Wednesday, June 23, 2021

How Can We Talk About Difficult Experiences Non-Violently?

I really valued the massive Melbourne Hearing Voices conference last week. The theme of reconciliation between voice hearers and mental health workers was a powerful one. This emphasis on creating understanding conversations at the conference was encouraged with dialogues between people on specific subjects - medication, spirituality, psychological approaches to voices etc. - rather than keynotes. It seemed a move away from presentations of competing knowledges, toward a more dialogical conference; a respectful exchange of different viewpoints, feelings and values. When you have a range of views in a presentation it’s less easy to adopt a “good guys vs. bad guys” mentality; you start to see the complexities in more relief. The surprise for me was that I liked it.

Hearing Voices Workshop Comes to Vermont

I recently had the great pleasure of hosting a Hearing Voices workshop with Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Many people described this as one of the best trainings they had ever attended. Ron's message is inherently uplifting - after all this internationally known educator was once a mental patient given a poor prognosis. But in addition, they offered pragmatic suggestions for how to think about voices and talk to someone who is experiencing them.

Voices, Then & Now

As we approach world hearing voices day 2013 Karen and I are in Canada. We have just enjoyed running a preconference workshop for about 100 people in Winnipeg. I am sitting in my room before breakfast writing this piece and as I sit I am thinking back twenty-three years ago; I am in a psych unit in Manchester and I have a new support worker called Lindsay. By then I had been a psych patient for almost ten years and was fast approaching spending the rest of my life in the system. My support worker had convinced me to go to a new group that was starting in Manchester called a hearing voices group.

Psychiatrist Asks Field to Drop Schizophrenia Classification

Dutch psychiatrist and epidemiologist, Jim van Os, has renewed his call to drop schizophrenia as a disease classification. “Several recent papers by different authors...

Auditory Hallucinations – Expectation, Interpretation, and Emotion

Researchers in Australia, the U.K., the Netherlands, Canada and Belgium reviewed research on auditory hallucinations (AH) in schizophrenia as well other clinical and nonclinical...

Voice Hearing as a Dissociative Rather Than Psychotic Phenomenon

Researchers in England review in depth the evidence for voice hearing as dissociation, rather than psychosis, and suggest that voice hearing is a common...

Specific Early-Life Adversities Lead to Specific Symptoms of Psychosis

Researchers in the U.K. (lead by Richard Bentall) found that specific childhood adversities were significantly associated with specific forms of psychosis in adulthood in...

People Often “Hear Voices” While Reading

Many people "hear voices" of different kinds while reading -- what does this mean for research into auditory-verbal hallucinations?

“Hearing Voices: tracing the borders of normality”

-Rhianna Goozee discusses the development of the Hearing Voices Movement and how research has blurred the lines between "healthy" and "normal" minds.

Dissociative Experiences Mediate Childhood Trauma/Auditory Hallucinations

Researchers in Spain assessed 71 patients diagnosed with psychoses for dissociative experiences, trauma, delusions and hallucinations. Childhood trauma was positively associated with dissociation (r =...

Lawyers Starting to Blame Military’s Psychotropic Drugs For Aberrant Behavior

Military psychiatrists and judges are beginning to see the effects of an eightfold increase of SSRI use in the military since 2005, according to...

“Does Schizophrenia Exist on an Autism-Like Spectrum?”

The results of epidemiological studies of the prevalence of hallucinations strongly imply that psychosis exists on a spectrum, according to the Scientific American. This suggests “that the standard treatment for a psychotic episode might be due for an overhaul.”

RAISE Study Out Of Sync With Media Reports

Writing on his 1 Boring Old Man blog, Dr. Mickey Nardo reflects on the media frenzy around the RAISE study and asks why the prescription data has not been released. He adds skepticism about the political motives of the potentially overblown results, which he sees as a clear push for increased mental health funding.

NIMH: RAISE Study to Have Immediate Clinical Impact

In a Science Update, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that Medicaid services is already taking steps to implement “coordinated specialty care” (CSC) in response to the RAISE study released last week. “The RAISE initiative has shown that coordinated specialty care for first episode psychosis is better than the standard care offered in community clinics. However, covering the cost of coordinated specialty care can be challenging. When Medicaid agrees to pay for effective treatment programs, patients in need benefit.”

“Resisting Voices Through Finding Our Own Compassionate Voice”

Schizophrenia Bulletin offers this first-person account of "Compassion Focused Therapy" for talking with voices. Article →

“Programs Expand Schizophrenic Patients’ Role in Their Own Care”

Benedict Carey at the New York Times covers the push for new programs that emphasize supportive services, therapy, school and work assistance, and family education, rather than simply drug treatment.

“A Preliminary Taxonomy of the Voices Inside Your Head”

-BPS Research Digest reports on growing efforts to understand the voices that virtually everyone hears in their heads.

Adverse Childhood Events Contribute Significantly to Most Mental Health Problems

John Read and Richard Bentall write in the British Journal of Psychiatry about the growing understanding and acceptance of the significant role adverse childhood...

“The Strange World of Felt Presences”

-"What links polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, sleep paralysis, and hearing voices?" asks The Guardian.

“Hearing Voices Workshop Gives Insight Into Schizophrenia”

CBC News reports of the "growing demand" for "Hearing Voices That Are Distressing" workshops in Winnipeg. Article →

Creating Dialog on Approaches for “Psychosis” in New Jersey

What would happen if professionals opened their minds about the nature of madness?  What new possibilities might be created if they questioned labels such...

“I would not tell people when my voices were still very loud”

Mae Harden is interviewed by about her years of attempting to medicate away the voices she was hearing in her head, while hiding...

Hearing Voices Researched at Edinburgh Book Festival

Researchers from Durham University's Hearing the Voice project are attending the Edinburgh International Book Festival through August as part of a study, asking both...

“Learning to Live With the Voices in Your Head”

In the The Atlantic, journalist Ric Morin explores alternative perspectives on and approaches to schizophrenic and psychotic experiences through a lengthy interview with psychiatrist...

Follow Us