Hacking into Cybertherapy: Considering a Gesture-enhanced Therapy with Avatars (g+TA)
Em: Kairos. Journal of Philosophy & Science
This paper will philosophically extend Julian Leff’s Avatar therapy paradigm (AT) for voice-like hallucinations that was initially proposed for treatment-resistant Schizophrenia patients into the realm of gesture-enhanced embodied cognition and Virtual Reality (VR), entitled g+TA (gesture-enhanced Avatar Therapy). I propose an philosophy of technology approach of embodied rhetorics of triadic kinetic “actions” in the sense of Charles Sanders Peirce that transforms the voice hallucination incorporated by an avatar- and that can confront acousmatic voice-like hallucinations with a method of gesture synchronization and dyssynchronization and gestural refusal of interaction that the player with the Avatar can resist in full embodiment. This paper therefore introduces a gesture-enhanced, extended version of Cybertherapy with Avatars that tackle multimodal bodily experience of voice-like hallucinations beyond mere visual or auditory stimulation. This is put forward theoretically in a 4E-cognition approach that expands Avatar Therapy with gestures into VR.