Forums Home

Carers Forum

Acceptance, connection, support. Share the journey.

Safe, anonymous discussion for people living with mental illness, moderated 24/7 by mental health professionals.

Read the community guidelines
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Useful resources

Casual Contributor

Hearing Voices Approach?

I've read about the hearing voices movement. There's a TED Talk with over two million views by an Englishworman named Eleanor Longden which sheds some light on this. I'm wondering if it's an approach consistent with the current reseach on schizophrenia? Does anybody have any ideas on whether this approach works?


Re: Hearing Voices Approach?

This is a truly amazing talk by an extraordinary young woman. As my daughter's experience is in some ways similar to Eleanor Longden we have not only been moved by this young woman's courage, we feel a great sense of hope that such a recovery is possible.

My daughter has been involved with aspects of the hearing voices approach. For her some of the techniques for managing voices have been helpful. For example, acceptance of her voices and understanding what they mean have been very useful. I have also learnt more about her voices and on occasion will speak with them. I don't know what the research says but on a personal level it has brought us closer and she says she has more control over her voices now.

However! I have taken part in some training and been involved in learning more about this approach and based on my purely personal point of view have at times felt somewhat unwelcome/excluded as a carer. I feel quite sad and surprised about this as I think the hearing voices approach can be helpful to some people and carers can be trained in managing voices.

In many cases, as in mine, the carer is the one who introduces their loved one to the approach in the first place. And yes, I have let hearing voices know how I feel as a carer!

I'm really interested to hear what other carers think about this approach?

Re: Hearing Voices Approach?

This is a really exciting and from what I've heard, effective way of dealing with voices.  It is a real shame to hear about negative experiences with this approach as a carer.  In Victoria, Voices Vic (a project of Prahran Mission) offer a lot of training and support for voice hearers.  Here is the link:

Re: Hearing Voices Approach?

It might be interesting to contrast this with the Open Dialogue technique used in Finland. I understand carers are more involved using the Finnish Open Dialogue approach and that it's been quite successful. Perhaps the local hearing voices network (Voices Vic?) might more seriously consider your position if you suggest that Open Dialogue may have certain strengths they could adopt in some way? It seems to me you've really made an effort as a carer, you fill an important role and it's made a big difference for your daughter, so although there's a way to go you should be very pleased!

Re: Hearing Voices Approach?

It's an interesting area. I was very suspicious about it when my relative joined a Voices group. It wasn't carer-friendly and seemed to encourage acceptance of the delusional thinking, which was VERY weird and has been harmful to him. They also encouraged reducing medication which was ireponsible considering how catastrophic it is when he becomes psychotic.

However, they do seem to have taught ways to manage the voices and not automatically do what they tell him to (ie, not eat), so that's got to be good. I'm keeping an open mind therefore, but agree it would be good if they could include families, maybe in line with that scandinavian treatment model, whatever it's called.

Re: Hearing Voices Approach?

I was looking up something else on the Voices Vic website, saw this (below) and remembered the thread here.

"We know that many carers find the Hearing Voices Approach is helpful in providing supportive strategies to use at home. 

We already have a number of carers involved in the network, and we are members of the Victorian Mental Carers Network.  Many carers and family have attended our training, and others have passed on the information about groups to their loved ones.  We have also provided some information days for family, and visited several carer organisations to share ideas."

Re: Hearing Voices Approach?


Re: Hearing Voices Approach?

Do you think this picture of me make me look fat ? Just kidding I got this silhouette years ago.
I watch Eleanor Longdens TED speech. Now there a survivor. As she says "You cant opress people that are not affraid".
Several years ago a young women had a horrific motor bike accident. The experts in the field say she had suffered nerve damage which affected how her legs function. She came to me on crutches. I asked the young lady to sit & demonstate /explain to me what had happened. She described the accident and said it felt her feet had forgotton what to do. I had a very stong desire to prove to her she was the master of her feet. I needed a foot challenge, so I purchased a pack of 6 ping pong balls., place them on a plant tray beside the couch where we had been the week before.
I asked her if she could try to lift her feet from the seated position. Fail. I then presented one of the balls. I said to her "Crush that ball". Immediately her knee lifted & with great conviction she flattened that ball. By her final appointment she walked the length of the room with crutches. She left her husband & lived happily ever after.
My point is this, emotional trauma was replaced with professional opions about nerve damage. To excuse the french FTP and believe in who you are and metaphorically speaking go out in that great big world & find some balls to crush.

Re: Hearing Voices Approach?

Yes, Eleanor Longden is an inspiration. Intervoice is growing in numbers rapidly. The rights of individuals not to be drugged into a haze Will Hall is also another amazing speaker. S is not considered an illness [I agree] but a state of mind which can be changed & healed. Research ..well in Australlia we live in the stone age when it comes to treatment. Countries are banning drugs & then they appear in Australia. The more is better is the MH way here. This is reverse thinking for Intervoice Members. Become a member.

Re: Hearing Voices Approach?

when i was diagnosed with schizophrenia i was having negative voices message but my visual hallucination and delusion were full of grandiosity and religious, it was two against one and i tried many times to avoid the messages from what i hear and have tried some times to convert it to positive thoughts for example if the voice was that i am weak i tend to read a lot,try to be competant at work even if i was ill because some of my delusions were possessing golden mind and energetic thoughts and i was able to do my masters soon my symptoms are controlled so i was building a capacity to be more powerfull. wearing earphone and listing music might destract you from the bad auditory hallucinations 

For urgent assistance, call: