Workshops for voice hearers and professionals

About the workshops my collaborators and I provide (in Dutch and English):

The format of this 3-day workshop for voice hearers and professionals is originally developed by Romme and Escher, well known Dutch researchers and professional psychiatry activists who gave the hearing voices movement an enormous impuls. I participated with them in several workshops and started to organise it independently and added my own accents. The idea is to bring voice hearers and professionals who work with the voice hearers in groups together and practice several  methodologies. The fundamental approach although is to model a paradigm shift concerning voice hearing where respectful attitude and persistent focus on the relation between life-history and voices are the key elements. We experienced that many VHs who are clients in the Mental Health System are captured in a long lasting powerless relationship with their voices and the surrounding professionals, amplified by a medical model based view on auditory hallucinations as a symptom of genetic psychiatric or even brain disease where is no hope anymore except using medication that often doesn’t stop or change the voices.  People who really profit from the medical model based treatment won’t visit our training because they don’t need to! Our recovery based paradigm creates hope and direction for a more constructive dialogue between voice hearer and his/her voice(s) and between voice hearer and professional. Making sense of voices is what our aim is.

The methodologies we practice in the course are:

-       The Maastricht hearing Voices Interview

-       Making the construct, making sense of voices in relation to life-history

-       Making a recovery directed treatment plan

-       Talking with the voices and other intervention strategies

The three day course is a unique opportunity for professionals and voice hearers to study the experience of voice hearing, to make sense of the individual experience and to learn to know eachother in a normalising context. The course leaders try to create an atmosphere that gives way to a seldomly acquainted openness in a group of psychiatric patients who are generally seen as most difficult and chronic. We want to learn to know the person behind the so-called symptoms. Our basic assumption is that the voices have something to teach that relates to difficult personal experiences and emotions. Basically we all hear voices, that is our theoretical starting point.

The program is:

Day 1:

-       Introduction  to eachother. Why did you come to the course? What do you want to learn? Which topics are you interested in?

-       Research questionnaire

-       Information about making a treatment or support plan

-       Information about voice dialogue / demonstration

-       Experiencing  voice dialogue

Day 2:

-       Practicing making constructs and treatment plan

Day 3:

-       Practicing Voice Dialogue

-    Making a recovery plan

-      Evaluation