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Find out about our work and research, forthcoming events and webinars and how our platform is being developed and used in so many different settings around the world.

Free webinar: Virtual-world tech in Mentalization-based treatment

Join ProReal, Penny Cutting from Bethlem Royal Hospital, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Caroline Falconer from NIHR MindTech HTC for a free webinar – Virtual-world tech in Mentalization-based treatment – on Tuesday 25th July 2017 from 13:30 – 14:30 (BST/UK time). In this webinar Penny Cutting, Clinical Service Leader & Senior Psychotherapist at Bethlem Royal Hospital, will discuss her experience of leading a small feasibility study into the acceptability of using the ProReal software in a group intervention with patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). This pilot is one of two being overseen by an NHS research collaboration consisting of Dr. Caroline Falconer (NIHR MindTech HTC), Professor Paul Stallard (Oxford Health NHS Trust Foundation), Dr. Paul Moran (University of Bristol) and ProReal Ltd to steer and oversee research in Bethlem Royal Hospital and Oxford Health. In this webinar Penny will discuss the 20+ groups she held using the ProReal software to facilitate the development of mentalizing in people who are in the Day Treatment Programme at the Touchstone Centre at Bethlem Royal Hospital. Caroline Falconer will also share findings of the pilot. “ProReal has been particularly helpful in the way it focuses the user on labelling and naming mental states which is a deficit of people with BPD. I came to ProReal as a complete non-user of any sort of IT game or virtual reality and I am surprised by how much I have enjoyed using it and by how it has been experienced as useful in the treatment programme here.” Penny Cutting, Clinical Service Leader, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Book your place now: Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. To book your place please click here Penny Cutting is the Clinical Service Leader and Senior Psychotherapist at the Touchstone Centre at Bethlem Royal Hospital in South London. Since joining the NHS in 1984 she has worked in many areas of general and mental health nursing and set up the Foxley Lane women’s service – an alternative to psychiatric hospital admission for women. Her training in psychotherapy included exploring feminist psychoanalytic thinking as well as a humanistic approach. She is a Registered Practitioner in Mentalization Based Therapy and enjoys working with clients who are broadly thought to be suffering from emotionally unstable (or borderline) personality disorder. Dr. Caroline J Falconer is a Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham in the National Institute of Health Research MindTech Healthcare Technology Co-operative (http://mindtech.org.uk) specialising in technology innovation, design and evaluation in mental healthcare. If you are not able to attend and would like to receive a recording of the full webinar, please contact us.

Do even more with ProReal V3.2

We’re always looking to improve on the functionality and performance of the ProReal platform and our ongoing development means our IT Lead is often locked away in a darkened room beavering away on new features. The culmination of this is updated versions to help you get the very most of out your use of our software and we believe our latest release – ProReal V3.2 - will change the way you work with your clients. So, what's new? Multi-User put simply Multi-User enables you to work with up to 10 people simultaneously in one online session (or World) from wherever they are (in the real world). This is potential game-changer for those working with teams spread across multiple locations and has numerous benefits from accelerated change to reduced costs. And, with V3.2 you can now share online ‘Worlds’ with several active participants. To be able to use Multi-User you need to have completed the relevant training module and have the correct licence. For more information about Multi-User contact us. Local Encryption - Local Worlds stored on your device can now be encrypted. This helps to protect your privacy should the device become lost or stolen. Unlinking Views – you can now unlink from other participants for individual work, and then easily re-join the linked view. Pause Postures – you can reduce distractions by clicking a button to temporarily pause posture animations. New Options Panel – a new tab provides quick access to settings so that you can turn on all labels, adjust screen resolution and switch to Full Screen mode. Other Enhancements – performance and navigation have been improved. A new timeout exits the current World after 20 minutes of inactivity. So, what happens now? Download ProReal V3.2 by clicking here – you’ll be taken through the sign-in process as usual. There is a "Download Application" button in the top right of the page. You can continue to use the version of software you have until you are ready to upgrade. All your Worlds – both online and local – will be automatically saved and available in the new version. We hope you enjoy ProReal V3.2 and – as always - we welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Case study exploring how a 14-year-old boy with ASD used ProReal to build ‘meaning bridges’

