The first iteration of The House of Alternate Realities design template (below) utilised user-centred design techniques to investigate how to deliver immersive and interactive digital documentaries that can conquer even a traditionalist audience, delivering vital insights into their motivations, perceptions and behaviour.  The first R&D 360 prototypes of "Take Me Home" were supported by an Innovate UK Audience of the Future feasibility study .


We created this short animation, part of a 360 film in the making, "Take Me Home" to put the story into context. 


Re-Attachment Therapy

  3D Avatar representation     Original photo

Healing the trauma of the past with the technology of the future 

Re-Attachment Therapy uses immersive technology to enhance existing psychotherapeutic techniques used to heal childhood trauma. The aim is to accelerate the process of connecting to your “inner-child” in therapy which currently relies on the client’s imagination. This project will create an avatar representation of the client’s child-self to help enable this commonly used psychotherapeutic technique.

We are currently looking for a team to help with crowdfunding to support further Re-Attachment Therapy prototypes. See "Help Needed" section below.

Keywords: #Tech4good #VR #Interdisciplinary #Research

Our first prototype "Dialoguing with your Inner Child in VR" is set in Nick Duffell's actual therapy room.

The 3D avatar figure has been placed in the virtual reality scene. 

The avatar was constructed using the client's own 2D photographs and converted into a 3 dimensional model.

The process of making this first prototype has led to further research questions: 
What level of realism is required for the avatars? (Stylised vs photo-realistic)
Do the avatars need to be personalised and to what level?
Does the therapist need to be present in the virtual environment?
What tools do we need to make this a scalable proposition?

The Team

Juliet Brown is a documentary filmmaker and lecturer. The  House of Alternate Realities project began in 2018 after receiving an Innovate UK Audience of the Future Award.  Her previous film, Ecocide, premiered at Sheffield Doc Fest in the Green Award category and her NFTS graduation film, Noah’s Canoe was shortlisted for the RTS Post-Graduate Factual award. The House of Alternate Realities is part of PhD by Film Practice project in UCL's Anthropology department.

Psychotherapist and author Nick Duffell has joined the team as an Honorary Research Fellow and leads the researchpsychotherapy groups. His first book, ‘The Making of Them: the British Attitude to Children and the Boarding School System’ received wide critical acclaim. Here he set out his pioneering research in group therapy with ‘boarding school survivors,’ as he provocatively named adult ex-boarders.  His recent books include ‘Wounded Leaders: British Elitism and the Entitlement Illusion – a Psychohistory,’ 2014, and ‘The Simpol Solution: solving global problems could be easier than we think’ with John Bunzl. He contributed chapters to ‘The Political Self,’ (Karnac 2016) and to ‘Humanistic Psychology: Current Trends, Future Prospects’, (Routledge 2017).        

Leon Lewington  is a composer, sound designer and guitarist. His practice examines individual and collective experiences that are unheard, silenced, hidden or liminal with a primary focus on issues related to hierarchical systems, authorship and control. He has a special interest in spatial audio, including binaural and VR, sonic and sensory ethnography, psychology and phenomenology.

Riitta Hakkarainen is a multi-disciplinary artist, designer and animatorwith a background in set design and art direction in cinema and theatre. Her work uses the medium of theatricality to create environments that explore aspects of the human condition.


We want to put together a team to help with funding proposals and  specifically  to support further Re-Attachment Therapy avatar prototypes.

The type of avatar depicted here takes time to make and for each client we need to collaborate with a computer scientist and an artist. We also need to experiment with how virtual and augmented reality alters the experience for the client.

Any thoughts on fund raising for this #tech4good project, finding suitable grants, crowdfunding ideas... all are welcome!


Many thanks!



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