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An extremely effective developer of services

I have known Jacqui Dillon for several years now — we first met in the early 2000s when she attended the London-based Critical Mental Health Forum, in which I was also involved.  Jacqui has been an extremely effective developer of services in the third sector.  She developed the London Hearing Voices Project and has also chaired the national Hearing Voices Network for several years.

She is a thoughtful and innovative worker who builds good collaborative relationships both with those who use mental health services and with mental health professionals.  She has also been very effective in securing funding for those organisations with which she works.

I work on a clinical psychology training programme and Jacqui has taught sessions on a range of topics on our programme for several years now.  Trainees have said that she is a very engaging and inspiring speaker who also has lots of practical advice about how to bring change in mental health services.

When I’ve seen Jacqui speak I also have been moved and inspired.  Given her earlier career as a journalist it is no surprise that she has been doing more writing, recently co-editing Living with Voices.  She has a national and international reputation and is approached by a range of media organisations for comments in relation to voice hearing and mental health more generally.

Dr Dave Harper, Reader in Clinical Psychology, University of East London. Academic Tutor on the Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology programme.

Affiliations

HVN LogoNational Hearing Voices Network

Role: Chair

The Hearing Voices Network exists to: raise awareness of voice hearing, visions, tactile sensations and other sensory experiences; To give men women and children who have these experiences an opportunity to talk freely about this together; To support anyone with these experiences seeking to understand, learn and grow from them in their own way.


University of East London

Role: Honorary Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

UEL’s Clinical Psychology programme is characterised by a distinctive approach to its subject matter. As well as providing teaching on the major approaches to clinical psychology theory and practice, it examines the assumptions which inform scientific activity and the problems in applying philosophies and methods from the natural sciences to human behaviour.


Durham University

Role: Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health

The school’s hallmark is innovation at local and international levels and we seek to make a difference in the quality of care provided to people. Our research themes cut across boundaries and include clinical topics, particularly around earlier diagnosis and intervention, care pathways across organisational boundaries, health policy and economics and the medical humanities.


Birmingham City University

Role: Visiting Research Fellow

The Centre for Community Mental Health (CCMH) is a training, education and research unit. It is part of the Centre for Health and Social Care Research, a Centre of Research Excellence based at the Faculty of Health. We are part of an international network of expertise in mental health practice and service innovation, and work to improve mental health services and promote opportunities for people with severe and enduring mental health problems.


Mad in AmericaMad in America

Role: Foreign Correspondent

The site is designed to serve as a resource and a community for those interested in rethinking psychiatric care in the United States and abroad. We want to provide readers with news, stories of recovery, access to source documents, and the informed writings of bloggers that will further this enterprise. The bloggers on this site include people with lived experience, peer specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, program managers, social activists, attorneys, and journalists.


Psychosis Journal CoverPsychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches

Role: Member of the Editorial board of the Journal

This journal fills an important gap in mental health literature, namely research focused on the psychological treatments of psychosis (e.g. cognitive-behavior therapy, psychodynamic therapy, family therapy etc.) and the psycho-social causes of psychosis (e.g. poverty, drug abuse, child abuse and neglect, distressed families, urban living, discrimination, rape, war combat etc.).


Beside Mental Health Community Project

Role: Patron

Beside is a Tower Hamlets–based charity working with people who have recurrent or long term mental health difficulties. Our aim is to enable our members to rediscover their inner resources and develop strategies to support their mental health and wellbeing.


St Mungo’s

Role: Member of Expert Group of Rebuilding Shattered Lives – St Mungo’s. 

Rebuilding Shattered Lives is a campaign launched by St Mungo’s to raise awareness, showcase good practice and drive innovation on the issues faced by homeless and vulnerable women. St Mungo’s opens doors for homeless people. Mainly based in London and the South, we provide emergency shelter emergency, support towards recovery and help to prevent rough sleeping. We run over 100 projects and help thousands of homeless people make life changes every year.

 

 

Biography

Jacqui Dillon was born and bred in East London where she still lives. She is a respected campaigner, writer, international speaker and trainer specialising in hearing voices, ‘psychosis’, dissociation, trauma, abuse, healing and recovery. Jacqui has worked within mental health services for more than 15 years, in a variety of settings, including community, acute, low, medium and high secure settings, prisons, colleges and universities.

Jacqui is the national Chair of the Hearing Voices Network in England and a key figure in the Hearing Voices Movement internationally. She is Honorary Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London, Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health at Durham University and Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Community Mental Health, Birmingham City University.

