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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2010 Mar;198(3):201-5. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181d14612.

Hearing voices and listening to what they say: the importance of voice content in understanding and working with distressing voices.

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1
First Episode Psychosis Team, St. Lukes Community Mental Health Centre, Auckland, New Zealand. vbeavan@adhb.govt.nz

Abstract

The content of auditory hallucinations is sometimes dismissed as having little diagnostic/therapeutic importance. There is growing evidence that voice content may be crucial to understanding and working therapeutically with this experience. The aim of the present study is to explore, in a general population sample, the content and impact of voice-hearers' auditory hallucinations. A self-selected sample of 154 participants completed questionnaires about voice-hearing. A subsample of 50 participants completed semi-structured interviews. Participants experienced a range of voice content of high personal relevance, with most experiencing both positive and negative content. Voice content was the only significant predictor of emotional distress and the strongest predictor of contact with mental health services. These findings suggest that content is an important characteristic of auditory hallucinations and should be explored with voice-hearers who find themselves in clinical settings.

PMID:
20215997
DOI:
10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181d14612
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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