I will be speaking about my most recent research into the experiences of Hearing Voices Group Facilitators over the pandemic on a panel alongside some legendary speakers, and would love for you to come and join.
The Hearing Voices Approach was brought to the UK by voice hearers and allies based in Manchester in the 1980’s. Manchester was home to the first peer-to-peer Hearing Voices Groups in the world. We want to re-establish the Manchester network to support existing hearing voices groups and to set up more across the city. We also want to provide training, raise public awareness and challenge mental health providers to embed the Hearing Voices approach into their services.
What is the Hearing Voices Approach?
Broadly speaking, the approach advocated by Hearing Voices network is one that prioritises the expertise and experiences of the individual, rather than a pre-existing theoretical framework. An example of a pre-existing theoretical framework might be the biomedical model used in most clinical settings, which regards voices – referred to in the literature as ‘audio-visual hallucinations’ – as inherently negative and symptomatic of psychosis, requiring pharmaceutical treatment in order to erase the experience. Peer-to-peer Hearing Voices groups are a key tenet of the Hearing Voices approach, as they are a safe and non-judgemental space in which people who live with voices and visions are encouraged to share their various personal methods of understanding and coping with extra-sensory experiences.
Relaunch event on Wednesday 25th Manchester, 7-9.30pm
The evening will include a film screening followed by a panel discussion.
Beyond Possible: How the Hearing Voices Approach Transforms Lives is a 22-minute film made by Voice Hearers in the USA. It explores what the Hearing Voices approach looks like, how it began, and the ways in which it can expand our view of what is possible in the lives of people who hear voices, see visions, and/or have similar non-consensus-reality-based experiences. We hope that the film can help those of us with these experiences to understand that we are not alone in either our struggles or our successes. For allies who hope to attend, we hope the film will provide some insight and inspiration into how we can work together to build a world where everyone has the potential to live full lives.
The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the following speakers:
- Elizabeth Svanholmer
- Ellie Page
- Paul Baker
- Rufus May
We will also discuss how we can develop the Manchester Hearing Voices Network over the coming months. Let us know if you can attend by booking your free space on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/transforming-lives-re-launch-of-the-manchester-hearing-voices-network-tickets-333554730177
The new Hearing Voices Manchester aims to:
- Raise awareness of the diversity of voices, visions and similar experiences
- Challenge negative stereotypes, stigma and discrimination
- Create spaces for people of all ages and backgrounds to talk freely about voice-hearing, visions and similar sensory experiences
- Share the wide range of ways in which people manage distressing, confusing or difficult voices
- Encourage a more positive response to voice-hearing and related experiences in healthcare settings and wider society
We hope to do this by:
- Sharing information and resources through our website, social media, e-bulletin, newsletter and email information service
- Engaging with the media to present realistic and hopeful perspectives on hearing voices and related experiences
- Offering workshops, training and events [subject to our resources]
- Supporting members who want to set up a Hearing Voices Group