Portable and Immersive Virtual Reality Graded Exposure Therapy  - VRGET


Supported by the EU Funded VEPSY Updated (IST-2000-25323) research project


Create PC, Mac and Pocket PC environment by yourself by adding your and your patients' images and objects.


  1. The clinical protocol and peer reviewed scientific papers

  2. The Free Pharus 3D Builder VRML software

  3. Modify the free environments according to your needs

  4. The original VRGET software


The information and tools provided on this site are designed to support, not replace the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician.

Visitors are cautioned not to use information and tools from this site as a substitute for regular professional care.

Please note that the clinical value of any VR Tool is related to their use within a standardized clinical protocol tested with controlled clinical trials.

We make every effort to include accurate and up to date information and tools on this site. However, we make no warranties or representations as to its accuracy.

Some jurisdictions may not allow the exclusion of implied warranties, so some of the above exclusions may not apply to you. In addition, we will not be liable for any direct, incidental, consequential, indirect, or punitive damages, including damage to, or any viruses that may infect, your computer equipment or other property, on account of your use of the site.


The clinical protocol and peer reviewed scientific papers

For understanding what are Panic Disorders check the NIHM publication: Anxiety Disorders: Real Ilnesses

For a clinical description of what VRGET is and how it compares to actual treatments of Panic Disorders please check the papers*:

The clinical protocol for the use of VRGET in the treatment of PANIC DISORDERS is described in this paper* :

Vincelli, F., Choi, Y.H., Molinari, E., Bouchard, S., Wiederhold, B. K.,  Riva, G. (2000),  Experiential cognitive therapy for the treatment of panic disorder with agoraphobia: definition of a clinical protocol. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 3(3):375-385.

A controlled trial supporting the higher efficacy of VRGET over traditional CBT is described in the paper* below:

F. Vincelli, L. Anolli, S. Bouchard, B. K. Wiederhold, V. Zurloni, G. Riva, (2003), Experiential Cognitive Therapy in the Treatment of Panic Disorders with Agoraphobia: A Controlled Study, Cyberpsychology and Behavior. vol. 6 (3), 321-328.

For a broader description of how VRGET can improve the relationship between patient and therapist check the paper below:

G. Riva, F. Vincelli & E. Molinari (2002). Interaction and Presence in the Clinical Relationship: Virtual Reality (VR) as Communicative Medium Between Patient and Therapist, IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine, Vol 6, N. 3, pp. 198-205.

Actually, VRGET is under trial in different research centers world-wide including Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy), Virtual Reality Medical Center (USA), Universitat Jaume I (Spain), Universite du Quebec en Outaouais (Canada).

Adobe Acrobat required for reading the Protocol and the Papers


The Free VRGET Dynamic VRML Software°

  • Download the Browser

Whatever VRML-viewer you choose, you need to setup correctly for good working stages and good performances. You can find all the VRML-clients' data on their own "Help" page.
Here are some general directions for use:
   1) Usually the default "rendering mode" is "Software Rendering", which does not use the 3D accelerator possibilities. This means slowing down animated viewing. We advise selecting the "Hardware Rendering" mode and then one of the available render options. Usually there are two of them: "DirectX" and "OpenGL". Which one performs better for you depends on your computer's videocard. We strongly advise trying and testing both them and choosing the better in terms of speed and viewing quality.
   2) An important preference of modern VRML-clients is the "Antialiasing" mode, which enables smoothing the images. This means better quality but less speed.
   3) Once again it is very important to consider that the above mentioned VRML-clients are very different to one another: different ways of showing the same 3D scene, different options for managing and navigation ... . So if you are not satisfied with one, simply try the other. It will probably be more suitable for you.


VRML Browser for Pocket PC Pocket Cortona
VRML Browser for PC
  blaxxun Contact (Version 5.103 or above) - by blaxxun interactive.
It's a modern VRML-client with many advanced abilities:
- excellent quality of viewing;
- improved cache settings;
- some unique features (as multi-user 3D chat).
Contact grants great performances in terms of viewing's speed. It is very popular vrml-client, but sometimes some little problems are possible:  in some particular configurations of computers, INT3D-editor might not load the saved 3D scenes. In this case use Cortona.
      Excellent both for viewing and editing.
      May have some compatibility problem.

Cortona (Version 3.1 or above) - by ParallelGraphics.
It's a modern VRML-client with many advanced abilities:
- very small size for downloading;
- excellent quality of viewing;
- possibility of use with 3D stereo-glasses;
- excellent support services (with a special forum for questions).

Cortona is a stable and error-free vrml-client, but less performing in some operations of editing and saving. (F.e. unloading complex scenes from memory can take some minutes, some seconds for the others clients).
      Excellent for 3D scenes viewing.
      Slow in editing scenes.

VRML Browser for MAC
Cortona MAC OS X


To add your own pictures (patients, objects, photos) without any programming skills open the editable environments (see below) and follow the instructions here.

For adding text to the environments follow the instructions here.

For adding 3D objects to the environments follow the instructions here.

For advanced online editing, full instructions are available here.

For offline editing use Pharus 3D Builder
, a visual 3D editor specialized on creation high-quality interactive 3D scenes in the VRML format having extremely small sizes and ideally suitable for publication in the Internet.

The working beta version of the Builder is available for free downloading:

Pharus 3D Builder (v.0.8 beta)

There are two versions of the Pharus 3D Builder: English and Italian.

The Builder is available as a zip-archive (1.95 Mb).

To start work with the Pharus 3D Builder you should:
   - download and install one of the VRML clients (see above)
   - download and unzip the Pharus 3D Builder's archive;
   - start the file pharus3d.htm from PHARUS3D folder.


The Pharus 3D Builder - the first 3D editor completely written on the VRML and for its work it is necessary to download and install one of the VRML-clients (see above) recommended by us.
(If you already have any vrml-client, then check up its version.)

In the Pharus 3D Builder are used the the same components of the INT3D System:
Scenes created in the INT3D System can be edited in the Pharus 3D Builder and vice versa.

With Pharus 3D Builder it is possible:
   - to create virtual ambiences such as rooms, flats, houses.
   - to place and move interactive furniture from different companies as well as many different versions.
   - to verify and choose the most suitable materials and range of colours.
   - to walk through the created 3D scene interacting with it (it allows the use of 3D stereo-glasses).
   - to save created 3D scenes for viewing and publishing on Internet.

Pharus 3D Builder is also very simple to use.

Pharus 3D Builder is developed within the framework of language VRML in which there are no standard operations for recording files, and abilities of files reading are very limited too. For this reason the operations for loading and saving the scenes are realized in a not-conventional and a little bit complex way, but as shows our experience it is possible to get used these program features easily.

The Builder includes short "help" about its using.

For publishing 3D scenes created with Pharus 3D Builder on the Internet INT3D Library must be used.

Video, Voice and Text Chat, File Transfer, Collaboration on Shared Documents

Video and Voice Chat (Two persons only), Instant Messaging

Video and Voice Chat, Instant Messaging

* These papers are included as a means to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work on a non-commercial basis. Copyright and all rights therein are maintained by the authors or by other copyright holders, notwithstanding that they have offered their works here electronically. It is understood that all persons copying this information will adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. These works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Please contact the author if you are willing to republish this work in a book, journal, on the Web or elsewhere.