Psychoanalysis Culture & Society
Virtual reality therapy, Treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, Psychoanalysis, Visual culture
Virtual Iraq/Afghanistan, a virtual reality (VR) exposure therapy designed for the treatment of combat-related PTSD, has generated wide public interest in the wake of growing concerns over mental health problems among service members. Enlisting concepts from the fields of cultural studies and psychoanalytic film criticism, the paper interprets the VR therapy program as a form of technology fetishism within the expanding apparatus of military mental health operations. Even as the program seeks to expose the “invisible wounds of war,” the stories produced through this use of visual culture conform closely to hegemonic military accounts of the psychological effects of combat.
Haaken, J., & Stadick, M. (2016). Behind the curtain: Fetishism and the production of virtual reality treatment for PTSD. Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, 21(4), 368-385.