Benoit Veilleux Client Case Study

Pioneering Innovation: Unraveling the Therapeutic Potential of VR with Amelia 

Meet Benoit Veuilleux: Social Worker and Founder of Better You Counselling Services 

With 32 years of counseling experience, Benoit Veuilleux is a seasoned social worker with a passion for innovative therapeutic approaches. He is the founder of Better You Counselling Services in Cornwall, Ontario where he sees clients struggling with a range of concerns.  

In addition to his role as a social worker, Benoit is also a professor, sharing his expertise as a full-time college professor at St. Lawrence College in Cornwall. 

The Challenge of Treating Clients Before VR 

Before using virtual reality in his practice, Veilleux found it difficult to help many of his clients whether they were experiencing anxiety, phobias, or other struggles in their lives. 

Veilleux believes that clients need to be exposed to their stressors, but within a context that is supportive and effective.  

“It always made sense for me to expose people to their stressors. I remember… using YouTube clips to expose people to certain stressors, providing them with an image. Or I would work with athletes, and I would simulate the sound of a crowd or the sound of judges talking about their performances. I would talk to people presenting with phobias, creating sounds in my office of a plane taking off, or asking people to get up on a step ladder to recreate the fear of heights and those sorts of things.  

Without the right tool for his practice, Veilleux had to get creative to create simulated environments for his clients to face their stressors. 

“I always believed there should be something that exists where people are exposed in a way that they can recreate in the context of an office. To minimize the cost, obviously, but also to maximize the level of effectiveness of those therapies” 

Choosing Amelia by XRHealth for Veilleux’s Practice 

The absence of a dedicated tool for exposure therapy led Veilleux to search for an innovative solution that could provide a more efficient, immediate, and affordable approach. This search ultimately brought him to the world of virtual reality (VR) therapy and, specifically, to the Amelia by XRHealth platform. 

“I was extremely excited to see that this product existed and from that point on, I started being a real adopter of it.” 

One of the biggest reasons he chose to work with XRHealth was due to the breadth and customization capabilities of the platform. And the training that XRHealth offers helped him unleash the full potential of VR therapy within his practice. 

How Veilleux Incorporates VR in His Day-to-Day Practice 

Veilleux runs a general practice, seeing clients of all ages with various presenting situations or conditions. So, while he helps expose people to things like phobias, it is not the only type of treatment he and his team offer at Better You Counselling Services.  

“We find ourselves using VR not only to expose people to environments that would create phobias, but we also use VR to teach other approaches that we think are pivotal in learning how to self-regulate. So, we teach mindfulness using VR. We teach relaxation techniques. We teach a lot of self-instructions, techniques, mental restructuring. So, we’re trying to use the VR not only in a way that we expose clients to stressors, but also to strategies as well.” 

Treating Clients with VR Therapy 

Now, with VR therapy, the challenges of treating clients have transformed into opportunities. Benoit no longer needs to rely solely on creative yet manual methods to expose clients to their stressors. The VR environments allow him to bring clients into simulated realities in the safety of his office, providing immediate support and an enhanced level of effectiveness.  

As Benoit shares, “What Amelia did for me was to bring the context of intervention here in my office in an affordable way and being also able to provide immediate support to the client, which I think leads the client into buying into the therapy.”  

VR therapy with Amelia has become the missing piece in the puzzle, offering a supportive and effective context for exposure therapy that was previously challenging to achieve.  

“From a practitioner’s point of view, I can tell you that when I know I’m going to be practicing VR today, I’m excited. I’m excited about using this tool. I’m excited about presenting it to the clients, seeing their reaction, finding themselves exposed to their stressors and being able to take the goggles off and feel like they were able to mentally restructure their thoughts and their beliefs over what triggered them before, and feeling like they can experience some sort of deactivation or habituation from their stressors. So, I think in all aspects, this is definitely some of the ways we believe that our business here and the clients that are seeing us have benefited from Amelia.” 

And he has seen his client outcomes and satisfaction improve immensely. 

“For sure, we feel we have been more efficient. We have clients that are leaving our office very satisfied with the services they’ve obtained from us.” 

How Veilleux’s Clients Feel About VR 

“Using VR has not only been positive and fun for us as counselors, but clients also really enjoy it.” 

Some of the greatest success he has seen with clients is working with those who were initially reluctant to come into therapy 

“Speaking to a stranger about your personal stuff does not sound super appealing at first, right? But the idea of working with VR is attractive and curiosity comes in and all of a sudden there’s a buy into the process. And a lot of my success with VR has also been with clients that were reluctant to come to therapy.” 

Embracing Innovation and Attracting New Talent 

Veilleux began using VR on his own, within his private practice. When he founded Better You Counselling Services, he attracted counselors who, while lacking prior experience with VR therapy, shared his enthusiasm for embracing new and effective modalities. 

He’s brought his expertise in VR therapy to other therapists, attracting top talent to his team at Better You Counselling Services.  

“And it became very evident at that point that one set of goggles was not enough for us. So, we purchased another account. And now what we do is we’re able to have multiple clients and multiple counselors using the product to assist us in practicing counseling.” 

In addition to helping Veilleux better meet the needs of his clients, virtual reality has allowed him to expand his business to where it is today.  

The Benefits of Working with a Versatile Platform 

Amelia by XRHealth offers over 100 different environments, with different configurations. Many environments and modules are created with specific conditions in mind, but are not limited to these.  

Therapists like Benoit Veilleux often leverage the versatility of the platform to tailor interventions according to the unique needs of their clients. 

“We’re starting to be a little more creative with it. At the beginning, you’re thinking, okay, a bar scene environment is for people dealing with addictions. Well, in reality, if you start working with the equipment and thinking outside the box, then this is a social gathering. So, it’s an excellent environment for people dealing with social anxiety, for instance.” 

He also mentions how the school environments can be used for much more than treating test anxiety or academic struggles. He uses these environments to help his clients on the Autism spectrum learn to regulate themselves. 

“The way we have used the equipment in our practice is really first to teach ourselves the power of the environment, share amongst ourselves our different best practices, and expand on what the potential of this equipment can be for us.” 

Interested in Using VR in Your Practice? 

Overcoming the challenges of traditional exposure therapy, Amelia by XRHealth not only provided an efficient and immediate solution but also became a catalyst for creativity and innovation in mental health treatment.  

With a versatile platform offering diverse environments, Veilleux not only improved client outcomes, but also expanded his practice, showcasing the transformative power of embracing cutting-edge modalities in the field of counseling. 

Learn more about Benoit Veilleux and Better You Counseling Services at their website, Facebook, and Instagram pages.  


Interested in exploring how VR can fit into your practice?  

Book a call with a VR Specialist to learn more.