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The Hearing Voices Network – “The Freedom to Hear Voices”: The Hearing Voices Movement

Psychology, Mental Health and Distress is a groundbreaking new text from John Cromby, David Harper and Paula Reavey. Whereas other texts are structured by diagnostic categories and are biologically reductive, this book places biology as well as the experience of distress itself in its social, cultural and historical context.

 Key Features:

  • Offers a wealth of case stories to portray the reality of living with distress and stimulate class discussion 
  • Fully informed by current experimental, qualitative and theoretical psychological research including research into hearing voices
  • Includes a chapter authored by those with first-hand experience of mental health services, ensuring your students understand the nuances of this emotionally charged and often controversial topic

Features additional contributions by renowned figures including Professor Richard Bentall, Professor John Read, psychiatrist and researcher Joanna Moncreiff and campaigner and Chair of the Hearing Voices Network, Jacqui Dillon among others.

See link for further information: http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=280329

Download flyer: CrombyHarper&Reaveyflyer

 

Hearing Voices Groups: Creating Safe Spaces to Share Taboo Experiences

 

Psychosis as a Personal Crisis seeks to challenge the way people who hear voices are both viewed and treated. This book emphasises the individual variation between people who suffer from psychosis and puts forward the idea that hearing voices is not in itself a sign of mental illness.

In this book the editors bring together an international range of expert contributors, who in their daily work, their research or their personal acquaintance, focus on the personal experience of psychosis.

Further topics of discussion include:

  • accepting and making sense of hearing voices
  • the relation between trauma and paranoia
  • the limitations of contemporary psychiatry
  • the process of recovery.

This book will be essential reading for all mental health professionals, in particular those wanting to learn more about the development of the hearing voices movement and applying these ideas to better understanding those in the voice hearing community.

 

Demedicalising Misery: Psychiatry, Psychology and the Human Condition.

Demedicalising Misery: Psychiatry, Psychology and the Human Condition. Co-edited with Mark Rapley  and Joanna Moncrieff. Published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Thomas Szasz (1960) suggested that the myth of ‘mental illness’ functions to ‘render more palatable the bitter pill of moral conflict in human relations’. The medicalization of distress enables the mental health professions to manage the human suffering that they are confronted with, and also the suspicion that there is little that they can do to help. But the medicalization of misery and madness renders people unable to comprehend their experiences in ordinary, meaningful terms. In this collection we restore to everyday discourse a way of understanding distress that, unlike contemporary psychiatry and psychology, recognises and respects the essential humanness of the human condition. De-medicalizing Misery is a shorthand term for this project. The book resists the psychiatrization and psychologization of human experience, and seeks to place what are essentially moral and political – not medical – matters back at the centre of our understanding of human suffering.

Notes on Contributors
Preface; R.Dallos
Carving Nature at its Joints? DSM and the Medicalization of Everyday Life; M.Rapley, J.Moncrieff & J.Dillon
Dualisms and the Myth of Mental Illness; P.Thomas & P.Bracken
Making the World Go Away, and How Psychology and Psychiatry Benefit; M.Boyle
Cultural Diversity and Racism: An Historical Perspective; S.Fernando
The Social Context of Paranoia; D.J.Harper
From ‘Bad Character’ to BPD: The Medicalization of ‘Personality Disorder’; J.Bourne
Medicalizing Masculinity; S.Timimi
Can Traumatic Events Traumatise People? Trauma, Madness and ‘Psychosis’; L.Johnstone
Children Who Witness Violence at Home; A.Vetere
Discourses of Acceptance and Resistance: Speaking Out About Psychiatry; E.Speed
The Personal Is the Political; J.Dillon
‘I’m Just, You Know, Joe Bloggs’: The Management of Parental Responsibility for First-Episode Psychosis; C.Coulter & M.Rapley
The Myth of the Antidepressant: An Historical Analysis; J.Moncrieff
Antidepressants and the Placebo Response; I.Kirsch
Why Were Doctors so Slow to Recognise Antidepressant Discontinuation Problems?; D.Double
Toxic Psychology; C.Newnes
Psychotherapy: Illusion With No Future?; D.Smail
The Psychologization of Torture; N.Patel
What Is To Be Done?; J.Moncrieff, J.Dillon & M.Rapley
Figure: Papers Using Term ‘Antidepressant’ On Medline 1957-1965
Index

