Comments: 190 • Responses: 21  • Date: 

Gemmabeta223 karma

Master Practitioner of Cognitive Hypnotherapy and Clinical Hypnosis

Which university offers that degree?

EDIT: I would like to point that her "diploma" takes all of 20-days to attain.


HazelGale5 karma

That's a very misleading addition to your original comment. The diploma you're talking about takes 11 months to obtain. The onsite work happens once a month, but between those classes, the students have to carry out the practical work, reading and coursework. You can't learn therapy in a classroom. That's not how it works.

HazelGale-39 karma

My university degree -- gained a very long time ago -- was in the arts. I spent three years studying for these qualifications in my 30's (at the Quest Institute and The Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy).

mrcow85 karma

Do you have any examples of struggles that someone might be going through, where they might benefit from playing Betwixt?

HazelGale208 karma

Great question. We have intentionally kept the game itself free of mentions of specific diagnoses because we want it to apply to people who struggle with all the usual human stickiness, regardless of whether they've been given a name for it by a doctor or therapist. The most common problems people tackle are anxiety-related issues (social anxiety, etc), low-level depression, low self-esteem, bad habits, etc.

Ohiolongboard24 karma

Have no idea why you got downvoted for this answe but thank you! I just signed up

HazelGale69 karma

Ha ha! Yeah, I think I accidentally made an enemy or two here. The joys of Reddit?

I hope you enjoy the game!

dazedan_confused41 karma

How does hypnosis and hypnotherapy work?

HazelGale35 karma

This is a big, big question! I don't think neuroscience has the answer yet (although countless studies have suggested that hypnotic suggestion does have an effect).

I see hypnotherapy as effective communication. Nothing more than that. Just a conversation. Most clients come to the therapy room feeling split -- they know one thing to be true, but feel something else. What we aim to do is to connect conscious understanding with unconscious reactions by discussing the issue, raising self-awareness and finding ways to communicate something new at the unconscious level. This can be done in many ways, but the most powerful, in my mind, involve creative imagery imagined by the client themselves. Ultimately, they have the answers already, it's just about training themselves to remember and use that information.

Note: I should add that this game is not a Hypnotherapy game.

ostrich-scalp-27 karma

If you were familiar with the scientific method, you would know there is no such thing as "proof."

That being said, please would you provide some sources to these studies "proving" the efficacy of hypnotic suggestion, in your particular domain of hypnotherapy.

And please would you answer my question, do you actually believe in the pseudoscience you are trying to make a profit off of?

HazelGale35 karma

Yes, I’m sorry. That was very sloppy texting. I shouldn’t have used the word “proven”.

But I absolutely do believe in my style of therapy, yes. I think most critics of hypnotherapy just think we’re claiming to do something we’re not. I don’t believe people can be brainwashed or forced to do anything by a therapist, and I wouldn’t want to be in the field if that was our aim. We help people to recognise their emotions and thought processes, and build better patterns of behaviour (often through repeated visualisation of the desired behaviour, which has been shows to be effective in lots of studies, but I don’t have the time to dig them out, I’m afraid!)

Metalmom061721 karma

Why did you decide to create Betwixt as a mobile game as opposed to using other mediums?

HazelGale27 karma

Because we wanted it to be accessible, really. Part of our motivation was to create a way for people to learn and access mental resilience tools easily. Our target audience is not people with a mental health diagnosis or serious issue, but anyone who wants to improve self-awareness and emotional resilience. For this to happen, the information needs to be at our fingertips whenever we have a spare ten minutes. Mobile apps are the perfect medium for that.

Metalmom06171 karma

That's really cool!

HazelGale6 karma

Thank you! We’re absolutely loving the work.

MrMcBuns17 karma

What was your boxing experience like? I can't seem to find any footage of amatuer or pro bouts with your name.

HazelGale12 karma

I only boxed and kickboxed at the amateur level, and it was a long time ago (before we posted absolutely everything online, and before many women were going pro, too). There is some footage around, but nothing great, if I’m honest. I preferred to keep it private at the time because I was never happy with a bout! I won two ABA national titles in boxing, two ISKA world titles in kickboxing and a European title in kickboxing.

Jak_ratz12 karma

How would one translate the impact of this app/game to reality? In other words, what would motivate the player to apply what they may have learned to their own lives?

HazelGale-24 karma

Another great question. As a therapist, I think getting people to remember what they learn/realise in sessions is the hardest and most important part of my job.

With the game, there are a number of ways for the work to translate. Most of the tools in the narrative encourage people to work on a real-life issue, which makes the techniques easier to contextualise. We also have guided meditations that serve as reminders of key topics/tools. These can be used between periods of play (they're lovely to relax with) and help people to properly embed the most useful ideas. We're also in the process of setting up notification emails (optional), which we can send to players at key points in their progress to generate live prompts throughout the day. Finally, we repeat the most important processes a number of times over the game in order to, again, help them embed and remember the tools they're learning.

geppetto12310 karma

Is the game still in development or what can one expect with signing up?

HazelGale7 karma

Yes, it's still in development. We've been testing and iterating constantly over the past year, but there's always more to do. Thankfully, the people trialling the game have been fantastic, and their feedback has shaped the user experience and narrative immensely.

So, you can expect something that isn't yet polished in terms of tech, that's for sure! The narrative is polished, however!

the_twilight_bard5 karma

Hi Hazel-- I'm interested in your experience with athletes. For instance in fighting, there are a lot of athletes with mental blocks-- in the gym they can perform, but under the bright lights they tend to freeze or get gun-shy. Is there a universal approach to this that hypnotherapy suggests, or is that a unique issue to each athlete with a unique approach? Are there limitation to sport psychology where you think hypnotherapy just can't handle a given issue?

