a range of philosophical questions, which this chapter tackles along two trajectories. From an epistemological standpoint, we inquire what notion of mental disorder can underlie the use of avatar ther-apy, and how our understanding of psychiatric diseases can be affected by the implementation of such a therapy. Relatedly, from an ethical standpoint, we reflect on some of the controversial issues posed by such therapeutic strategies. Discussing selected epistemological and ethical aspects stemming from the latest relevant literature both in philosophy and in psychiatry, the chapter aims to provide a tentative evaluation of trade-offs between the promises of and the limits to this therapeutic option.

Avatar Therapy and Clinical Care in Psychiatry: Underlying Assumptions, Epistemic Challenges, and Ethical Issues

Raffaella Campaner
;
Marina Lalatta Costerbosa
2023

Abstract

In the last few years, avatars have been increasingly used in treating persistent persecutory auditory verbal hallucinations. The digital representation (an avatar) of persecutory hallucinations is voiced by the therapist and engages the patient in a dialogue, progressively conceding its power and, hence, reducing the stress experienced by the patient. Such attempts at integrating digital representations and cognitive behavior therapy raise a range of philosophical questions, which this chapter tackles along two trajectories. From an epistemological standpoint, we inquire what notion of mental disorder can underlie the use of avatar ther-apy, and how our understanding of psychiatric diseases can be affected by the implementation of such a therapy. Relatedly, from an ethical standpoint, we reflect on some of the controversial issues posed by such therapeutic strategies. Discussing selected epistemological and ethical aspects stemming from the latest relevant literature both in philosophy and in psychiatry, the chapter aims to provide a tentative evaluation of trade-offs between the promises of and the limits to this therapeutic option.
2023
Humanity In-Between and Beyond
43
61
Raffaella Campaner; Marina Lalatta Costerbosa
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/926437
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