Developing a Compassionate Voice as a Step Toward Living With Voices


I’ve previously written about the possible role of compassion focused therapy in helping people relate better to problematic voices, in my posts Could compassionate self talk replace hostile voices?Feed Your Demons!, and A Paradox: Is Our System for Responding to Threats Itself a Threat?

I’m happy to see more interest being taken in this kind of approach, and a video has just become available which, in 5 minutes, very coherently explains how a compassion focused approach can completely transform a person’s relationship with their voices and so transform the person’s life!

The video is an animation developed by Charlie Heriot-Maitland working with Eleanor Longden and Rufus May who do the voiceovers.  Check it out, let me know what you think:

(You can also go straight to and give feedback to the people who made the video.)


  1. Personally, I had the evil “voices” of the people who abused my children created in my head via the central symptoms of neuroleptic induced anticholinergic intoxication syndrome. I did find pointing out their inanity and / or ignoring them to be the best approach.

    And after I’d been weaned off the antipsychotics which were causing the evil “voices,” and suffered from a super sensitivity manic psychosis, I did get the “voices” of “everyone else” in my head for one day. I explained to the “voices” that I could not function that way so they could only speak when they all agreed to say the exact same thing at the exact same time – this may be something to recommend to other voice hearers. Since I never heard from them again, unless of course you consider an inner voice of common sense and reason “voices.”

    Truly, the psychiatrists who believe “voices” are not relevant to a person’s real life are incorrect. And the neuroleptics can and do cause psychosis and “voices” in at least a percentage of the population, both when on the drugs (anticholinergic intoxication syndrome) and after being weaned from the neuroleptics (super sensitivity manic psychosis).

    I do so hope the psychiatric industry will some day acknowledge this reality and all within that industry will change their ways and start treating all other human beings in a respectable manner instead. Thank you for pointing out the importance of compassion within the so called healing profession.

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    • Yes, we really need to recognize that each individual responds uniquely, and the same drugs that suppress voices for some people will make others start hearing them. And also that suppressing voices may not be the best idea, if they really are clues to emotional issues that need some attention.

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      • Every individual does respond differently – a child’s dose .5 mg of Risperdal made me psychotic within two weeks. I’m quite certain a big part of the problem is the psychiatrists cover up adverse reactions to their drugs, with more drugging, rather than taking patients who do not respond well to neuroleptics, off the drugs. And the psychiatrists are still seemingly advocating this type of cover up:

        When a psychiatrist has “concerns about the contribution of medication side effects to problems with health or functioning, a trial off of antipsychotic medications … should … not be recommended,”

        I absolutely found the “voices” addressed a real life issue I needed to deal with (I was in denial of the abuse when I was first drugged, but eventually handed over the medical evidence). Thankfully, lots of loving and (non-medical) support can help an abused child go from remedial reading in first grade to valedictorian of his high school class.

        I just wish the US was a country where the child molesters were being arrested, rather than the victims of child abuse being defamed and drugged.

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      • Not only that Ron, but what is the supression mechanisms of drugs. Is it a sabotaging of nerve impulses and prevention of nerve activity that does it, thereby erasing functions from the mind? If voices can be suppressed but aren’t always by it, doesn’t it also suppress normal emotions, memories, sensations, and other signalings as well? The drugs do not disquish betwern healthy brain and ‘defective’ brain now do they? The damage from drugs leads to full blown chronic traunatic encephalopathy, ultimately damaging everything in the brain crucial to its function within time.. Yes… Thr brain sort of ends up functioning even in its new defective state, while some die from it..

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    • Hi Sa, that’s a great endorsement of this video! I think lots of people in the “helping” role, whether family, friends, peers or professionals, would do well to show people this video as one way to create space for envisioning alternatives and a way forward……

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  2. Speaking from lived experience carefully self observed because my very survival was at stake and as a hearer of voices and then some for over 30 years of my life . I’m all for the voice hearing groups and this video you are showing. And the sharing of strategies on how best to live with them with each other and others.
    What I have to say in addition I’ve touched on before and been basically ignored probably because there are no real scientific studies that I know of on the subject. And I’ve basically been ignored by the best of them including David Oaks and Robert Whitaker with a generic I’m so glad you found a way to survive (basically end of subject.) Not for me and I’m certain many millions of people need to know this. In fact it is an epidemic all on it’s own.
    I’m talking about mercury poisoning from mainly dental amalgams that definitely was what caused me to hear voices . I’m not saying there are no other causes for hearing voices or even that it is not natural for some people to hear voices . Consider :
    In spring of 2009 President Obama chose Margaret Hamburg, MD, as the new head of the FDA. For years, she had served on the board of directors of Henry Schein, Inc, America’s largest dental amalgam mercury distributor. Despite that, she was involved in shaping the FDA’s amalgam mercury rule. that dental amalgam fillings are quite safe.
    Mercury is a poison that causes countless health problems in human beings from mental emotional problems to all kinds of physical problems . Another words Mercury for the “health professions” can best be described as ” shake your money maker” got to involve billions probably trillions of dollars in profits worldwide made by installing poison into peoples bodies. See DAMS, Dental Amalgam Mercury Solutions 1043 Grand Ave, #317 St. Paul, MN 55105 USA 651-644-4572 They put out a newsletter called Dental Truth. There is so much more I can say on this subject.

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    • I don’t know about the connection to any mental problems but it’s quite ridiculous that they are the only refunded form of dental fillings. You can get dental fillings which don’t have mercury but then you have to pay out of pocket (insurance doesn’t cover the outrageous whim of not wanting to put that stuff in your teeth) and some people can’t afford it :(.

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    • I don’t live in America, nor am I American. But I have experienced hearing voices in my head. To call it “voices” isn’t very accurate. What I hear is shouting, and it happens only when I’m about to sleep.

      I don’t get it anymore and I don’t mind hearing it again these days. I just know I had to be patient and it’ll pass. But now I also know what triggers it.

      It used to be quite bad when I had 10 amalgams in my mouth. And the synergistic factor was much exposure to wireless radiation. Since I had all of them removed (in stages) the shouting has reduced and is now rare. It only happens if I’ve been exposed to more wireless radiation than I can handle.

      When it happens, I’ll get increasingly tensed and my nervous system goes into overdrive. (That’s my best description.) If I speak, I would do so very quickly and excitedly—usually without my being aware (until later). Even when I’m not in need to think of anything, my mind would keep repeating what I had said verbally or mentally. I get very tired. I know rest is best then. When I do, I also know that I would have to be patient and just relax no matter what. When I’m about to sleep, shouting is likely to happen, and I would wake up. I just have to be patient. And it’ll pass.

      I know the matter is not psychological, at least not mainly. I live in the wilderness now, and is exposed to very little radiation. And of course I never let any dentist put mercury in my mouth anymore. I’m glad I found out the causes.

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