In January 2015 ProReal Ltd began a major research project supported by NHS England’s Small Business Research Initiative Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) to evaluate the use of its virtual-world software with young people in school counselling. As part of this research ProReal commissioned two case studies to examine the use of its platform – these were drawn from an initial evaluation that the software may be particularly useful with a range of clients, in particular boys, and those who may find verbal expression difficult. The case study team consisted of Biljana van Rijn (Metanoia Institute), Caroline Falconer (University of Nottingham, NIHR MindTech HTC), Evi Chryssafidou (Metanoia Institute), Mick Cooper (University of Roehampton) and William B.Stiles (Miami University and Appalachian State University). The first case study (recently completed) examines how Richard (a pseudonym) – a 14-year-old boy who had been diagnosed with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and seen in school counselling for anxiety and behavioural problems – used the software over a sequence of 9 sessions.  Findings show that the digital imagery (of the software) provided a non-verbal, creative medium for expression and facilitated the therapeutic relationship, providing meaning bridges between the counsellor and the client. If you would like a copy of the case study, please email us at info@proreal.world The case study team will be presenting papers at the following events in 2017: British Association of Counselling Psychology (BACP) Research Conference, Chester UK 19-20th May: On 20th May, Evi Chrysaffidou will present the evaluation of Avatar Based Counselling for Young People. This will be followed by a presentation of the case-study ‘Richard’ by Biljana van Rijn. Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR) 48th International Annual Meeting, Toronto Canada 21-24th June 2017. Bill Styles will present his paper ‘Digital images as therapeutic meaning bridges: Use of avatars by a 14-year-old boy in school counselling’. World Conference of Transactional Analysis, Berlin Germany 27-30th July 2017 Biljana van Rijn will present an abstract from the ‘Avatar Based Counselling with an Autistic Adolescent. Case Study’. SPR UK European Chapters 3rd joint conference, Oxford UK 20-22nd September 2017. Biljana van Rijn, Bill Stiles and Evi Chrysaffidou will present a paper as part of the ‘New directions in assimilation model research: Theory-building case studies on setbacks, dementia, bereavement, and digital imagery’ panel. A second case study involving a young female is nearing completion with findings expected to be shared in Summer 2017. Forthcoming webinar – ProReal will be holding a free webinar in the summer with the researchers involved in these case studies. If you already receive our newsletters you will be sent an invite to join this webinar soon. If not and you would like to receive an invite to this webinar please email info@proreal.world

Thanks to NIHR MindTech HTC for hosting another great Symposium

The ProReal team had a fantastic time at the MindTech 2016 Mental Health Technology Symposium on 8th December at the Royal College of Physicians in London. We really look forward to the Symposium and this year was the third we’d attended as exhibitors. Our SBRI Healthcare supported research project – Avatar-Based Counselling with Young People – was one of the featured research posters on display too. For us, this was an important recognition of the work of all of those involved in the study and primarily the all the young people who took part. Being able to give their voices such an important national platform made us feel very proud. Many of those who visited us signed up for one of two webinars we’ve organised in January; details of these are below and even if you didn’t attend the MindTech Symposium you are most welcome to come along. The content for each webinar will be the same and it will be interest to organisations and individuals who are looking for a digital solution or tool in support of mental health interventions. Our Development Director David Tinker will be leading the webinar which will include a live demo of ProReal, research (findings and futures), clinical applications and a Q A. To book your place at one of our free webinars sign in to confirm your registration below and feel free to share it with others in your organisation: Thursday 12th January 2017 @ 09:30 to 10:30 UK time – click here Thursday 19th January 2017 @ 11:00 to 12:00 UK time – click here

Sharing our knowledge of trends in digitalisation - ProReal

ProReal was delighted to be part of the recent Aspire HR Forum in Cracow on 17th November 2016. The Aspire HR Forum is a quarterly conference of HR LD Directors, bringing together the most senior HR business leaders to explore, share and learn about the current trends, challenges and opportunities in the market. Attendees included directors, managers and HR Business Partners from PwC, Motorola, Aon, Aspire, Electrolux, Euroclear, Capita Polska and CPL Jobs. As a result of a questionnaire completed by participants prior to the event and data from a salary tracker presented in the morning two key challenges emerged; employee engagement and developing talent. ProReal’s Development Director David Tinker presented the latest trends and challenges in digitalization faced by LD teams. After this the group explored employee engagement in their organisations by using the ProReal virtual-world platform. Two volunteers were coached remotely by our facilitators who were located in London and in Regensburg (Germany). The review of the session indicated that participants using ProReal were impressed by the levels of engagement in the process as well as new insights gained from exploring situations in the software. These gatherings are great opportunities for directors and managers to learn and share the very latest thinking. A big thanks to Aspire and Pathways Polska for hosting the event and to everyone who attended.

ProReal helps reduce psychological distress according to study findings

In January 2015 ProReal Ltd was awarded a Phase 2 contract by NHS England’s Small Business Research Initiative Healthcare to evaluate the use of ProReal software with young people.  Professor Mick Cooper (Counselling Psychology, University of Roehampton, London) lead this research; Mick is an internationally recognised authority in the field of counselling and psychotherapy and a chartered psychologist and has led a range of research studies into school-based counselling. Mick’s team have now released the findings of their evaluation – click here to read the university’s press release. Project challenges The project was complex; it required recruitment and consents across multiple schools, there were dependencies with the development of new technology and constraints on both the project duration and budget. “I was determined to get a good sample size for this research, and to do the best job we could for the young people was paramount.” explains Eileen Peters who project managed both SBRI Healthcare projects. “With the support of SBRI and the schools, we continued into a second school term and were therefore able to include 54 young people in this study as opposed to 30. We’re extremely proud of this achievement and grateful to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen.” The school environment is complex from an IT perspective too.David Littlewood, Technical Lead at ProReal explains “The development of a new version of the software which does not rely on an internet connection was really important, as was phasing the development work so that we could complete the research on time.”  This new version (V3.1) of ProReal is now commercially available. Introducing our Avatar Consultants Co-creation with end users is at the heart of our product development strategy in all our work across healthcare and corporate.  As well as the feedback from the young people involved in the study we worked with an experienced ex-teacher to design and hold workshops with young people at Bramhall High School in Stockport. This was informed by early user workshops with Action for Children and Oxford Health.  All these young people are part of a growing community of Avatar Consultants – a group of YP from across the country who provide input into the design and functionality of the software who enjoy knowing that their input is being listened to and considered. Economic Impact Based on our work in corporate coaching and in charity counselling settings, where remote and online working is more common, ProReal has shown to provide cost reductions of between 30-40%.  Our early-stage clinical work and Phase 2 findings identify potential for significant cost saving, based on acceleration of treatment outcomes and increased engagement from young people, particularly young males. We are continuing to explore these potential savings with clinicians and health economists. Collaboration and partnerships Throughout the project there was a strong sense of determination and collaboration between everyone involved and although it would take a long time to list everyone who participated we would like to say particular thanks to: The students who took part in our study, pilot user-workshops Professor Chris Hollis, Dr Caroline Falconer and Dr Jen Martin – NIHR MindTech HTC Dr Anne Blackwood, Joop Tanis, Chris Armstrong – Health Enterprise East and SBRI Healthcare Professor Mick Cooper and Dr Evi Chryssaffidou – University of Roehampton Dr Biljana van Rijn, Peter Pearce, Sarah Osman and the Align school counsellors from Metanoia Institute Sarah Golden and Fiona Pienaar and the school counsellors from Place2Be The head teachers and pastoral care teams from the 8 schools who helped make this happen Bramhall High School and their students who participated in our user-workshops Maureen Nuttall and the young carers at Action for Children Professor Paul Stallard, the clinicians and the young service-users at Oxford Health We’ve created a film which summarises the evaluation design and findings and includes a review of a session between counsellor and client:Watch a recording of the live, online demonstration here. Our future research focus A research collaboration team has been established to steer pilot research in which ProReal will be used as an adjunct to existing treatments for depression/anxiety/emotional difficulties in Bethlam SLAM and Oxford Health in late 2016. The team includes Professor Chris Hollis and Dr Caroline Falconer (NIHR MindTech HTC), Dr Paul Moran (University of Bristol) and Professor Paul Stallard (Oxford Health).  We are also preparing for several other pilots in St Mary’s SARC (Manchester) and are working with NIHR MindTech HTC on an Emotional Resilience pilot with university students in late 2016. If you’d like to know more about our SBRI Phase 2 ‘Avatar Therapy for Young People’ project or have any other questions, please contact Eileen Peters  eileenp@proreal.world.

A meeting of minds

Thank you to everyone who came along to The Science Museum earlier this month.  It was a day of two parts – in the morning we heard the preliminary findings from our SBRI Healthcare research project in secondary schools. Professor Mick Cooper from University of Roehampton and Dr Evi Chrysaffidou presented their findings which showed the use of ProReal was associated with significant improvements in psychological wellbeing.   They also concluded that ProReal may also be a useful tool in supporting therapeutic work with a range of clients – particularly boys – and those who may find verbal expression difficult.   The final report is nearing completion and we look forward to sharing the findings in the coming weeks. The afternoon was an opportunity to explore what the future might look like for early interventions for young people.  We were truly grateful that so many highly experienced youth and digital health specialists were able to contribute to this discussion which culminated in the idea of remote-use by young people featuring a tablet version of ProReal with live chat support. Thank you again: NIHR MindTech HTC – Jen Martin, Caroline Falconer, Bethan Davies Tavistock Portman NHS Foundation Trust – Richard Graham NSPCC – Desi O’Hagan Place2Be – Sarah Golden The Prince’s Trust – Helen Brown St. Mary’s SARC – Fauzia Ahmed, Rabiya Majeed University of Roehampton – Mick Cooper, Evi Chryssafidou Metanoia Institute – Biljana van Rijn, Sarah Osman Miami University – Bill Stiles School counsellors – Gemma King, Deborah Gadsby A huge thank you to all the young people, counsellors and schools who’ve been part of our journey and continue to shape our development.

Free webinar: Avatars and the Self

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ATTENDED THIS WEBINAR. REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.   Join ProReal and Professor Tatiana Bachkirova for a free webinar – Avatars and the Self – on Friday 20th May 2016 from 11:00 – 12:30 (BST/UK time). In this webinar Professor Tatiana Bachkirova will set out her non-traditional and challenging views on the nature of the ‘self’ and personal development. Tatiana will highlight key ideas from her latest book “Developmental Coaching: working with the self”. The webinar will also demonstrate how ProReal’s technology can be used in conjunction with these key concepts. Attendees will: Hear the latest thinking from one of the industry’s most influential thought-leaders Discover how avatars bring new dimensions to the exploration of the self Learn how to bring these ideas into your own practice This interactive webinar – part of a ProReal series – will also include a live demo in the ProReal software and a QA session.  Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Professor Tatiana Bachkirova is Co-Director of the International Centre for Coaching and Mentoring Studies at Oxford Brookes University, UK. She is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and an experienced coaching supervisor.  As well as co-editing The Complete Handbook of Coaching she is the author of the ground-breaking and highly praised book Developmental Coaching: working with the self. Who should attend?  Those who work in the area of personal development, e.g. business leaders, coaches, Learning / training professionals, Organisational Development consultants, etc. If you are not able to attend and would like to receive a recording of the full webinar please email info@proreal.world.

Free webinar: Supervision and the virtual world

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ATTENDED THIS WEBINAR. REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.   Join ProReal and Professor David Clutterbuck for a free webinar – Supervision and the virtual world – on Wednesday 6th July 2016 from 11:00 – 12:30 (BST/UK time). In this free webinar Professor David Clutterbuck shares his latest thinking about good practice in preparation for coaching supervision. The webinar will also demonstrate aspects of this using avatars in the ProReal virtual world.  This interactive webinar – part of a ProReal series – will also include a QA session with Professor Clutterbuck. Attendees will: Hear the latest thinking from one of the industry’s most influential thought-leaders Learn how coaches can better prepare for supervision Learn more about professional supervision practice Be able to apply these ideas to your own practice Discover the potential of virtual world technology as a tool for supervision Professor David Clutterbuck is a leading author, HR consulting and keynote speaker for Leadership, coaching and mentoring within the workplace. He is co-founder of the European Mentoring Coaching Council, Visiting Professor at Sheffield Hallam, York St John and Oxford Brookes universities in the UK, and practice lead for the global community of Coaching and Mentoring International.  He has published an extensive list of books and is co-author of the newly published Coaching Supervision: A Practical Guide for Supervisees (Routledge) which includes a contribution by ProReal’s David Tinker on virtual supervision – click here to order a copy and here for a list of all of David’s books. Who should attend?  Coaches and those providing coaching supervision. If you are not able to attend and would like to receive a recording of the full webinar please email info@proreal.world.

