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Living with Voices


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Table of Contents

Important Steps to Recovery with Voices The Disease Concept of Hearing Voices and its Harmful Aspects What Causes Hearing with Voices Accepting Voices and Finding a Way Out Making Sense of Voices: The relationship between the voices and the life history Metaphors and Emotions Hearing Voices in Groups Psychotherapy with Hearing Voices Medication Introduction to the 50 Stories The Fifty Stories

About the Author

Marius Romme MD, PhD, was Professor of Social Psychiatry at the Medical Faculty of the University of Maastrict. He is now a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Community Mental Health, Birmingham City University. Together with Dr. Escher they focussed their research on the experience of hearing voices. This led to the Hearing Voices movement and to the estabishment of support groups for voice hearers world wide.The main result is that the voices which are heard have a function in the person's life and their characteristics are directly related to the person's emotional problems.This opens the recovery perspective for voice hearers.Sandra Escher, MPhil, PhD, was a science journalist and worked as a senior researcher at the University of Maastricht, focusing on children hearing voices. She is now an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Community Mental Health, Birmingham City University.Sandra Escher, MPhil, PhD, was a science journalist and worked as a senior researcher at the University of Maastricht, focusing on children hearing voices. She is now an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Community Mental Health, Birmingham City University.Jacqui Dillon is a respected speaker, writer and activist, and has lectured and published worldwide on trauma, psychosis, dissociation and recovery. Jacqui is the national Chair of the Hearing Voices Network in England, Honorary Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London, Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health, Durham University and Visiting Research Fellow at The Centre for Community Mental Health, Birmingham City University. Jacqui is the co-editor of Living with Voices, an anthology of 50 voice hearers stories of recovery, Demedicalising Misery: Psychiatry, Psychology and the Human Condition and the 2nd Edition of Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Psychosis. She has published numerous articles and papers, is on the editorial board of the journal Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches and a foreign correspondent for Mad in America. Jacqui is also a voice hearer. See www.jacquidillon.org.Mervyn Morris is Professor of Community Mental Health and Director of the Centre for Community Mental Health at Birmingham City University, focusing on service redesign and developing alternative approaches through user expertise, particularly in the area of psychosis. He has run a practice-based univeristy-accredited training course on the accepting voices approach since 1999.


Marius Romme and Sandra Escher have revolutionised our understanding of voice hearing, and their work has led to a radical new way of helping people who have had this type of experience. In this timely, accessible and important book, they bring together the lessons they have learnt over more than two decades, and provide an opportunity for 50 voice hearers from across the world to tell us their stories. This is essential reading for mental health workers of all professions, which challenges conventional thinking, empowers mental health service users, and looks forward to a more humane approach to psychiatric care. Richard Bentall, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Bangor University, Wales ...rejects the traditional understanding of hearing voices as a symptom of major mental illness whose content is meaningless, and instead proposes that it is a response to trauma that has meaning and can be accepted and worked with to achieve recovery ... 'Living with Voices' is an important book for all those interested in the hearing voices approach. It puts lived experience to the forefront, and demonstrates that it is possible to live with voices and win back control of one's life. Peter Campbell, Mental health system survivor and a founder member of Survivors Speak Out and Survivors' Poetry.

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