Along with Professor Marius Romme and Dr Sandra Escher she is the co-editor of Living with Voices, an anthology of 50 voice hearers’ stories of recovery. She is also co-editor of Demedicalising Misery: Psychiatry, Psychology and the Human Condition and Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Psychosis (2nd Edition). Jacqui has published numerous articles and papers and is on the editorial board of the journal Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches.

Jacqui’s experiences of surviving childhood abuse and subsequent experiences of using psychiatric services inform her work and she is an outspoken advocate and campaigner for trauma informed approaches to madness and distress. She was nominated for Mind Champion of the Year Award 2009 for her outstanding contribution to increasing understanding of mental health.

Jacqui is proud to be a part of a collective voice demanding a radical shift in the way we make sense of and respond to experiences currently defined as psychiatric illnesses. Alongside her work which she is passionate about, Jacqui enjoys swimming, dancing, laughing and spending time with the people she loves, especially her children.

 

The Personal is Political

Telling Stories Book CoverTelling Stories? explores the contemporary state of affairs in the understanding and treatment of psychosis. An inclusive approach to mental distress requires that in order to truly understand psychosis we must begin by listening to those who know this from the inside out; the voices and narrative of those who have been condemned as “unanalysable” and mad.

Far from being fantastical, the complex stories that are being articulated communicate painful truths and the myriad ways in which the human psyche survives overwhelming trauma. This book is the culmination of an integrated and creative alliance between those on the cutting edge, experientially, in research, diagnosis, and treatment; this multidisciplinary dialogue proposes a new relational and attachment orientated paradigm for the 21st century. In contrast to the containment model that is currently favoured, this advocates listening and talking therapies, and the healing power of a loving relationship, offering those with psychosis the possibility of more nourishing engagement with the world.

Collective Voices

The Hearing Voices Movement was founded more than 20 years ago, following the ground-breaking research of Professor Marius Romme and Dr Sandra Escher who have advocated for a radical shift in the way we understand the phenomenon of Hearing Voices.  Rather than taking the traditional approach favored by biological psychiatry, which views voices as a product of brain and cognitive faults, their research has firmly established that voices make sense when looking at the traumatic circumstances in life that provoked them. As the improvement in people who are encouraged to talk about their voices becomes apparent, an increasing number of voice hearers and mental health professionals are beginning to see that the key to making sense of these experiences lies in understanding the content of voices. Voices are meaningful and for some, an experience to be celebrated.

Pages

An extremely effective developer of services

I have known Jacqui Dillon for several years now — we first met in the early 2000s when she attended the London-based Critical Mental Health Forum, in which I was also involved.  Jacqui has been an extremely effective developer of services in the third sector.  She developed the London Hearing Voices Project and has also chaired the national Hearing Voices Network for several years.

She is a thoughtful and innovative worker who builds good collaborative relationships both with those who use mental health services and with mental health professionals.  She has also been very effective in securing funding for those organisations with which she works.

I work on a clinical psychology training programme and Jacqui has taught sessions on a range of topics on our programme for several years now.  Trainees have said that she is a very engaging and inspiring speaker who also has lots of practical advice about how to bring change in mental health services.

When I’ve seen Jacqui speak I also have been moved and inspired.  Given her earlier career as a journalist it is no surprise that she has been doing more writing, recently co-editing Living with Voices.  She has a national and international reputation and is approached by a range of media organisations for comments in relation to voice hearing and mental health more generally.

Dr Dave Harper, Reader in Clinical Psychology, University of East London. Academic Tutor on the Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology programme.

Affiliations

HVN LogoNational Hearing Voices Network

Role: Chair

The Hearing Voices Network exists to: raise awareness of voice hearing, visions, tactile sensations and other sensory experiences; To give men women and children who have these experiences an opportunity to talk freely about this together; To support anyone with these experiences seeking to understand, learn and grow from them in their own way.


University of East London

Role: Honorary Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

UEL’s Clinical Psychology programme is characterised by a distinctive approach to its subject matter. As well as providing teaching on the major approaches to clinical psychology theory and practice, it examines the assumptions which inform scientific activity and the problems in applying philosophies and methods from the natural sciences to human behaviour.


Durham University

Role: Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health

The school’s hallmark is innovation at local and international levels and we seek to make a difference in the quality of care provided to people. Our research themes cut across boundaries and include clinical topics, particularly around earlier diagnosis and intervention, care pathways across organisational boundaries, health policy and economics and the medical humanities.


Birmingham City University

Role: Visiting Research Fellow

The Centre for Community Mental Health (CCMH) is a training, education and research unit. It is part of the Centre for Health and Social Care Research, a Centre of Research Excellence based at the Faculty of Health. We are part of an international network of expertise in mental health practice and service innovation, and work to improve mental health services and promote opportunities for people with severe and enduring mental health problems.


