Betwixt - Ease Stress and Anxiety with an Epic Journey of Self-Discovery
Become the hero of an interactive story that leads to clarity, courage and self-insight.
Betwixt is an interactive fiction app that combines "choose-your-own-experience" gameplay with powerful psychological tools to make self-exploration epic.
- An immersive alternative to mindfulness and journaling.
- Travel through a dreamlike world, solve its secret and unravel the mysteries of your mind.
- An epic, evidence-based wellbeing game that`s entirely free to play.
Betwixt draws on compelling and therapeutic practice grounded in:
We daydream about 2,000 times per day, spinning stories about ourselves and the world. Social psychologist Timothy Wilson has shown that “story editing” - reframing the narratives we live by - is a powerful way to improve coping and overcome self-defeating thoughts and behaviours.
Betwixt helps people tell a better story about themselves by actively involving them in the construction of an alternative, more positive life narrative.
Journalling and Expressive Writing
Research over the past 20 years suggests that writing about difficult experiences for as little as 15 minutes over 3-5 days can have significant physical and psychological benefits, including improved mood, better subjective well-being, reduced depressive symptoms, less absenteeism from work, and fewer hospital visits.
Betwixt features a number of creative writing prompts to utilise the benefits of this evidence-based technique and to help you spot self-defeating patterns in your own behaviour.
Roleplay and Social Cognitive Theory
According to Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory, we are more likely to adopt a behaviour if it’s performed by similar others.
By identifying with your character in Betwixt, you get to learn and integrate the mental strategies that this character uses to survive the journey.
Research shows that the key to self-reflection is the ability to step back and observe your experiences from a distance. When you think about an upsetting event from a distanced perspective, you feel less victimised and distressed by it, while gaining better clarity and achieving closure.
Betwixt contains a number of techniques that create a safe remove from problems, allowing you to reflect on painful emotions in a way that helps you move past them.
A growing body of research has found that meditation can improve symptoms of anxiety, ruminative thinking, stress, chronic pain and others.
In Betwixt, you’ll find a number of guided meditations that will help you rest and relax, deepen your self-compassion and self-awareness, and consolidate the learnings from each game session.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
With a large evidence base behind it, CBT has been accepted as the gold standard psychological intervention for a number of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Despite its benefits, a lot of people find CBT work too much like “homework”.
Betwixt turns key CBT elements - trigger identification, cognitive restructuring, relaxation - into a seamless part of the magical world, making potentially boring techniques engaging.
Transactional Analysis (TA) is a form of psychoanalytic theory developed in the 1950s, which focuses on analysing social interactions. One of the key functions of TA is to identify ‘unconscious scripts’ — learned patterns of behaviour, thought and feeling — that hinder growth and autonomy.
Betwixt integrates processes designed to help you recognise — and rewrite — the scripts that prevent you from achieving your full potential, or from living a healthy, happy and connected life.
Positive Psychology is ‘the scientific study of what makes life worth living’ (Peterson, 2008). This approach encourages us to find and cultivate our strengths, rather than fixate on our weaknesses. Its aim is to get people to focus on building a better life, not on fixing problems.
Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a modern approach that draws on recent discoveries from evolutionary psychology, positive psychology and cognitive theory, and a broad range of therapeutic styles.
What differentiates Cognitive Hypnotherapy from more traditional styles of hypnotherapy is the recognition that the ‘trance state’ is neither rare nor unnatural, but rather an everyday experience and a key part of how the mind learns. This means that any time you find yourself fully involved in an experience, you can make a meaningful difference to your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Betwixt uses story and interactivity to create the engagement necessary for change in the areas that are most important to you.
Betwixt features elements of Positive Psychology that help you discover the things that bring you joy, happiness, connection and purpose.
The greatest journey is the journey in
The world of the In-Between (Betwixt’s magical landscape) is personal to you – it responds to your thoughts, ignites your imagination and guides you to unique insights. You already have the answers. It’s time to unlock them.
Betwixt harnesses the insights of the best mental health scholarship and practice to create a fantastical space of interactive storytelling, a space which enhances users’ reflective capacities and sense of agency – a necessity for mental-health wellbeing in the twenty-first century.
- Dr Emily Spiers, Senior Lecturer in Creative Futures at Lancaster University
A fantasy escape with real-life impact
Unlike most mental health apps, Betwixt is backed by rigorous research. An independent study (pending publication) found that playing for two weeks can reduce anxiety and stress from moderate to normal levels – equivalent to 8 weeks of daily meditation with one of the most popular apps on the market.
Betwixt is captivating, lovely to use, and represents a new direction in mental health care.
- Ben Marshall FRSA, former UK National Health Service Strategy Advisor
A research-based experience. A unique approach combining story and play that strengthens focus and attention.
The app has been developed over the course of three years in collaboration with users, mental health professionals, researchers, designers, writers and human-computer interaction experts. Unlike most mental health and wellness apps (and even wearables), we’re continually investing in high-quality research.
Below is a glimpse into the completed and ongoing studies on Betwixt:
Dr Sarah Harmon (AI creativity researcher) highlights Betwixt’s difference from other interactive tools focused on mental wellbeing
Dr Charlie Hargood, Dr Lyle Skains and Dr Sofia Kitromili analysed the experience of 24 Betwixt users, using in-depth interviews
Betwixt is brilliant. It draws you in and before you know it, time has passed and it takes you away into its story.
- Lizzie Tolley, UK National Health Service