Shanika Ranasinghe speaks to ELLE about her experience of hearing voices, the stigma attached to voice-hearing and the tools that have helped her cope, such as mindfulness and schema therapy.
“Schema therapy combines the use of CBT with experiential, interpersonal and psychoanalytic therapies to look at the root of behavioural patterns. Shanika explains it as, ‘a lot of looking at the past, and where different life ideas and beliefs about yourself come from. Once you’ve identified what those beliefs are and where they come from, then you apply them to the present day and you say, well this is my past and this is why I feel this way, and I can’t change the past, but this is what I can do in the present.’
This helps her manage her voices, and more than that, be compassionate towards them.
She now speaks to her voices, asking, ‘why are you saying this?’, ‘why are you feeling this?’ and, ‘how can I help you with how you’re feeling right now?’“