Mad in AmericaMad in America

Role: Foreign Correspondent

The site is designed to serve as a resource and a community for those interested in rethinking psychiatric care in the United States and abroad. We want to provide readers with news, stories of recovery, access to source documents, and the informed writings of bloggers that will further this enterprise. The bloggers on this site include people with lived experience, peer specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, program managers, social activists, attorneys, and journalists.


Psychosis Journal CoverPsychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches

Role: Member of the Editorial board of the Journal

This journal fills an important gap in mental health literature, namely research focused on the psychological treatments of psychosis (e.g. cognitive-behavior therapy, psychodynamic therapy, family therapy etc.) and the psycho-social causes of psychosis (e.g. poverty, drug abuse, child abuse and neglect, distressed families, urban living, discrimination, rape, war combat etc.).


Beside Mental Health Community Project

Role: Patron

Beside is a Tower Hamlets–based charity working with people who have recurrent or long term mental health difficulties. Our aim is to enable our members to rediscover their inner resources and develop strategies to support their mental health and wellbeing.


St Mungo’s

Role: Member of Expert Group of Rebuilding Shattered Lives – St Mungo’s. 

Rebuilding Shattered Lives is a campaign launched by St Mungo’s to raise awareness, showcase good practice and drive innovation on the issues faced by homeless and vulnerable women. St Mungo’s opens doors for homeless people. Mainly based in London and the South, we provide emergency shelter emergency, support towards recovery and help to prevent rough sleeping. We run over 100 projects and help thousands of homeless people make life changes every year.

 

 

Biography

Jacqui Dillon was born and bred in East London where she still lives. She is a respected campaigner, writer, international speaker and trainer specialising in hearing voices, ‘psychosis’, dissociation, trauma, abuse, healing and recovery. Jacqui has worked within mental health services for more than 15 years, in a variety of settings, including community, acute, low, medium and high secure settings, prisons, colleges and universities.

Jacqui is the national Chair of the Hearing Voices Network in England and a key figure in the Hearing Voices Movement internationally. She is Honorary Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London, Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health at Durham University and Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Community Mental Health, Birmingham City University.

Along with Professor Marius Romme and Dr Sandra Escher she is the co-editor of Living with Voices, an anthology of 50 voice hearers’ stories of recovery. She is also co-editor of Demedicalising Misery: Psychiatry, Psychology and the Human Condition and Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Psychosis (2nd Edition). Jacqui has published numerous articles and papers and is on the editorial board of the journal Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches.

Jacqui’s experiences of surviving childhood abuse and subsequent experiences of using psychiatric services inform her work and she is an outspoken advocate and campaigner for trauma informed approaches to madness and distress. She was nominated for Mind Champion of the Year Award 2009 for her outstanding contribution to increasing understanding of mental health.

Jacqui is proud to be a part of a collective voice demanding a radical shift in the way we make sense of and respond to experiences currently defined as psychiatric illnesses. Alongside her work which she is passionate about, Jacqui enjoys swimming, dancing, laughing and spending time with the people she loves, especially her children.

 

The Personal is Political

Telling Stories Book CoverTelling Stories? explores the contemporary state of affairs in the understanding and treatment of psychosis. An inclusive approach to mental distress requires that in order to truly understand psychosis we must begin by listening to those who know this from the inside out; the voices and narrative of those who have been condemned as “unanalysable” and mad.

Far from being fantastical, the complex stories that are being articulated communicate painful truths and the myriad ways in which the human psyche survives overwhelming trauma. This book is the culmination of an integrated and creative alliance between those on the cutting edge, experientially, in research, diagnosis, and treatment; this multidisciplinary dialogue proposes a new relational and attachment orientated paradigm for the 21st century. In contrast to the containment model that is currently favoured, this advocates listening and talking therapies, and the healing power of a loving relationship, offering those with psychosis the possibility of more nourishing engagement with the world.

Collective Voices

The Hearing Voices Movement was founded more than 20 years ago, following the ground-breaking research of Professor Marius Romme and Dr Sandra Escher who have advocated for a radical shift in the way we understand the phenomenon of Hearing Voices.  Rather than taking the traditional approach favored by biological psychiatry, which views voices as a product of brain and cognitive faults, their research has firmly established that voices make sense when looking at the traumatic circumstances in life that provoked them. As the improvement in people who are encouraged to talk about their voices becomes apparent, an increasing number of voice hearers and mental health professionals are beginning to see that the key to making sense of these experiences lies in understanding the content of voices. Voices are meaningful and for some, an experience to be celebrated.