Posts

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

Mad In America

I’m off to America tomorrow to help spread the word about the pioneering work of the Hearing Voices Movement. On Monday I will deliver the first session of the ‘Starting Hearing Voices Groups Training’ at the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community. It will be great to be a part of these important developments particularly as Gail attended the very first Hearing Voices Group Facilitation training that I ran in London back in 2005.

This training looks to continue the positive momentum of the Hearing Voices Movement in the United States, with the primary purpose of training people to start their own Hearing Voices Groups in the local area. I will be facilitating the training along with Oryx Cohen, Director of the National Empowerment Center’s Technical Assistance Center and former Co-Facilitator of the RLC Hearing Voices Group in Holyoke and Gail Hornstein, Professor of Psychology at Mount Holyoke College, Co-Facilitator of the RLC Hearing Voices Group and author of Agnes’s Jacket.

On Tuesday I will be interviewed by a filmmaker about my work, meet with members of the Recovery Learning Community in Worcester before going to deliver my presentation at Mount Holyoke College entitled –

Bad Things That Happen to You Can Drive You Crazy! –

Understanding Abuse, Trauma, and Madness and Working toward Recovery.

See this link for further information: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/news/stories/5682743

On Wednesday I will travel to Framingham where I will give a presentation at Advocates, Inc.

Before I fly back home on Thursday evening, I will meet Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic. Bob has agreed to speak at a fundraising event for the Hearing Voices Network when he is in London in November – watch this space for further info!

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

Conferences

Jacqui giving a presentation

Conferences:

I am an experienced and accomplished public speaker. I have spoken at numerous national and international conferences and events for both statutory and non-government organisations.

I have been a keynote speaker at a variety of events on a diverse range of subjects. My specialist areas of expertise are:

  • Personal experiences of ‘madness’ and recovery
  • Hearing voices and ‘psychosis’
  • Critiquing biomedical approaches to madness and distress
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Ritual abuse
  • Dissociation and multiplicity

Training

Training

The training I offer is based on extensive personal and professional experience, knowledge and skills. All training is experiential enabling participants to develop a deeper understanding and greater insight by exploring experiences from both a subjective and objective perspective.

All training is bespoke so it can be tailored to meet the needs of your organisation.

Previous courses include:

  • Hearing Voices Awareness
  • Advanced Skills in Working with Voice Hearers
  • Hearing Voices Group Facilitation & Network Development
  • Beyond Survival – Working with Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Abuse, Trauma and Dissociation: Understanding and Working Towards Recovery
  • Advanced Complex Trauma and Working with Sex Workers
  • Ritual Abuse: Thinking About the Unthinkable
  • Working with Self Harm
  • Service User Involvement & User Led Initiatives
  • Helping the Helpers: How Best to Support Your Loved One – For Carers, Allies & Familes
  • Vicarious Traumatisation: Roles, Power and Safety in the Healing Process
  • Therapeutic Use of Self: Path of the Wounded Healer

Please contact me if you would like to discuss your organisation’s training needs.

See my testimonials page to view, or share, feedback on my training courses

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.

 

Pages

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

Mad In America

I’m off to America tomorrow to help spread the word about the pioneering work of the Hearing Voices Movement. On Monday I will deliver the first session of the ‘Starting Hearing Voices Groups Training’ at the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community. It will be great to be a part of these important developments particularly as Gail attended the very first Hearing Voices Group Facilitation training that I ran in London back in 2005.

This training looks to continue the positive momentum of the Hearing Voices Movement in the United States, with the primary purpose of training people to start their own Hearing Voices Groups in the local area. I will be facilitating the training along with Oryx Cohen, Director of the National Empowerment Center’s Technical Assistance Center and former Co-Facilitator of the RLC Hearing Voices Group in Holyoke and Gail Hornstein, Professor of Psychology at Mount Holyoke College, Co-Facilitator of the RLC Hearing Voices Group and author of Agnes’s Jacket.

On Tuesday I will be interviewed by a filmmaker about my work, meet with members of the Recovery Learning Community in Worcester before going to deliver my presentation at Mount Holyoke College entitled –

Bad Things That Happen to You Can Drive You Crazy! –

Understanding Abuse, Trauma, and Madness and Working toward Recovery.

See this link for further information: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/news/stories/5682743

On Wednesday I will travel to Framingham where I will give a presentation at Advocates, Inc.

Before I fly back home on Thursday evening, I will meet Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic. Bob has agreed to speak at a fundraising event for the Hearing Voices Network when he is in London in November – watch this space for further info!

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

Conferences

Jacqui giving a presentation

Conferences:

I am an experienced and accomplished public speaker. I have spoken at numerous national and international conferences and events for both statutory and non-government organisations.

I have been a keynote speaker at a variety of events on a diverse range of subjects. My specialist areas of expertise are:

  • Personal experiences of ‘madness’ and recovery
  • Hearing voices and ‘psychosis’
  • Critiquing biomedical approaches to madness and distress
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Ritual abuse
  • Dissociation and multiplicity

Training

Training

The training I offer is based on extensive personal and professional experience, knowledge and skills. All training is experiential enabling participants to develop a deeper understanding and greater insight by exploring experiences from both a subjective and objective perspective.

All training is bespoke so it can be tailored to meet the needs of your organisation.

Previous courses include:

  • Hearing Voices Awareness
  • Advanced Skills in Working with Voice Hearers
  • Hearing Voices Group Facilitation & Network Development
  • Beyond Survival – Working with Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • Abuse, Trauma and Dissociation: Understanding and Working Towards Recovery
  • Advanced Complex Trauma and Working with Sex Workers
  • Ritual Abuse: Thinking About the Unthinkable
  • Working with Self Harm
  • Service User Involvement & User Led Initiatives
  • Helping the Helpers: How Best to Support Your Loved One – For Carers, Allies & Familes
  • Vicarious Traumatisation: Roles, Power and Safety in the Healing Process
  • Therapeutic Use of Self: Path of the Wounded Healer

Please contact me if you would like to discuss your organisation’s training needs.

See my testimonials page to view, or share, feedback on my training courses

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.