‘Successful use of Avatars in Counselling’ workshops

‘Successful use of Avatars in Counselling’ workshops at St. Mary’s 14th Annual Conference ProReal’s David Tinker will be holding two workshops co-hosted by counsellors from St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) at next week’s St. Mary’s 14th Annual Conference in Manchester. The 1-hour workshops – Successful use of Avatars in Counselling – will include two counsellors from St Mary’s who have been trained in the use of ProReal and are in the early stages of using it in face-to-face work with clients. The workshops are part of St Mary’s 14th Annual Conference 2016 being held at The Midland Hotel Manchester on 21st 22nd April 2016 which brings together speakers and experts from multiple agencies concerned with protecting young people and children from sexual violence. The workshops will take place on Thurs 21st April (15.15 – 16.15) and Friday 22nd April (13.30 – 14.30).  ProReal will also be present in the main conference space where attendees can experience the software. About St Mary’s SARC St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) provides a comprehensive and coordinated forensic, counselling and aftercare service to men, women and children living in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire area who have experienced rape or sexual assault, whether this has happened recently or in the past. The St Mary’s Centre comprises a team of experts with a wealth of knowledge and experience in advising, supporting and treating anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted. https://www.stmaryscentre.org/

Avatars & Compassion webinar improved attendees’ self-compassion

The ProReal Avatars & Compassion webinar on 5th Feb proved to be a fascinating session hosted by Dr Caroline Falconer in which attendees learnt about Paul Gilbert’s Compassion Focused Therapy and experienced a live coaching session in ProReal. Click here to see a recording of the webinar. In addition, we’ve created this 15 min video showing an example of a self-compassion protocol in ProReal. We also held a poll at the beginning of the webinar where attendees were asked a number of self-reflective questions. This poll was repeated at the end of the webinar and results (below) reveal increases in compassion and self-compassion and a reduction in self-criticism amongst the attendees:   Poll summary commented by Caroline: It was not surprising to see that, on average, people reported higher levels of compassion (for others) than self-compassion. This is quite a common trend within the field in that people are more readily compassionate to others than themselves. Self-compassion, particularly for Westerners, is a strange and often unheard of concept. This also fits with the idea that people have a fear of being compassionate towards themselves (i.e. “my criticism keeps me on track”).  Indeed, our group had higher levels of self-criticism than self-compassion. We wanted to see whether the webinar had any impact on people’s perceptions of themselves as compassionate and critical. We had two hypotheses about this. The first is that the webinar would better define what compassion is and people would reassess their interpretation and change their score. The second was that the webinar would be psychoeducational in itself and improve compassion and criticism levels. After a quick analysis, we are happy to say that the results revealed increases in compassion (t (16) = 2.4, p = .03) and self-compassion (t (16) = 2.4, p = .03) and a reduction in self-criticism (t (16) = 3.4, p = .004). Don’t take our word for it, here’s what some of the attendees said about the webinar… Fascinating stuff! It would be great to have a virtual reality booth with self-compassion instructions on every street corner! Very powerful to see the change when ‘lovely me’ got bigger and Liz saw the change from 1st person. Lots of learning for a short session. Thank you all, it was very inspiring! I thoroughly enjoyed this and learnt a lot. I think it will be especially useful when dealing with young people to introduce perhaps a compassionate avatar as lots of the young people I see have no compassion for themselves. A special thank you to Caroline Falconer, Paul Gilbert, Michal, Liz and David for helping make this a truly memorable event. Details of further webinars will be announced soon.  If you have any questions about this event or would like to attend or be involved in future webinars please email us at info@proreal.world.

Exploring young people’s mental health with Tavistock and Portman

ProReal’s work with clinicians continues to contribute to the field of young people’s mental health. Last month ProReal was featured in Dr Richard Graham’s talk at the ICT Coalition for Children Online at its biannual gathering in Brussels which addressed current and future challenges of young people’s use of online technologies. Dr Graham, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, talked about building young people’s resilience online and highlighted ProReal as a way of doing this. You can view the outcomes from this discussion and download the speakers’ presentations including Dr Richard Graham’s here. A link is also included to a 2-minute video (“Story to tell” ) and can be accessed here. ProReal was also featured at Identity, Radicalisation and The Future of Mankind, one of a series of Tavistock Digital Lives conferences at the Tavistock Centre.  It was a stimulating day of talk focused around the ways in which young people maintain online identities. At the conference delegates were able to experience the ProReal software, including a touch-screen version. The day was hosted by Dr Graham and featured presentations by Jeffrey DeMarco on radicalisation in the digital age; Elizabeth Pearson’s research on ISIS supporters, gender, identity and Twitter and Dr Nicola J. Millard from BT Technology on The 6 D’s shaping the future of work. To read more about this and future events at the Tavistock click here. A copy of Dr Richard Graham’s presentation Childhood and Society V2.0 can be downloaded here.

