Embarrassing Bodies' Dr. Pixie recovers with Phobia Free!!

Virtually Free had the amazing opportunity to participate in episode 7 of Embarrassing Bodies, aired last night in Channel 4 and Channel 4+1. Dr. Pixie McKenna, who suffers from diverse phobias, challenged herself to be treated of her biggest fear: spiders. And how better than with Dr. Andrés Fonseca, one of the psychyatrist founders of Virtually Free, and our app Phobia Free!?

Dr. Pixie hints the challenge!

Dr. Pixie hints the challenge!

Here are some of the highlights of the TV show!

Dr. Andrés Fonseca (oops! spelling mistake!) shows Dr. Pixie the app she's going to use to treat her phobia

Dr. Andrés Fonseca (oops! spelling mistake!) shows Dr. Pixie the app she's going to use to treat her phobia

Dr. Pixie faces a real spider to check her body reactions to it before and after treatment. Dilated pupils, sweat, anxiety or increase of heart rate are some of the syntoms.

Dr. Pixie is too scared to get close to the spider. She feels anxious thinking it might jump out of the box.

Dr. Pixie is too scared to get close to the spider. She feels anxious thinking it might jump out of the box.

She uses the Phobia Free for a few days until she finishes her treatment. Dr. Freeman, our virtual doctor, guides her through the treatment showing her everything she should expect to feel, see, do and how to manage the fear through different techniques and games.

Dr. Pixie listens to one of the explanatory talks from Dr. Freeman.

Dr. Pixie listens to one of the explanatory talks from Dr. Freeman.

The therapeutic app Phobia Free uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to guide you through a number of sessions where you engage more and more with spiders. It goes from those spiders looking very unrealistic and cartoon like (such as our pink spider Itsy) to the very last stages where you will see spiders that act like the real ones and will also be able to almost "touch" them by using virtual reality. The main advantage is that it can be used anytime and anywhere, so Dr. Pixie could do this therapy in her spare time while waiting, travelling or in bed at night.

Dr. Pixie reaches the last stages of the therapy where she can pretend to have a spider in her own hands.

Dr. Pixie reaches the last stages of the therapy where she can pretend to have a spider in her own hands.

After finalising the therapy, Dr. Pixie is able not just able to get close to the spider box, but also to touch the spider! She has recovered from her fear without the hassle of attending a therapy in a concrete place and time. 

Brave Dr. Pixie pets the hairy scary spider in the box!

Brave Dr. Pixie pets the hairy scary spider in the box!

Dr. Christian Jessen gave some extra great feedback on the app during the show. 

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It makes it all worthwile when we learn that someone has overcome their fear, so keep your feedback and stories coming. Has Phobia Free also helped you? Do you have any comments or suggestions?

Watch the full episode 7 (14 August) with Dr. Andrés Fonseca and Phobia Free. 

Clicking on the image will open a new window for 4oD, the on-demand service by Channel 4.

Clicking on the image will open a new window for 4oD, the on-demand service by Channel 4.