Study: Virtual reality exposure therapy focus group

17th May 2021

The Design Psychology Lab at Imperial College London (ICL) invites you to take part in a focus group in June. The session will  discuss the design of a new virtual reality treatment for social anxiety in people who stammer. 

Background & purpose

Ian Chard says, "As part of a PhD project, we've developed a smartphone app that provides 'Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy'. This uses virtual reality to simulate difficult real-life speaking situations.

How will it benefit people who stammer?

Ian says, "Overall, we hope to develop a treatment for reducing social anxiety in people who stammer. Involving those who do stammer in the design process is important in making it more effective and relevant. This feedback will inform any changes that need to be made before the main trial of this treatment."

What will it involve?

The session will involve a discussion with four other people who stammer, and will last 1.5 hours. Discussion will focus on four main topics: the virtual therapist feature, stammering-specific features, motivational strategies, and general usability of the application.

Who can take part?

If you are a person who stammers, speak English, do not have a diagnosis of a mental health issue and over the age of 18, you are eligible to participate.

If you previously participated in the pilot trial of this treatment, you are not eligible to take part in this focus group. If you decide to participate in this focus group session, you will not be able to participate in the main trial of this treatment.

Where is it?

The focus group will be held virtually on Microsoft Teams.

When is it?

The session will be held on Monday 14th June at 5:30pm.


If you would like to take part in the focus group, or if you have any other queries, email Ian Chard at 

Become a member. Connect with others locally & online. Volunteer, donate & share your story to inspire others.