Stimulating conversation and debate – another superb MindTech Symposium

We were extremely proud be the headline sponsor for ‘Harnessing the Digital Revolution’, the third National Symposium on Technology in Mental Health, organised by NIHR MindTech (HTC) on 3rd December 2015.  The event – at the Royal College of Physicians, London – brought together the leaders in the field all working towards a common goal to address the key challenges in harnessing the digital revolution for the benefit of mental healthcare. The day was hosted by Professor Chris Hollis, Director of NIHR MindTech Health Technology Co-operative (HTC) and Professor Mike Cooke CBE, Chair of MindTech and featured an array inspiring speakers – for more information and videos from the day click here. Visitors to our exhibition stand were able to experience ProReal V3.0 which we’re currently using in our SBRI Phase 2 research project in schools throughout London and the South East. We were overwhelmed by the amount of interest in ProReal from such a wide range of delegates and are currently continuing conversations with many of them. ProReal Chief Exec, Andrew Jackson, also chaired the ‘Rapid fire technology showcase’. ProReal continues to benefit greatly from the guidance and advice we receive from the MindTech team and we’d urge anyone interested in this ‘space’ to join the MindTech network which aims to accelerate the development, evaluation and adoption of technology in mental healthcare. www.mindtech.org.uk

ProReal Ltd Awarded £970,000 SBRI Healthcare Development Contract

January 2015: Following the successful delivery of a Phase 1 Feasibility Study to evaluate the use of its software with offenders, ProReal Ltd has been awarded £970,000 by NHS England’s SBRI Healthcare for continuing development and evaluation of the effectiveness of its avatar therapy with children and young people. The ProReal avatar therapy for young people pilot will evaluate the effectiveness of the ProReal software in reducing levels of psychological difficulties whilst exploring the feasibility of providing increased access to services. The pilot includes significant technology development work, building on the existing platform and providing an easy-access “guided self-help” function, which will support emotional resilience and the capacity to regulate affect. The Small Business Research Initiative Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) is an NHS England initiative, championed by the Academic Health Science Networks who aim to promote UK economic growth whilst addressing unmet health needs and enhancing the take up of known best practice. The ProReal Ltd award is within SBRI Healthcare’s Mental Health Competition category. The evaluation of the pilot will be led by Professor Mick Cooper at the Centre for Research in Social and psychological Transformation (CREST), University of Roehampton, which specialises in the evaluation of counseling and psychotherapy in schools and with young people. Co-investigator in the project will be Dr Biljana van Rijn, Faculty Head of Applied Research and Clinical Practice at Metanoia Institute. ProReal will be working with a number of partners including a children’s charity and NHS organisations during the Phase 2 pilot, details of which will be announced shortly. The company has also established a clinical steering panel and advisory board including Prof. Chris Hollis and his team at NIHR MindTech Healthcare Technology Co-operative and Prof. Peter Fonagy at University College London. ProReal will also be working with its technology partner, Corporation Pop, to build on the technology to extend its use within the area of children’s and young people’s mental health. Work will feature enhancements to the existing technology, with high levels of involvement from users in the design. ProReal Ltd, Chief Executive Andrew Jackson says of the award: “This contract enables us to continue and accelerate the valuable work we started last year. The support and counsel we’ve received from SBRI Healthcare and MindTech has been invaluable enabling us to find solutions to unmet healthcare needs. We’re also really excited to be working with a great team of collaborators including The University of Roehampton, Metanoia Institute, Corporation Pop and Sutherland Innovation Labs.” This work was commissioned and funded by NHS England. The views expressed in the publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily that of the funding partners. For further information please contact: Eileen Peters, ProReal Projects & Operations Manager Notes to editors: About the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI Healthcare) The Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) is an Eastern Academic Health Science Network led programme for NHS England, delivering the Innovation Health and Wealth agenda. The initiative backs small and medium sized companies to accelerate the development of new technologies for known healthcare need by providing up-front investment to in the form of a research and development contract to develop a product for the healthcare system.  Every research and development challenge supported by SBRI Healthcare is selected by NHS clinicians and sector specialists.

