• Living with Voices: 50 stories of recovery

Living with Voices: 50 stories of recovery

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ISBN 978 1 906254 22 3 (2009)
Cover Price: £23.99
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Read a review from Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies Journal, December 2012: http://bit.ly/10ufKdu

A new analysis of the hearing voices experience outside the illness model resulted in accepting and making sense of voices. This study of 50 stories forms the evidence for this successful new approach to working with voice hearers.

This book demonstrates that it is entirely possible to overcome problems with hearing voices and to take back control of one’s life. It shows a path to recovery by addressing the main problems voice hearers describe – the threats, the feelings of powerlessness, the anxiety of being mad – and helps them to find their way back to their emotions and spirituality and to realising their dreams. This book also holds true for those who have been given a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

This is the third book in a series regarding the experience of hearing voices. It proves the value of an ‘accepting’ and ‘making sense of’ voices approach, for which it provides an evidence base. At the heart of this book are the stories of fifty people who have recovered from the distress of hearing voices. They have overcome the disabling social and psychiatric attitudes towards voice hearing and have also fought with themselves to accept and make sense of the voices. They have changed their relationship with their voices in order to reclaim their lives.

All the people in this book describe their recovery; how they now accept their voices as personal, and how they have learnt to cope with them and have changed their relationship with them. They have discovered that their voices are not a sign of madness but a reaction to problems in their lives that they couldn’t cope with, and they have found that there is a relationship between the voices and their life history, that the voices talk about problems that they haven’t dealt with – and that they therefore make sense.



Introduction Marius Romme and Mervyn Morris

1 Important Steps to Recovery with Voices
Marius Romme
2 The Disease Concept of Hearing Voices and Its Harmful Aspects
Marius Romme
3 What Causes Hearing Voices?
Marius Romme
4 Accepting Voices and Finding a Way Out
Sandra Escher
5 Making Sense of Voices: The relationship between the voices and the life history
Sandra Escher
6 Metaphors and Emotions
Marius Romme
7 Hearing Voices Groups
Marius Romme
8 Psychotherapy with Hearing Voices
Marius Romme
9 Medication
Marius Romme

Introduction to the FIFTY STORIES
Mervyn Morris


Ami Rohnitz; Andreas Gehrke; Antje Müller; Audrey Reid; Caroline; Daan Marsman
Debra Lampshire; Denise Bosman; Don Dugger; Eleanor Longden; Elisabeth Svanholmer
Fernand Chappin; Flore Brummans; Frank Dahmen; Frans de Graaf; Gavin Young
Gina Rohmit; Hannelore Klafki; Helen; Mrs Hutten; Jacqui Dillon; Jan Holloway
Jeanette Brink; Jeanette Woolthuis; Jo; John Exell ; John Robinson; Johnny Sparvang
Jolanda van Hoeij; Karina Carlyn; Lisette de Klerk; Marion Aslan; Mieke Simons
Mien Sonnemans ; Odi Oquosa; Olga Runciman; Patsy Hage; Peggy Davies; Peter Bullimore
Peter Reynolds; Riny Selder; Robert Huisman; Ron Coleman; Ronny Nilson; Rufus May
Ruth Forrest; Sasja Slotenmakers; Sjon Gijsen; Stewart Hendry; Sue Clarkson

Read a review from Psychosis Journal, December 2012: http://bit.ly/10ufKdu

Read 5-star Amazon reviews here

Marius Romme and Sandra Escher have revolutionized our understanding of voice hearing, and their work has led to a radical new way of helping people who have had this type of experience. In this timely, accessible and important book, they bring together the lessons they have learnt over more than two decades, and provide an opportunity for 50 voice-hearers from across the world to tell us their stories. This is essential reading for mental health workers of all professions, which challenges conventional thinking, empowers mental health service users, and looks forward to a more humane approach to psychiatric care. Richard Bentall, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Liverpool

Living with Voices is a must read for all: voice hearers, practitioners and scholars of all orientations. It is a milestone because it offers learning directly from the experiences of voices hearers, not in the alienating language of deterioration and immobility, but in the optimistic language of resilience and recovery. Mathias Dekeyser, person-centred therapist, Person-Centered &Experiential Psychotherapies Journal Dec 2012.

Based on a substantial number of real-life case stories Professor Romme and his associates have written what I would describe as a “must-read” in the field of Psychosis.  As a final year trainee on a Counselling Psychology doctoral programme I found myself in the exciting but very challenging position of working within a CMHT for the first time and being confronted with clients recounting distressing stories of their psychotic experiences.  This book has been an invaluable insight that has both helped to arrest some of my apprehensions and inform my practice with this client group. Amy Dodd, Trainee Counselling Psychologist, Feb 2011

Accessible and thoughtful, Living with Voices is an excellent introduction to the subject matter and the Hearing Voices Movement approach, and indeed the recovery model, for both service users and practitioners. Given the structure of the book, it is also possible to dip in and out of it, and read or use individual chapters or stories on a stand-alone basis. Akiko Hart, BPS Website, Division of Clinical Psychology, 2010

I am an OT working in mental health - often with people who experience hearing voices. I have used this book to guide my own therapeutic input but have also provided it to patients to read. Would recommend for voice hearers, professionals, family members or anyone with an interest in learning more. Amazon reviewer.

Marius Romme

Marius Romme MD, PhD, was Professor of Social Psychiatry at the Medical Faculty of the University of Maastrict. He is now a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Community Mental Health, Birmingham City University. Together with Dr. Escher they focussed their research on the experience of hearing voices. This led to the Hearing Voices movement and  to the estabishment of support groups for voice hearers  world wide.The main result is that the voices which are heard have a function in the person's life and their characteristics are directly related to the person's emotional problems.This opens the recovery perspective for voice hearers.

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Marius Romme

Sandra Escher

Sandra Escher, MPhil, PhD, was a science journalist and worked as a senior researcher at the University of Maastricht, focusing on children hearing voices. She is now an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Community Mental Health, Birmingham City University.

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Sandra Escher

Jacqui Dillon

Jacqui Dillon is a respected speaker, writer and activist, and has lectured and published worldwide on trauma, psychosis, dissociation and recovery. Jacqui is the national Chair of the Hearing Voices Network in England, Honorary Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of East London, Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health, Durham University and Visiting Research Fellow at The Centre for Community Mental Health, Birmingham City University.

Jacqui is the co-editor of Living with Voices, an anthology of 50 voice hearers stories of recovery, Demedicalising Misery: Psychiatry, Psychology and the Human Condition and the 2nd Edition of Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Psychosis. She has published numerous articles and papers, is on the editorial board of the journal Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches and a foreign correspondent for Mad in America. She also contrubuted a chapter to Madness Contested (PCCS Books, 2013).  Jacqui is also a voice hearer. See www.jacquidillon.org

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Dirk Corstens

Dirk Corstens is a social psychiatrist and psychotherapist working in community mental health services in Maastricht. He has worked with Marius Romme and Sandra Escher since 1992, and now leads a treatment facility for voice hearers in Maastricht. Dirk is also preparing a PhD on courses for voice hearers and professionals, and the voice-dialogue method for voice hearing. You can find his website at www.hearingvoicesmaastricht.eu

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