The science behind ZeroPhobia

Rigorous research by scientists

Exposure therapy

ZeroPhobia is based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the gold standard for the treatment of phobias like fear of heights. Exposure, the key ingredient in CBT, means that a person gradually conquers his or her fear. ZeroPhobia uses gradual exposure in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), so that you can conquer your fear one step at a time. With ZeroPhobia you get the benefit of a full CBT-exposure treatment that you can follow on your own, in the comfort of your own home, and at your own pace.

Scientific research into ZeroPhobia

ZeroPhobia is developed by researchers and therapists who are committed to evidence-based treatment. Our applications are tested for effectiveness in rigorous clinical trials. Researchers from VU University Amsterdam have tested the effectiveness of our Fear of Heights treatment among 193 people in a randomized controlled trial. Participants in the study were randomly assigned to follow ZeroPhobia or to a waitlist control group. Fear of heights was assessed before the treatment and after three weeks. The results were published in JAMA Psychiatry and can be found here.

Our Fear of Flying treatment has been tested for effectiveness in a randomized controlled trial in 2020. Results of this research will be submitted for publication soon.


  • Donker, T., Fehribach, J. R., Van Klaveren, C., Cornelisz, I., Toffolo, M. B. J., Van Straten, A., & van Gelder, J. L. (2022). Automated mobile virtual reality cognitive behavior therapy for aviophobia in a natural setting: a randomized controlled trial, Psychological Medicine, 1-10.
  • Donker, T., Van Klaveren, C., Cornelisz, I., Kok, R. N., & Van Gelder, J. L. (2020). Analysis of usage data from a self-guided app-based virtual reality cognitive behavior therapy for acrophobia: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Medicine9(6), 1614.
  • Donker, T., Cornelisz, I., van Klaveren, C., et al. (2019). Effectiveness of Self-guided App-Based Virtual Reality Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Acrophobia: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 76(7), 682-690.


  • Donker, T., Van Esveld, S., Fischer, N., & Van Straten, A. (2018). 0Phobia–towards a virtual cure for acrophobia: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials19(1), 1-11.
  • Fehribach, J. R., Toffolo, M. B. J., Cornelisz, I., Van Klaveren, C., van Straten, A., van Gelder, J. L., & Donker, T. (2021). Virtual Reality Self-help Treatment for Aviophobia: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR research protocols, 10(4), e22008.

Fear of heights

Fear of flying

Fear of spiders