Webinar – an introduction to ProReal

ProReal webinar – “An overview of the ProReal platform” By popular request, we have added new dates to our series of webinars ! David Tinker, the Development Director of ProReal will be leading these webinars; each one will cover the thinking behind the development and design of the platform, informed by previous research on the use of virtual reality tools to support coaching,  organisational consulting and leadership interventions.    Each webinar will also provide a live demonstration of the platform There are 2 additional dates as shown below – each session will run for 1 hour. The meetings will be run on the Webex webinar platform, through which you will receive a direct invitation once your date preference is known.  During the webinar, David Tinker will share his screen so you gain the best possible view of the platform in action.  Webex supports live web chat and you are welcome to submit questions directly throughout the presentation – we will answer these as best we can, and will leave time at the end to cover key points raised by participants. To join a session, please send an email to info@proreal.world and indicate which of the webinars you would like to be on.  A Webex invite will be issued to you closer to the date – this will contain all the necessary log-in details. The webinars are being run on the following dates: 5th June 2013 at 13:00 UK time 2nd July 2013 at 13:00 UK time We look forward to seeing you on the webinar.

Andrew Jackson and Jackie Arnold co-presenting at Clean Conference

Andrew Jackson, Chief Executive of ProReal, will be speaking at the International Clean Conference, taking place in central London on 10 – 12 May 2013.  He is co-presenting with Jackie Arnold, an accredited ICF Coach & Dip Coach Supervisor and Clean Language Facilitator.   Jackie has run her own coaching and supervision practice for the past 14 years and is an experienced conference presenter & prolific author. The title of their presentation is: “The future of coaching? Coaching & facilitating in virtual reality.”  It will consider how technology can be used to remotely support clients, by enabling them to create their own virtual reality in a safe environment.  Using clean questions, clean space and symbolic modelling, Andrew and Jackie will explore ProReal’s virtual reality platform, a new technology that is creating a stir in the coaching & supervision community. Clean Language is a philosophy and technique applied to questioning that very quickly creates a pathway to the heart of the matter and so elicits high-fidelity, high-value information, that can be transformative in many contexts. As a personal or business coaching technique it outperforms NLP and hypnotherapy as a way of creating well fitting ecological autogenic change.  When used in a business consulting it quickly and effectively reveals the structure of your current situation and reveals the resources already within your organisation capable of responding effectively.

ProReal In Business

A group of leaders from private and public sector business, education and coaching met on 19 March 2013 at the Science Museum in London to explore the use of the ProReal platform in the workplace. The group considered evidence from the US, UK and Germany on the effectiveness of virtual world and avatar-based technologies. Case studies and research papers were presented which set out the evidence from within businesses, as well as the findings from medical and clinical work. The group then evaluated, through discussion and practical exercises using the software, the following hypothesis: “Forward-thinking businesses will be early adopters of business-specific virtual world technologies.  These businesses will understand, and overcome, the barriers to using these technologies.  They will deploy them extensively to gain competitive advantage in areas such as leadership, personal and organisational development, communication and the management of change.” In doing this, the group set out some of the key ‘people’ challenges facing businesses: The need for accelerated change. The pressure to do “more with less”. Encouragement from leaders to “step up” personal and team performance. The importance of staff engagement. Increased global and remote working, coupled with travel restrictions. The group also looked at the challenges to adoption, including the importance of up-front positioning and targeting key commercial imperatives. Other areas, including the need for more ‘user-choice’, were also explored in detail.  In summary, the group supported the hypothesis. Here are a few quotes from the participants: “It’s all about having better conversations; this software could be the catalyst.” “If ProReal leads to better and quicker disclosure in a team, that will increase levels of mutual trust and hence the speed to benefit.” “When we look at Generation Y, it’s interesting just how routine they find remote and technological interactions such as this.” “I see technologies like this being used to keep a focus on the outcomes for people and their emotions, at the same time as a focus on the achievement of the task.”

