The newly developing Avatar therapy has been hailed by many as ground-breaking, a fantastic break-through, an alternative to drug treatment where the drugs aren't working. On the other hand the biological believers (people who think schizophrenia is a biological disease that needs biological interventions) look on sceptically; pointing to the small scale of the research. It must be a bit of a shock to many conventional schizophrenia researchers because it’s actually a psychological approach that is getting attention; not a gene discovery or a wonder drug. Meanwhile those in the hearing voices movement (including me) also ask questions; suspicious of scientists - posing as voices - getting a lot of attention for a snazzy-looking role-play. So what is all the fuss about?
“How do we identify, acknowledge and work with difficult emotions represented by challenging voices?”
Below are some notes from a workshop I ran at last years Intervoice meeting in Perth, Australia.
Challenging or difficult voices can be messengers about difficult emotions that we are disconnected from and the life events that relate to this.
Challenging voices can tell us clues about relationships we have had.
I talk back to the voices in my head
Great piece about and by Dean Smith, Saturday April 4 2009, The Guardian:
I was working as a holiday rep in Brittany 15 years ago when I started hearing voices. I was in my mid-20s and thought it was my mates mucking about. I looked inside and outside the flat to see where they were. It felt really scary, because the voices were saying stuff like, "Right, you're having it" and, "We'll get you in the end."
Click here for excellent BBC World service interviews and features on mental health issues world wide. It includes a good interview with Hearing Voices Network trainer Peter Bullimore and a reenactment of his voices. Also there is a film and recorded radio feature documenting a voice dialogue interview I did with voice hearer called Jackie's voices. Click here for a further feature on the BBC Health website.
Click here Soteria Network to read about the aims and values of this organisation
World Congress ”Hearing Voices” 17th – 18th September 2009 This is a call for papers for an exciting international meeting next year.