Soldiers returning from the war in Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been big news for the past few years. The military has promised increased services for returning vets, and the VA hospitals are seeing increasing PTSD cases. Interestingly, some psychologists are using virtual reality computer modeling to help treat PTSD for some of the most severe cases.
The psychologists work with computer technicians to create a realistic scenario that the solider may have experienced (even down to the smells!) and then use various counseling techniques to help the person become calm and understand the experience in a new way. The same technology can be used to help treat a wide range of phobias and other stressful situations. I think this is an amazing way to incorporate technological advances into mental health services, and appears to hold a lot of promise.