Helping Raise Awareness of Hypnosis

 

Some guidance on websites and links from Mat Whalley

The internet is now one of the primary means by which people find information. In order for people to find BSCAH rather than lay hypnosis organisations it is important that BSCAH ranks highly in search engine results when people search for ´hypnosis organisation´ or hypnosis training´.

The way that search engines rank results is in terms of popularity. A website is deemed popular if lots of other websites link to it. BSCAH is at a disadvantage to lay organisations because lay hypnotherapists tend to work privately and to use the internet to increase business – on their websites they provide links to the lay organisations. In order to raise the profile of BSCAH it is important that it gets incoming links, and one way of doing that is for members to build their own websites with links pointing to BSCAH.

Building a simple personal website is easy and you can do it online for free through many different providers. Here are the addresses of some providers:
http://sites.google.com/
http://www.moonfruit.com
http://www.webs.com/

To build a website all you have to do is to create an account with any of these providers, then follow their instructions to build a site. You won´t have to do any complicated programming, you can simply use a template to design the look of your site. Then all you have to do is to type in what you want to say.

It will help BSCAH if you provide a link to the address of the BSCAH website (www.bscah.com). You can make any text on your site into a link, but it will help additionally if you choose phrases like ´professional hypnosis society´ or ´hypnosis training´ and make these links.

Once you have built your site it helps if you let search engines know that it exists. You can easily submit the address of your new site to search engines here:
www.google.com/addurl/
www.bing.com/webmaster/SubmitSitePage.aspx
http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html

As an extra, links to BSCAH placed on NHS, university, or news websites are especially valuable since search engines weight these links more highly.

Helping publicise hypnosis and BSCAH through talks and presentations

Many members are asked to give talks to other professional societies or to work colleagues. This is a great way to spread information about hypnosis and Foundation training with BSCAH. We have some BSCAH PowerPoint slides describing what BSCAH has to offer that can be downloaded here and included in your presentation, in part or in its entirety, as you wish.

Please contact National Office if you need any training leaflets or fliers. We currently have leaflets describing the Foundation Training and the Diploma and fliers for the three one day workshops BSCAH is offering on request: Advanced Clinical Communication in the Management of Pain, of Functional Disorders and Non Pharmacological Interventions in Primary Care. These fliers can also be downloaded via the Training page on the website.

If you have any ideas or queries please contact our Communications Officer (currently Jane Boissiere) on admin@bscah.com

Volunteering to be on the presenters list
We already have several members who are willing to be called upon to help deliver the one day workshops Advanced Clinical Communication in the Management of Pain, of Functional Disorders and Non Pharmacological Interventions in Primary Care but we are always very happy to expand the list – many hands make light work! Usually each one day would be run by two members who would each be paid their expenses and £200 a day honorarium. If you are interested in joining the active list please contact one of the Communications team: Maureen at tilford.maureen@gmail.com  Jane at admin@bscah.com  Jean at emailjeanrogerson@gmail.com or Ann at ann@annwilliamson.co.uk
Giving a presentation or helping on a BSCAH publicity stand at a conference
BSCAH sometimes pays to have a stand in a conference exhibition. We have done this at the RCGP, the Pain Society and the Palliative Care conference. BSCAH will pay your expenses so if you have a little spare time and would like to help in this way please contact Maureen at tilford.maureen@gmail.com Even better is to offer to give a presentation in the conference programme and if this is accepted BSCAH may pay your conference fee so long as BSCAH is promoted.
Preparing and Presenting a Poster at a Conference by Duncan Shrewsbury

Conference posters are a fantastic way of exhibiting your research and is usually used as a medium to show works either in their earlier stages of progress or that themselves do not constitute a publication. A conference will usually put out a ‘Call for Abstracts’ up to a year in advance. This is often advertised on their website, but may also appear in journals, newsletters and email bulletins- keep your eyes peeled and make a note of the deadlines. Due to the amount of organisation and preparation that is required, abstract deadlines are usually 6 months or so before the actual conference date. When preparing your abstract, use the simple headings below, which can also be used to structure your poster. Remember, abstracts are often restricted to anywhere between 250 and 450 words.

