Typically, in Western medical thinking hearing voices has always been associated with mental illness and frequently seen as a symptom of schizophrenia. Yet, we discovered many people who hear voices do not have a mental illness and never seek help. For this reason we are prepared to accept a range of explanations offered by people who hear voices, including spiritual ones, and believe it is essential to the process of recovery from overwhelming voices to understand the meaning of the voices to the voice hearer.


- Marius Romme

Oryx Cohen and Mark Boorse at MCHVN Community Event

Uniting our voices to dare the path of the future!

We are excited to announce that the 11th World Hearing Voices Congress will take place between 11 and 13 November 2019 in Montréal, Canada. The event is hosted by REVquébécoise and L’Association québécoise pour la réadaptation psychosociale (AQRP) as part of it’s 19th congress. 


Note: The following is information from the organisers. Please email: colloque@aqrp-sm.org or view the congress website: aqrp-sm.org/colloque-2019

Would you like to support someone attending the Hearing Voices Congress in Montreal??

To make a donation to support people with lived experience to attend the "Congress," please contact Peggy Maccolini@peggy.maccolini@rhd.org

Ongoing- Weekly Support Groups

Hearing voices support groups for people who identify with hearing seeing sensing things that others don't. Hearing voices support groups offered weekly throughout Montgomery County.  Check the schedule link above for location and time. 

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Voices & Visions #1: A straight talking introduction for parents and carers of children and young people who hear voices

Voice Collective, 2012  Download Booklet No. 1

A pdf booklet aimed at parents/supporters, but also suitable for anyone else who wants to understand a bit more about voices and visions. Includes an overview of the range of experiences people can have, how this can affect them and basic tips on how to speak with your child about them.


Annie Stafford and Tracey Riper-Thomas offering the training,  "Understanding Voices through a Recovery Perspective"

Rufus May and Elisabeth Svanholmer presenting in Montgomery County



In our view it is no longer sustainable to think of voices as part of a disease, such as schizophrenia, instead hearing voices can be regarded as a meaningful, real (although sometimes painful, fearful and overwhelming) event, that speak to the person in a metaphorical way about their lives, emotions and environment.

For instance, people experiencing distress as a consequence of abusive or commanding voices can often recognise their voices as those of their actual abusers and the voices have the effect of attacking their sense of self-esteem and worth. It should not be forgotten however, that some people experience helpful and guiding voices, also arising from times of trauma and stress.

Having discovered these kinds of relationships the next step has been to develop techniques to assist voice hearers focus on their experience and get to know their voices better. This is in contradiction to most psychiatric and psychological orthodoxies that assume that such psychopathological symptoms are not open to insight and talking treatments and instead would attempt to distract patients with such symptoms from their voices.

This turns out not only to be bad advice, but actually counterproductive, as such approaches disempower the voice hearer by denying to them their real experience and disarming them from taking on the voices and standing up for themselves. The new approach requires the voice hearer to make space for the voices, to listen but not to necessarily follow, to engage, but in their own time and space essentially to learn how to control them in their own terms, according to their own beliefs and explanatory framework. This acceptance of the voices is crucial to growth and resolution, voice hearers who have learnt these techniques can now say “I hear voices, they are part of me and I am glad they are”.

Voice Dialoguing 

Let's practice how we might respond...

(from 2-day voice dialogue training with

Rufus and Elisabeth)

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