HazelGale2 karma

Oh, I’d never claim that hypnotherapy (or any therapy) can help everyone/anyone. It’s all completely unique to the individual. Some will make a massive difference to their performance, while others will struggle to see a change. Most of the improvements come down to an increase in self-awareness, emotional self-awareness and hard work on the part of the client to change thought patterns and behaviour.

DrozdMensch5 karma

Are there some technics to struggle impulsivity and lack of concentration except drugs?

HazelGale2 karma

We don't tackle this directly in the game, but the guided meditations and journaling tasks included can be helpful ways to relax your mind, let go of inner chatter and focus for a period of time on one thing. I create similar audio recordings for my clients, and a number of people have used them as a part of their working routine (authors listen before they start writing, for example). Also, as these recordings have constant information being delivered, they're much easier for those who battle with sustained focus than something like mindfulness, which involves a lot of silence. That said, mindfulness can be amazing if you create a practice.

Sonoshitthereiwas3 karma

This sounds similar to the game inside Ender’s Game. Did this or any other fictional work inspire the creation of this game-therapy?

HazelGale7 karma

I actually haven't read (or seen) Enders Game. Perhaps I should? We haven't consciously modelled Betwixt on any book in particular, but of course, there are many influences. In terms of games, LifeLine was our biggest inspiration (this is a text-based game built originally for the iWatch, where you save an astronaut who's crash-landed on an alien planet. It's beautifully simple and very effective). Incredibly, three different testers so far have likened the story to Lord of the Rings in feel. This, we've taken as a major compliment, and it's our writer who should take the credit there (Natalia Theodoridou).

DoomGoober2 karma

Do you have any favorite books or research about games and psychology? Have you read McGonigal's SuperBetter? What did you think?

HazelGale3 karma

Yes, I’ve read SuperBetter. My fave book on games and mental health, though, is Lost in a Good Game by Dr Pete Etchells. It’s not much like SuperBetter, but it’s wonderful.

zargkb1 karma

Do you have any thoughts on meta cognitive therapy? I’ve only just learned about it, but it seems like a breakthrough.

HazelGale8 karma

Yes, I agree. I think it looks very promising!

Slee421 karma

What is your favourite book and how did it influence you?

HazelGale11 karma

This is cliched, but Brene Brown's work (any of her books) would probably be my pick. It's not about the information she delivers so much, (although it is fantastic) but the way she delivers it. Brown created a whole new perspective on shame by explaining the theory you'd learn from a psychology text in a human, relatable way.

My other fave is Visual Intelligence by Dr Donald Hofman. If you're interested in perception, read that!

mrcow0 karma

What was it that caused you to try cognitive hypnotherapy, rather than some other discipline, both to help you with your struggles as a boxer, and also to practice as a therapist?

HazelGale8 karma

I tried a lot of things before I came across cognitive hypnotherapy. At that time, I was striking therapy styles off when they didn't take immediate effect, believing they just didn't work. But I know better than that now. I wasn't *allowing* anything to help, stubbornly believing that I wasn't doing anything wrong, so someone else had to fix me. What I needed was to get involved in the therapy process, and cognitive hypnotherapy made this possible. I like creativity and logic in equal measure. This is what I found with my therapist, and so I stuck with it.

After that, of course, it was the change cog hyp made to my life that inspired me to train up.

mrcow1 karma

A follow on question: how would someone determine whether cognitive hypnotherapy was worth trying for themselves?

HazelGale3 karma

I think the individual therapist is more important than the therapy style. For anyone looking for help, I’d suggest researching therapists in their area from a number of different styles and seeing which one they feel a strongest sense of connection with.

emazur-22 karma

1) On the topic of personal development, Dr. Dennis Waitley in his book "The Psychology of Winning" (which I'm rereading now) stated that 'winners expect to win' and constantly provide themselves with positive self-reinforcing messages. How important was this to you during during kickboxing and boxing days?

2) He was also very much against victimhood culture and pro self-responsibility. It seems fashionable these days to blame racism or to blame the rich or this or that instead of focusing of self improvement. Paraphrasing something I read on twitter: "the main benefit from my 'white privilege' is that that I don't have the media constantly telling me I'm a victim". Thoughts?

HazelGale14 karma

I have a slightly different opinion on the self-talk of winners, actually. While I agree that "I'm going to win" is a better internal message to "I'm going to tank", focusing so exclusively on the outcome can be a dangerous thing. It can limit the athlete (or anyone) to a binary perspective on their game: I either win or I lose. I believe there's a lot more to any sport than performance and outcome, and we should focus on the other stuff (what we enjoy, where we can challenge ourselves, what we can learn, what excites us, etc.). I burned out as a fighter, and a large part of the cause was my tunnel-vision focus on success. The irony was that if you'd asked me, I would have told you that I had my PMA nailed. I thought about winning all the time. And I usually won. It's just that this mindset meant I neglected my health, relationships and overall fulfilment in order to get those medals (which, I should add, I didn't enjoy, precisely because of that thinking).

Ellie_D-25 karma

What kinds of therapy and techniques are in the game?

HazelGale-5 karma

There's a lot! We didn't want to limit ourselves to a single field of practice, so we sourced tools and theory from Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Positive Psychology, Transactional Analysis, Cognitive Hypnotherapy, and Jungian theory, and then combined those things with storytelling, expressive writing (journaling), self-distancing and guided meditation.