Concise and relevant title: The audience will usually have a conference programme or directory of abstracts. Your title needs to say what your poster is about whilst being catchy, interesting and not too long! Some researchers use puns or gimmicks in their titles - if it raises a smile, it will raise interest... but don’t let this distract from the message. Also, avoid using colons or semi colons in your title. Where you find these being used, it is usually because the title is too long.

Introduction and background: This sets the scene for your work, explaining why it is important and gives the readers a brief overview of what is already known (it is important to cite references and list references somewhere on your poster).

Aims and objectives: In order to be able to show how your poster answers a question, you have to pose a question in the first place. Your aims and objectives should illustrate your research question. Your question should be stated positively, concisely and be specific. For instance “Does hypnosis reduce nail-biting?” is not specific enough, and is not stated as a hypothesis. However, “A specific hypnotic intervention reduces the frequency of nail biting in teenagers” is specific, is stated as a hypothesis (positively) and can then be broken down into your aims. Aims of this study include designing a specific hypnotic intervention to relieve nail biting, to measure the efficacy and feasibility of this intervention in a specific population.

Methods: this should include detail of the type of study you are reporting, such as a randomised cross-over study. You should also detail any ethical considerations (and approval where necessary), confidentiality, and consent, population size and sampling methods, and details of any randomisation. How did you collect data, who collected it and how did you analyse it?

Results: This section should have eye-catching graphs, tables and figures to emphasise and demonstrate your findings. With qualitative studies (where the data is mostly spoken words and opinions etc) try to come up with a way of displaying the information in a visually appealing way. Remember that the majority of people decide whether or not to read a poster and approach the presenter based on the first impressions.

Conclusion or discussion points and next steps: This section allows you to draw attention to the importance of your results and what it means. You may be able to make some (tentative) recommendations and explore the strengths and weaknesses of your work by exploring what else needs to be done in future work.

Layout: Now, this is both tricky and very personal. There is no one right way to do it... but there are plenty of wrong ways to lay out a poster. Information should be displayed so that it is easy to read (i.e. not text-heavy, carefully selected colours and font and font-size) as well as easy to follow. This means that the information should follow a logical order and that your poster has ‘signposts’. Simple, but many forget, to use subheadings (like the ones above) and use coloured text-boxes to differentiate between sections. Some conferences will specify dimensions and orientation of posters, but the majority tend to require A0 sized posters, in a portrait orientation. A minimum font size of 18 ought to be used for this size poster but realistically, someone should be able to read the poster from a couple of meters away (without squinting!).

Figure 1: Methods and results section of a conference poster. The two different sections have different background colours and use flow charts to show information to break up the text.

Colours: This is a double-edged sword. Colours can serve to guide the reader, divide sections of your poster, highlight important information and add to the overall visual appeal of the poster. However, indiscriminate use of inappropriate colouring can achieve the complete opposite, confusing the reader, distracting from pertinent information and making the poster look more like a colour chart for cheap paint.

In figures 1 and 2, the results section is divided into two columns in order to fit in all of the information. However, to guide the reader, the background colour has been kept the same. Also, note how there is text, but this is broken up by the use of other graphical representations of the data. The methods section has also used a flow-chart to show the relevant information whilst breaking up the amount of text.

Figure 2: Results section (continued in a different column) of a conference poster. The reader is guided by the continued use of the same colour for the background as the initial part of the results section. 

What not to do:
• Have too much text, or have huge unbroken blocks of text or too small font
• Busy and crowded
• Bright colours
• Poorly contrasting colours
• Not having a concise message
• Forgetting acknowledgements, affiliations, contact details, sources of funding and reference