Excessive self-criticism is an important transdiagnostic factor that can play a role in the development and course of psychopathology. Excessive self-criticism can also inhibit the progress of a treatment. On the other hand, research suggests that self-compassion can actually contribute to resilience and recovery. With the VirtuS study we investigate the effect of two VR exercises aimed at self-criticism and self-compassion.


VirtuS started in 2021

Students between the ages of 17 and 30 with heightened self-criticism can participate in the study. The following VR exercises are investigated:

  • An exercise in which someone has to respond reassuringly to a (virtual) friend with a lot of self-criticism.
  • An exercise in which a person has to respond assertively to his own inner critic.

On the one hand, we are curious about the effect of the exercises on the degree of self-criticism and self-compassion. On the other hand, the working mechanism of a relatively new VR technique, the changing of perspectives, is investigated. If the VR exercises have a positive effect on self-compassion and self-criticism, the next step would be to investigate these exercises in a clinical target group.