Executive Director, Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., MBA, BCIA serves as Executive Director of the Virtual Reality Medical Center (VRMC), a professional medical corporation with offices in San Diego and Los Angeles, California; and as Chief Executive Officer of the Interactive Media Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the application of advanced technologies for patient care. She is also a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSD. Dr. Wiederhold is a licensed clinical psychologist and has a doctorate in Clinical Health Psychology, as well as national certification in both biofeedback and neurofeedback. She serves on the editorial board of CyberPsychology & Behavior Journal and is recognized as a national and international leader in the treatment of anxiety, panic, and phobias with virtual reality exposure and cognitive-behavioral therapy, having completed over 3,000 VR therapy sessions. VRMC offers comprehensive programs to treat fear of flying, driving, public speaking, heights, claustrophobia, panic disorder and agoraphobia, social phobia, and eating disorders. Prior to entering the field of psychology, Dr. Wiederhold completed a Masters in Business Administration, and has ten years experience as a chief financial officer of a management consulting firm, and served in civil service as head of internal audit for the government. She currently is completing her third book and has over 50 publications.
Dr. Wiederhold also serves as Chief Executive Officer of VRHealth, an international company with offices in San Diego and Milan, Italy. VRHealth develops virtual environments and clinical protocols as well as conducting clinical research studies using virtual environments and Internet-based worlds.
Clinical Psychologist, Kathy Vandenburgh, Ph.D. has an M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. She has been working in the field for 15 years, maintaining a private practice as well as acting as an assessment consultant and Director of Education for other offices. Dr. Vandenburgh's specialties are stress reduction, anxiety disorders, physiological monitoring, and health psychology, and she is excited to be using virtual reality to aid in treatment. Dr. Vandenburgh is available to treat children, adolescents, and adults at the San Diego clinic.
Clinical Psychologist , Nevin Lantz, Ph.D. is licensed by the California Board of Psychology as a clinical psychologist, (PSY 7088). He completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology, Alameda, California in 1979. He brings over 25 years of clinical experience to his work at the Virtual Reality Medical Clinic in Palo Alto. Following a postdoctoral internship with Alameda County Mental Health Services he was a member of the Psychiatric Staff at Highland Hospital, Oakland, CA for four years. In 1982 he co-founded Acalanes Psychotherapy Associates in Walnut Creek, CA, a group practice dedicated to marriage, family and child counseling. In the late eighties he consulted to the Cognitive Sciences Laboratory at SRI International formerly Stanford Research Institute and began a private practice specializing in depression, anger management and anxiety disorders. Dr. Lantz has done postgraduate training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) with one of the founders, John Grinder, is a licensee of The Highlands Program, an education, career and life planning process and recently completed training as an “Authentic Happiness Coach” with Dr. Martin Seligman, internationally recognized for his work with learned helplessness and learned optimism. He is the consummate generalist with psychological interests in happiness, optimism, creativity, optimal human function and wisdom, and outside psychology in the areas of philosophy, aviation, woodworking, travel, music, camping, politics, alternative energy and technology. His work at the Virtual Reality Medical Center brings together a diversity of interests, education, experience and clinical practice.
Medical Director, William H. Rickles, M.D. did a postgraduate degree in Neurophysiology at Baylor School of Medicine and obtained his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He took his in training in Psychiatry at UCLA and stayed on at the Department of Psychiatry as Chief of the Clinical Psychophysiology Research Laboratory. Dr. Rickles' early laboratory research and resulting publications concerned neurophysiology of schizophrenia, psychophysiology, migraine, marijuana and biofeedback therapy of stress related disorders. His interest in psychotherapy integration has produced lectures and paper regarding psychoanalytic object relations, self psychology, and physiological monitoring of stress reduction training. Dr. Rickles is a member of the clinical faculty in the Dept. of Psychiatry at the UCLA Center for Health Sciences and teaches at psychotherapy training programs in the Los Angeles area. His current interest and practice is in integrating treatment methods including Virtual Reality Immersion Therapy, Biofeedback, Medication and Dynamic Psychotherapy.