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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2013 Jul;34(7):562-3. doi: 10.3109/01612840.2013.783659.

Engaging with voices: rethinking the clinical treatment of psychosis.

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  • 1DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA.


Although the hearing voices movement (HVM) has yet to take root in the US to the extent it has in the UK (and parts of Australia and Europe), recent publications and events, including a keynote presentation by UK hearing voices trainer Ron Coleman at the 2012 Annual NAMI convention and a TED 2013 talk in Los Angeles by British voice hearer and psychologist Eleanor Longden, suggest that the tide is starting to turn (Arenella, 2012; Grantham, 2012; Thomas, 2012). At its core, the HVM emphasizes a few basic, but important, points: that antipsychotic pharmacotherapy and various forms of psychotherapy that aim to suppress psychotic experiences are often--for too many people--ineffective or insufficient; that voices and other extreme experiences and beliefs carry important messages that need to be explored rather than silenced, and that voices themselves are often less of the problem than the difficulties individuals have in coping and negotiating with them (Corstens, Escher, & Romme, 2008; Longden, Corstens, Escher, & Romme, 2012; Place, Foxcroft, & Shaw, 2011).

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