Here’s a sampling of companies that offer clinically related software, training and HIPAA-compliant virtual spaces.

  • The Online Therapy Institute, one of the first companies to bring mental health services to the virtual world, offers a variety of training programs on legal, ethical and practice issues of such practice. The institute also hosts a 40-hour intensive avatar-therapy class for $1,500 that offers a certificate of completion. In addition, fivehour courses are available for $90 and payment plans are available for all classes and courses.

  • Metaverse+, an organization and website run by psychologists Richard H. Wexler, PhD, and Suzanne Roff- Wexler, PhD, provides information, training and research summaries for psychologists who want to learn how virtual reality and other interactive communications technology can be applied to organizational, consulting and clinical psychology. The service is free.

  • Thrive Research provides training in and access to HIPAA-compliant behavioral wellness platforms that include secure virtual environments. Annual user fee is $5,000.

  • Virtually Better, Inc.. This research and development company has a range of peer-reviewed virtual products for purchase, including Virtual Iraq™, which helps soldiers and veterans overcome post-traumatic stress disorder, and products that address such phobias as fear of flying, speaking, heights and storms. Products range from $8,000 to $40,000, with subscription arrangements available for some of them.

  • WorldWired, a company headed by psychologist David E. Stone, PhD, licenses “off-the-shelf” 3D immersive graphic and video environments for therapeutic and educational purposes. The company also provides clinical and technical consulting, customized scenarios and environments, and training. Clinical and technical training is $150/ hour; virtual classes are $300; and using the company’s “Immersive Iraq Environment” is $150 per month, including six months of support as needed at $50/hour.

—T. DeAngelis