Advisory board appointed

ProReal is pleased to announce the appointment of an Advisory Board.  The group comprises subject matter experts, and thought leaders, in the field of coaching, consulting, leadership development, therapy and the use of virtual reality technology.  Their role is to provide insight regarding ProReal’s primary target markets, offer guidance and direction with regard to product development, contribute to research and act as an influencer group in their respective areas of knowledge. The board members include: Professor Charlotte Sills, MA, MSc (Psychotherapy), TSTA (ITAA), PGCE Charlotte is Co-Director of the Coaching for Organisation Consultants programme and a member of faculty at Ashridge Consulting.  She brings to this role more than 20 years’ experience as a practitioner of psychological therapy and as a teacher and supervisor of counsellors, therapists and coaches.  Charlotte is a qualified integrative psychotherapist, UKCP registered and a BACP accredited supervisor of counsellors.  Widely published in the therapeutic field, her work is also relevant to the world of coaching and consulting.  She has won an award for her work developing a relational approach to facilitating development – a focus on the relationship of the client to himself, to others in his life (including his coach) and to his organisation. Professor David Clutterbuck David Clutterbuck is the master of the BDQ (Bloody Difficult Question) – ones that challenge leaders to think about what they do and why.  Author of more than 50 books, he brings a wealth of practical experience and leading edge research to developing leaders at the top.  Visiting professor at two universities, he works across the world, stimulating top teams to become role models for learning and to examine how they can raise their collective performance.  A successful entrepreneur in his own right, David makes serious management topics accessible through humour, story and provoking perspectives.  He is regarded as a leading global authority on coaching and mentoring, and on Board behaviours. Nick Roy, BSc (Hons), PG Dp, MSc Nick is a member of faculty at Ashridge Consulting.  His consulting career originated with firms such as KPMG and Ernst & Young.  Focusing on the change management and leadership support aspects of large scale technology implementation, he soon moved into people transition management and leadership development.  He has always gravitated towards those approaches that embody more humanistic, appreciative and complex perspectives.  Nick has worked in a variety of external and internal consulting roles across many different sectors including professional services, technology, telecoms, manufacturing, finance, local and central government, leisure and media.  In addition to his consulting background Nick has lectured at university and run a media production company. Anna Chesner, MA UKCP Anna is Co-director at the London Centre for Psychodrama Group and Individual Psychotherapy and registered as a Senior Trainer with the British Psychodrama Association (BPA).  She works in private practice in East London with individuals, couples and groups; and consults to Maudsley and King’s College Hospitals, in particular supporting work in the fields of personality disorders and palliative care within the NHS.  Anna is programme leader for the BPA accredited diploma in Creative Supervision.  An author with several publications to her name, she has written about her work with people with learning disabilities, about supervision and about creative advances in group work.  As well as her clinical work she is a leader, conductor and performer in Playback Theatre and an active member of London Playback Theatre. Dr Jane Pollock, BSc (Hons), PhD, MSc, CPsychol, AFBPsS Dr Jane Pollock is a Chartered Psychologist specialising in Occupational Psychology, and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.  She took her first degree at the University of Plymouth, during which she spent a year working with the military looking at personnel selection.  She also spent some time working with a team investigating Human Factors in aviation, and specifically speech intelligibility in noise.  Her PhD was completed jointly with the University of Cardiff and the Ministry of Defence, looking at cognitive processes and interface design.  After taking a teaching post, she completed a part-time Masters course in Occupational Psychology at the University of Bristol.  Following a career break, she took a teaching post at the University of Oxford and currently still contributes to specialist courses there whilst continuing with commercial projects. Andrew Edge, Dip, FIPD Andrew is HR Director of VolkerWessels UK, a leading European provider of construction and infrastructure services.  Andrew has 28 years’ experience working in HR.  He joined VolkerWessels UK from The Apollo Group where he was human resources director.  He also worked for Lend Lease leading their HR Shared Service Centre, supporting Europe, Middle East and Africa.  Andrew also has extensive experience working as a freelance HR consultant. Dom Raban Dom is the Managing Director of Corporation Pop, a creative and digital agency with a raft of UK clients including Channel 4, The Cream Group, Bench and EMI.  Dom has been running creative and design agencies for over 15 years, having started out designing and self-publishing punk fanzines and magazines.  From early work on websites, he built up knowledge in the area of 3D and animation, developed interactive kiosk games and worked on animated title sequences for all the major UK broadcasters.  He was a UK pioneer in 3D virtual environments.



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