Trauma & Dissociation Journal

Hearing voices, dissociation, and the self: A functional-analytic perspective

Abstract

In the current article, we review existing models of the etiology of voice hearing. We summarize the argument and evidence that voice hearing is primarily a dissociative process involving critical aspects of self. We propose a complementary perspective on these phenomena that is based on a modern behavioral account of complex behavior known as relational frame theory. This type of approach to voice hearing concerns itself with the functions served for the individual by this voice hearing; the necessary history, such as trauma, that establishes these functions; and the relevant dissociative processes involving self and others. In short, we propose a trauma–dissociation developmental trajectory in which trauma impacts negatively on the development of self through the process of dissociation. Using the relational frame theory concept of relations of perspective taking, our dissociation model purports that trauma gives rise to more coordination than distinction relations between self and others, thus weakening an individual’s sense of a distinct self. Voice hearing experiences, therefore, reflect an individual’s perceptions of self and others and may indicate impairments in the natural psychological boundaries between these critical related concepts. One clinical implication suggested by this model is that therapeutic intervention should understand the behaviors associated with a sense of self that is fragile and threatened by others. Relations with self and others should be a key focus of therapy as well as interventions designed to enhance a coherent distinct sense of self.

Authors: C. McEnteggart , Y.Barnes-Holmes, J. Dillon, J. Egger & J.Oliver

Published in: Journal of Trauma and Dissociation

Publisher: Taylor and Francis

Date: 8th January 2016

Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15299732.2016.1241851?journalCode=wjtd20

Israel Journal of Psychiatry

Improving community mental health services: The need for a paradigm shift

Abstract

Background: It is now over half a century since community care was introduced in the wake of the closure of the old asylum system. This paper considers whether mental health services, regardless of location, can be genuinely effective and humane without a fundamental paradigm shift.

Data: A summary of research on the validity and effectiveness of current mental health treatment approaches is presented. Limitations: The scope of the topic was too broad to facilitate a systematic review or meta-analyses, although reviews with more narrow foci are cited.

Conclusions: The move to community care failed to facilitate a more psychosocial, recovery-focused approach, instead exporting the medical model and its technologies, often accompanied by coercion, into a far broader domain than the hospital. There are, however, some encouraging signs that the long overdue paradigm shift may be getting closer.

Authors: Longden, Eleanor. Read, John. & Dillon, Jacqui.

Published in: Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, 53(1), pp. 22-30.

Date: 10 Feb 2017

Link: https://doctorsonly.co.il/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/05_Longden_Improving-Community.pdf

Voices in the dark: Mosaic Science Podcast

Taken from the Mosaic Science Podcast podcast site: https://mosaicscience.com/story/hearing-voices

This documentary is also available on the Mosaic podcast through iTunes, RSS, SoundCloud and wherever good podcasts are found.

We all have an inner voice. But for some, hearing voices can be much more distinct and unusual.

Adam has a voice with a unique name and identity. Jacqui hears hundreds of different voices. Dolly’s voices led her to believe she was Jesus. The voices John experienced drove him to the edge.

Voice hearing is often understood to be a symptom of mental illness, but many voice hearers refute this diagnosis, believing the voices they hear are based on significant events that have shaped their lives.

Through their stories we explore what it means to hear voices and discover how the phenomenon is being understood, from medieval tales of demonic visions to childhood language cognition, a Dutch psychiatrist helping voice hearers find meaning in their voices, and a pioneering ‘avatar’ therapy using computer technology.

Sanity, Madness and the Family

Sanity, Madness and the Family – Audio Clip

If you’d like to hear my talk at this event, check out: http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2015/04/sanity-madness-and-the-family-family-life-an-urgent-retrospective/

Details on the event:

Sanity, Madness and the FamilyIt is just over 50 years since the publication of Sanity, Madness and the Family, R.D. Laing’s and Aaron Esterson’s groundbreaking study of ‘schizophrenia’ in 11 young women. Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community (BRAKC) and the Birkbeck Guilt Working Group have organized a one-day symposium to discuss the lasting impact of that book.

Do people still read it? Why is it almost never referred to in psychotherapy trainings in this country? How have the ideas it introduced been either absorbed into or rejected by clinical, academic and more general discourses about the family and mental/emotional illness?

Andrew Asibong, co-director of BRAKC, will facilitate the event, and participants will include Jacqui Dillon, Robbie Duschinsky, Suman Fernando, Amber Jacobs, Oliver James, Lucy Johnstone, Chris Oakley, Lynne Segal and Anthony Stadlen.

Entrevoces Interview

Beyond the Therapy Room

The Psychological is Political

Phoenix

Making Sense of Madness: An emancipatory approach

7 July 2017, 10 am – 4.30pm, registration from 9.30am

Hackney House, 25-27 Curtain Road, Hackney, London, EC2A 3LT

https://madness-london.eventbrite.co.uk

This unique, one day event, featuring Jacqui Dillon and Rai Waddingham (recently featured on BBC Horizon: Why Did I Go Mad?), explores experiences often dismissed as symptoms of serious mental illness: voices, visions, paranoia, unusual beliefs and altered states, and reframes them as understandable human responses to adversity.

Drawing from personal and professional experiences of madness, healing and recovery, combined with emerging innovative research findings, Jacqui and Rai present an emancipatory approach to understanding and working with distressing experiences that prioritises respect, personal meaning, self-determination and liberation.

Download: Making Sense of Madness Flyer

It includes:

  • Understanding ‘mad’ experiences
  • Exploring factors that can contribute to and shape distress
  • Alternatives to diagnosis – moving beyond the illness model
  • Respectful ways of helping people in distress
  • Strategies to survive and thrive

This day is suitable for:

  • Anyone interested in understanding more about madness, creativity and the complex spectrum of human experience
  • Those involved in supporting another human beinga – whether this is as a friend, ally, family member, colleague, mental health professional, teacher, therapist, social worker, voluntary sector worker, manager or spiritual advisor
  • All those with lived experience of madness and distress

Fees:

  • Unwaged: £10
  • Voluntary Sector & Self Funding: £90
  • Statutory & Commercial: £125

Please get in touch if you’re in a difficult financial position – we may be able to help.

Register:

https://madness-london.eventbrite.co.uk