When we set out to make this film we wanted to capture how VR can be used for good. One of the applications that became paramount to us was its use for PTSD treatment. Through our connections with Skip Rizzo we were linked up with a Desert Storm and Iraq war Veteran, Sergeant Chris Merkle.
Chris is one of the most genuine people that I’ve ever met. He immediately brings you in with his wonderful disposition on life. Its hard to believe that he is dealing with all sorts of demons.
We started off our day with Chris by meeting him at the Long Beach VA where he spoke to a group of new hires about his experiences and receiving treatment through VR. Click here to learn more about VR Exposure Therapy.
The first thing I noticed about Chris was how well he could articulate his symptoms and how open he was about what he’s dealing with. He openly credits his VR therapy for his ability to speak about PTSD. He now spends a lot of his time working with other veterans, trying to help them deal with their PTSD and possibly try out VR Exposure Therapy.
After filming at the VA we drove over to the USC Institute for Creative Technologies where Chris and Skip showed us a typical therapy session.
After the therapy session we sat down with Chris for one of the most intense interviews I’ve ever filmed. Chris described in great detail what he went through during his tours and what he deals with on a daily basis with his PTSD.