Virtual reality can help act as a do-it-yourself therapist, helping people overcome their fear of heights without a professional at their side, British researchers reported Wednesday. A half dozen virtual reality sessions over two weeks significantly reduced the fear of heights for more than two-thirds of people who tried it, the team at the University of Oxford reported.

Some even ventured onto rope bridges and mountainsides. “The outcome results are brilliant.

They are better than I expected,” Daniel Freeman, the University of Oxford clinical psychologist who led the study team, told NBC News. The team tested 100 volunteers, 49 of whom were given six virtual reality sessions over two weeks.

The rest got no treatment. On average, the volunteers had been afraid of heights for 30 years, the team reported in the journal Lancet Psychiatry.

After six weeks, those who got no treatment remained just as afraid of heights as they had always been, as measured by a standard questionnaire. But 34 of the 49 volunteers who did the virtual reality found they were no longer afraid of heights. Read more from…

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