Link to an informative paper by Rufus May and Eleanor Longdon
- very practical techniques for voice hearers to try for themselves
- tips for those who support or work with voice hearers.
The self-help movement offers a challenge to traditional approaches of professional help-giving, emphasising the expertise that lies within the individual. Self-help strategies are creative, continuously evolving and less amenable to the traditional types of evidence base as conventional approaches to the experience of living with voices .
However self-help techniques are very compatible alongside professional
help-giving approaches, as are self-help groups. Why are self help movements
required? The traditional psychiatric paradigm has emphasised medical remedies, which require a fairly passive response from the recipient. Hospital
treatment, which many voice-hearers have been given to reduce their distress,
has traditionally encouraged the patient to passively adapt to the routines of
the hospital ward and pharmacological treatment. A self-help ethos offers a
shift of emphasis from the passive to the active. It says we can change our
attitudes and experiences by making choices and taking action.
This chapter will outline the emancipatory philosophy of the hearing voices movement before outlining the group and individual approaches to self-help that have emerged over the last 20 years. We will look at the three stages of voice hearing and likely self help strategies that will complement these stages.