‘Despite longstanding awareness of the limitations of the medical model when applied to difficulties of human behavior and adjustment, the fields of psychiatry and psychology continue to accede to the pressures of medicine and the drug industry in their conceptualization of these human realities. Ironically, however, this medical model, eager as it is to fit so much of people’s experience into diagnostic categories, is a social construction. This book represents a significant effort to de-mystify, de-medicalize, and reclaim important aspects of the human condition.’ – Kenneth D. Keith, Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of San Diego, USA

 

De-Medicalizing Misery has assembled an impressive cast of leading mental health experts. Together they challenge the simplistic and pessimistic biological model of human distress that has, with eager support from the pharmaceutical industry, dominated the mental health field for far too long. This evidence-based, humane and optimistic book not only explains where biological psychiatry went wrong, it spells out the alternatives.’ – John Read, University of Auckland, New Zealand and Editor of ‘Models of Madness’

 

  ‘The psychiatrist or psychologist is expected to do something for every patient sitting in front of him or her, but how robust is the intellectual basis of psychiatric science when psychiatric ‘diseases’ are merely symptom clusters – clustered by us, not by nature? We are in indeed in the age of the medicalization of everyday life, when Lord Layard, economist and architect of the IAPT programme, can write in the BMJ that ‘mental illness’ has taken over from unemployment as our greatest social problem. But what is the test of ‘mental illness’? In DeMedicalizing Misery the authors examine some of the domains lamentably absent from orthodox psychiatry and psychology training programmes, with their medical model focus, and in so doing raise the IQ of the whole debate. And not just for clinicians.’ – Dr Derek Summerfield, Consultant Psychiatrist & Senior Lecturer, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, UK.
 

Authors: MARK RAPLEY is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of East London, UK. He is the author of The Social Construction of Intellectual Disability, Quality of Life Research and, with Susan Hansen and Alec McHoul, Beyond Help: A Consumers’ Guide to Psychology.
 
JOANNA MONCRIEFF is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mental Health Sciences at University College London, UK and a Practising Consultant Psychiatrist at the North East London Foundation Trust. She has spent her academic career re-evaluating the nature and efficacy of psychiatric drugs and exploring the history and politics of psychiatry. She is the co-chair of the Critical Psychiatry Network, and has campaigned against the dominance of the biomedical approach to psychiatry, the extension of psychiatric coercion and the influence of the pharmaceutical industry, in alliance with service user groups. She is the author of The Myth of the Chemical Cure (Palgrave Macmillan), A Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs, and numerous papers and book chapters.
 
JACQUI DILLON is the National Chair of the Hearing Voices Network, UK, and a Director of Intervoice – the International Network for Training, Education and Research into Hearing Voices. She is a campaigner, international speaker and trainer specialising in hearing voices, psychosis, dissociation and trauma. She is the co-editor of Living with Voices: An Anthology of 50 Voice Hearers’ Stories of Recovery. She has published numerous articles and papers, is on the editorial board of the journal Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches and is a member of the collective for Asylum, The Magazine for Democratic Psychiatry.


Voices In Your Head? You May Not Be Crazy

Published in: The Times, 27 January 2007, By Michelle Kirsch

We have all had the experience of seeing a person walking down the road, talking loudly to what appears to be him or herself. Before the advent of hands-free mobile phones, which gives the scene a “sane” context, we would have thought the person disturbed, speaking to someone who does not exist outside his own head. Now psychologists studying the phenomenon of hearing voices are asking us to consider two other possibilities: one is that people who hear voices may not be disturbed by them, and the other is that a person who appears to be speaking on a mobile phone might be speaking to one of his voices.

Pretending to speak on a mobile phone is just one strategy that makes life more bearable for the estimated 4 per cent of Britons who hear voices. The 4 per cent figure, as cited by the Hearing Voices Network, an educational and self-help registered charity for voice-hearers, is a conservative estimate. The real figure may be much higher, they say, because anyone who admits to hearing voices may be subjected to close, perhaps unwelcome, psychiatric scrutiny

Read more: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/article1295311.ece

How I Tamed the Voices in my Head

Published in: The Independent, 6 March, 2007, By Kate Hilpburn

Eleanor Longden, 25, started hearing voices when she was a teenager. But, contrary to the usual perception of inner voices, Longden says hers weren’t destructive: “It was rather mundane, simply giving me a narration of some of the day-to-day things I was doing. In many ways, the voice was companionate because it was reminding me that I was carrying on with my responsibilities despite feeling so sad inside. There was something constructive about it.”

People like Longden who admit to hearing inner voices can generally expect two outcomes: a diagnosis of insanity, and potent medication. But a group of psychiatrists and psychologists believe it’s time we reconsidered labels such as schizophrenia and the drugs used as treatment. In fact, they believe we should get people to listen to, and actually engage with, the voices inside their heads.

Read More: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/how-i-tamed-the-voices-in-my-head-439083.html

In Your Head: Hearing Voices

Published in: Psychology Today, January 1, 2007, by William Lee Adams

Despite their association with mental illness, auditory hallucinations don’t always torment those who hear them. In fact, only one out of every three so-called “voice hearers” requires psychiatric help. The other two don’t experience difficulties and may even consider their voices supportive or inspiring.

“My voices know me better than anyone else, and they also protect and comfort me,” says Jacqui Dillon, head of a London support group for voice hearers. She and other group members report that voices can alert them to oncoming cars and suspicious passersby, provide encouragement during stressful times, and offer reminders to pick things up at the grocery store.

Whether they threaten or soothe, auditory hallucinations usually begin after trauma: Seventy percent of people who hear voices first detect them following physical or sexual abuse, an accident, or the loss of a loved one. “The emotion they feel about their trauma complicates how they interpret the voices,” says Sara Tai, a psychologist at the University of Manchester in England who studies why some hallucinators thrive while others end up in psychiatric care. Typically, the greater the trauma, the more likely voices will sound threatening.

Read More: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200701/in-your-head-hearing-voices

Experts call for ban on schizophrenia ‘label’

Published in: Daily Mail, 9 October, 2006

Schizophrenia should be abolished as a concept because it is unscientific, stigmatising, and does not address the root causes of serious mental illness, a group of experts said today.

The diagnosis, which emerged in the 19th century, is flawed and harmful, they claimed. It not only grouped together patients with widely ranging symptoms, but offered no explanation for their illnesses.

Once given a diagnosis of schizophrenia, a person was labelled an incurable social misfit and placed at the mercy of a psychiatric system that mostly benefited the drug industry.

A new campaign called CASL (Campaign for the Abolition of the Schizophrenic Label) is said to be gaining increasing support from both patients groups and professionals.

It wants patients to be assessed according to their individual experiences and histories rather than blanket-categorised as “schizophrenic”.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-409472/Experts-ban-schizophrenia-label.html#ixzz1H2oOhJEG

A role model in the Hearing Voices Movement

For us Jacqui is unique and it is a great pleasure having known her for many reasons personally as well professionally. Jacqui survived terrible abuse and became strong by using her experience to learn from it. She is one of the few people who is able to really understand that the voices are related to her life history and even more important allow herself to feel it. This combination of understanding on a rational and emotional level became her power. This also enables her to be the caring mother of 2 teenage daughters.

As a professional from experience Jacqui is a role model in the Hearing Voices Movement. She has developed a qualitatively very good course in setting up and guiding Hearing Voices Groups. She has helped many individuals to better cope with their voices and their problems in their lives. She is a very good speaker and has a lot to tell about the voice hearing experience and their backgrounds. She has written many very good articles and book chapters. She especially clearly explains the interaction between different consequences of traumatic experiences like hearing voices, dissociation, self harm and eating disorders. She has a lot to give and a lot to teach professionals and also voice hearers. Besides all this she is Chairing the English Hearing Voices Movement and a member of the Board of Intervoice.

Marius Romme & Sandra Escher