Reframing Perceptions of Psychosis

bigstock-Perceptions-Different-ways-of-thinking-43490413NPR Show about Healing Voices

Claiming patients who experience psychosis have a chemical imbalance is an easy and incomplete explanation to a complicated problem. Treating patients with medication doesn’t work for everyone, but other options do exist. Some are finding hope and better quality of life with a more holistic approach.

Guests:

  • Oryx Cohen is COO of the National Empowerment Center, and is featured in and co-produced the documentary Healing Voices. He experiences periods of altered state.
  • P.J. Moynihan is a producer and the founder of Digital Eyes Film.  His latest work is as director and producer of the documentary Healing Voices.

Listen here

BBC Article “How to live with 100 voices inside your head”

“I don’t know. It sounds daft, but sometimes he says things that are really funny.”

The speaker is Margaret, a woman in her seventies with a bright, open face and a gentle smile. She has come along today with her daughter, who is desperate for advice on helping her mother to cope with her frequent voices. There are around 20 of us in the room. Apart from a couple of clinical psychologists and a few of us from the academic team, everyone gathered here in a conference suite at Durham University on a cold, sparkling spring afternoon, is a voice-hearer. We are hosting the event with our special guest Jacqui Dillon, chair of the UK Hearing Voices Network and an old friend of our project.

“Yeah, mine say funny things, too.”

Before Margaret came into this room, she had never met another voice-hearer. Now she is surrounded by them. I see her deep in conversation with Julia, a writer of a similar age who has come to talk to us several times about her experiences. Two elderly ladies, sipping tea and chatting about the voices in their heads. Julia is an old hand, but Margaret is in entirely new territory. She looks radiant, ­ transformed. I have the sense that a life could be changing in front of my eyes.

Groups like this come together around a starting assumption that voices are meaningful, and that they convey valuable emotional messages. The idea that voices can have profound human significance has deep roots, featuring, for example, in the psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s argument that hallucinations contain a “germ of meaning” which, if identified accurately, can mark the beginning of a process of healing. The idea is antithetical to the traditional biomedical view from psychiatry, which has tended to see voices as neural junk, meaningless glitches in the brain – yet many people are now finding solace in this approach.

Read more here! 

Mindfulness & Compassion for Extreme States Workshop

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Join us for ‘Mindfulness & Compassion for Extreme States’ with Rufus May and Elisabeth Svedholmer

Saturday, June 4th, 11am to 2pm,
@ C.G. JUNG FOUNDATION, ELEANOR BERTINE AUDITORIUM
28 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016

Co-sponsored by Hearing Voices NYC and the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community

About this Workshop:

This workshop will look at different ways to use mindfulness and compassion based approaches with powerful states of mind. It will include: how mindfulness can help us as supporters, practical techniques that can be useful for strong mind states like mania and restlessness; Grounding and centering techniques; Compassionate communication styles Supporting people to develop a compassionate self.

Registration is required and space is limited. A limited number of number of free tickets will be provided to those with significant financial constraints. Please e-mail info@westernmassrlc.org if you are interested in a free ticket.

REGISTER HERE

FREE Screening of “Healing Voices”

In a joint effort between ISPS-US, Mind Freedom International,and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Consumer Affairs, the Healing Voices Movie will be screened for FREE in NYC on Friday April 29th at the library of Baruch College (151 East 25th Street, 7th Floor) at 6:00 pm, followed by a discussion. (Doors open 5:30)
The only thing you have to do is REGISTER:
1) via EVENTBRITE
or

or

3) Calling 347-396-7126

New Project for People Who Hear Positive Voices

 

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A new project is being started to establish an online discussion forum for people who hear voices and have always been able to cope well with them. Below is a letter written by the project staff (Marius Romme, Sandra Escher, Paul Baker, & Will Hall) seeking voice-hearers with supportive voices:

As you know the general population surveys have shown that in our society about 4% of people are hearing voices on a more a less regular basis. Most of these people hear voices that are supportive and inspiring and who function well with them.

Therefore there are about 250 million people across the world who have this experience and are not able to openly talk about it. This is because of the prevailing negative attitudes in society that regard this human experience as abnormal.

To date we have mainly focused on the people who hear voices and have become psychiatric patients. We have done this by assisting them to accept their voices as their reality, to make sense of the experience and to learn to live with their voices and their emotions.

This is important and necessary work but it has meant that we have neglected the largest group of voice hearers. The Hearing Voices Movement has learnt that hearing voices is a common human variation but society does not share this understanding. Therefore we think this is the time to influence society and that the most effective way to do this is by identifying the voice hearers who live well with their voices and to encourage them to speak out.

To realize this we need to begin a process that creates safe spaces for these people to share their experiences. Therefore we are looking for people who would be willing to participate in a private and moderated online forum, where members can adopt an avatar to protect their identity if they so wish.

We think the benefits of the forum for participants would be the opportunity:

We are asking for your help to identify people who hear voices, who we could invite to become members of this forum:

  • to get a better understanding of the voice hearing experience
  • to help change social attitudes and promote the freedom of minds
  • to share stories and experiences

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes

Marius Romme & Sandra Escher (Research and correspondence )

Paul Baker (Moderator)

Will Hall (Consultant)

To find out more about the project, or to get involved as a promoter, you can contact Dr. Romme here:

a.romme.escher – at – gmail.com

New Phone-In for Group Facilitators

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Hearing Voices Network USA is happy to announce a new phone-in mutual support group for people who are currently facilitating Hearing Voices groups and for those interested in starting new Hearing Voices groups. This group is happening once-a-month via toll free conference call. Like other Hearing Voices groups, it’s a place to share our stories, challenges and victories, to gain new perspectives and connect with others who may have similar experiences.

When?

First Friday of each Month

3pm-4pm Eastern Time

Email Caroline White for more info: caroline@westernmassrlc.org

Online Training for Hearing Voices

5117230-1x1-700x700Rachel Waddingham is launching a series of online training courses on hearing voices, aimed specifically at people who live outside of the UK or find it difficult to fit full day courses into their busy lives. Each course consists of 4 x 1 week modules, videos and online access to a learning area. The first two courses will be:

Introductory offer: £24 (full) and £15 (concessions – including unwaged and minimum waged).

For more information about the each course and to book a place, please click on the above links. For Frequently Asked Questions about Rachel’s online courses, please visit the relevant section of her website Behind the Label.

The first online courses will start on 4 January 2016. Early booking is advised.

Hearing voices: The people who say talking back is the only answer

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Excellent article on several people’s experiences with voice-hearing was published by Australia News this week. You can read the full article here.

“one important element of the hearing voices approach is ‘voice dialogue’ — trying to change your relationship with the voices. “It’s like being in a bad relationship, You have two options, put up with it and distract yourself with an affair, or work on the relationship. If you realise you can do something, you’re not a victim of a broken brain, as many have been told. If meaning is given to you by someone else, you stop looking to make your own sense of things.

 

 

 

Podcast on Voices & Visions

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Australia’s ABC Radio has a new 2-part podcast on voices and visions! Here’s what they say:

“The phenomenon of hearing voices might not be as unusual as we think, and many people even live quite happily with the voices they hear. Sometimes the voices have helpful advice and at other times they offer a type of command. So where do these voices come from and did some of the world’s faiths begin with hearing voices? Is it a mental illness or other worldly communication, dictating a destiny?”