hope and assist for individuals who hear voices


‘Listening to voices’ refers back to the expertise of listening to somebody speaking to you, or different sounds, which no person else can hear. These sounds/voices are auditory hallucinations, which come from the particular person’s personal thoughts, slightly than from an exterior supply (or one other particular person). They’re extra widespread than it’s possible you’ll suppose – as much as 28% of the final inhabitants will expertise listening to voices (Corentin et al., 2023).

‘Listening to Voices Teams’ (HVGs) are an necessary useful resource for voice hearers, for whom care in psychological well being providers largely consists of treatment and/or speaking therapies. Psychological and psychiatric interventions might alleviate among the signs, however voice hearers usually ‘require a extra significant strategy to discover their experiences in an open and secure atmosphere’. That is the form of assist supplied at HVGs. Different Psychological Elf blogs written by Akther (2020), Badenoch (2021) and Barnby (2018) deliver differing views and reactions to voice listening to; that is the primary weblog to particularly talk about the expertise of HVGs amongst voice hearers.

This weblog discusses a scientific evaluation of the advantages of ‘Listening to Voices Teams’ (HVGs), or self-help conferences for individuals who hear voices (Corentin et al., 2023). The authors point out that to their information ‘no different systematic evaluation on this matter has been performed’ with this scope. Due to this fact, it’s helpful to synthesise and critically think about a considerable amount of literature on the advantages of HVGs and different self-help teams for this inhabitants, as mentioned in Longden et al. (2018); Ruddle et al. (2011); Dillon, J., & Longden, E. (2013); Dillon & Hornstein, (2013); Escher & Romme (2012); and Higgs (2020).

Hearing Voices Groups can offer a safe environment for voice hearers to unpack their lived experience of hearing voices in a meaningful way.

Listening to Voices Teams can supply a secure atmosphere for voice hearers to unpack their lived expertise of listening to voices in a significant manner.


This systematic evaluation follows fashions, manuals, checklists and eligibility standards to appraise and scale back an extended checklist of research right into a shortlist of eligible research on the subject below examination for an in depth evaluation.

The authors searched a number of databases (i.e., CINAHL Plus, PsycArticles, PsycInfo) and used the ‘Joanna Briggs Institutes Guide on Systematic Evaluations’ and PRISMA (Most well-liked Reporting Objects for Systematic Evaluations and Meta-Analyses); these frameworks present helpful steering to observe when conducting a scientific evaluation, particularly on healthcare research. The authors additionally used the P.I.C.O framework (Inhabitants, Intervention, Comparability, Outcomes) to find out their eligibility standards and assist their search technique to seek out related research. Research had been included in the event that they had been reporting on the experiences of voice hearers solely, targeted on HVGs or different self-help teams for voice hearers, and investigated their views and suggestions on outcomes. The authors excluded research specializing in the experiences of carers, clinicians and different stakeholders.

The authors critically appraised the research utilizing the Joanna Briggs Institutes (JBI) high quality appraisal device and the combined strategies appraisal device (MMAT) relying on the methodology. A story synthesis of the findings was then accomplished.


Of the 506 recognized research, 21 research had been full-text screened, and 13 research had been included within the closing evaluation (8 qualitative; 2 cross-sectional; 1 mixed-methods; 1 case examine and 1 case-series examine). In complete, 240 contributors had been included within the research which had been performed within the UK, Australia, Italy, Hungary, Netherlands, and Canada.

HVGs/self-help teams present many advantages for contributors together with the supply of a supportive, secure, and social place the place folks with comparable experiences can meet up, and achieve assist, hope, inspiration, connectedness, elevated shallowness, information, and coping abilities. Outcomes exhibit that in HVGs, speaking to like-minded people who find themselves experiencing comparable difficulties permits contributors to really feel understood, and never alone. Because the authors say:

These findings point out that for these in society who usually really feel most marginalised, assembly others with comparable experiences may be liberating and scale back the stigmatisation of being a voice hearer, and much more so if in case you have a studying incapacity additionally.

HVGs and self-help teams present a service which is in contrast to some other; it appears to fill a spot seen in psychological well being providers supplied by the NHS, providing a special form of (peer-led) assist. The outcomes additionally think about the position of healthcare professionals inside the HVG, as soon as they’ve a transparent understanding of the advantages of such teams and the arrogance to speak to voice hearers in regards to the teams.

The research additionally reveal how HVGs assist contributors, focusing not on ‘what’s fallacious with you’ however ‘what occurred to you’. That is significantly necessary as  ‘As soon as a voice hearer positive factors a greater understanding of their voices, voices change into much less hectic, much less unfavourable, and extra manageable’.

Hearing Voices Groups and self-help groups can help people better understand their voices and feel less stressed and more empowered to manage them.

Listening to Voices Teams and self-help teams will help folks higher perceive their voices and really feel extra empowered to handle them.


The findings of this evaluation point out varied advantages for voice hearers who attend HVGs or self-help teams. This doesn’t imply they cease listening to voices. Quite the opposite, the evaluation concludes that ‘the alleviation of voices or signs is just not at all times considered as a vital issue within the restoration journey of those that attend an HVG/self-help group’. This notion is necessary (even empowering) for voice hearers’ sense of themselves; it’s also necessary for healthcare professionals, who might rethink their very own notions of sickness, symptom discount and restoration. On this be aware, the authors current HVGs as ‘another narrative surrounding the voice listening to phenomenon, which may complement and never change present psychological well being remedies’ (Corentin et al., 2023).

Groups for voice hearers can offer an alternative means of support complementing psychological and psychiatric interventions.

Teams for voice hearers can supply another technique of assist, which may complement psychological and psychiatric interventions.

Strengths and limitations

The authors had a transparent analysis query and recognized the necessity to discover the advantages of HVGs and self-help teams focusing solely on the views of voice hearers. They used applicable appraisal instruments for the methodological designs below examination and reported on the standard of every examine (reasonable to excellent).

There are some limitations to the examine; though the authors performed a story synthesis of the proof, they didn’t restrict their evaluation to qualitative knowledge. To make sure that the authors have adopted a rigorous course of, it will have been useful if that they had submitted a protocol on Prospero. Given the main target is on peer-led teams, a serious limitation of this paper is just not together with direct enter from specialists by expertise. The authors be aware this limitation, saying: ‘the inclusion of individuals with lived expertise of psychological well being challenges might have led to additional insights’. Inspecting gray literature and first-person suggestions and analysis executed by the Listening to Voices Community would solidify and again up the goals and intentions of this evaluation.

This examine focuses on voice hearers, with out contemplating individuals who expertise other forms of hallucinations (additionally supported by HVGs, which generally name themselves ‘Uncommon Experiences Teams’). What’s it about listening to voices, slightly than other forms of hallucinations or broader signs, which makes HVGs work?

The review would be stronger if the authors involved or consulted experts by experience in the design and execution of the study.

The evaluation can be stronger if the authors concerned or consulted specialists by expertise within the design and execution of the examine.

Implications for observe

This examine is necessary as a result of it raises consciousness of obtainable sources, corresponding to HVGs and peer assist, from which individuals who hear voices can entry care exterior psychological well being providers. The findings can be utilized to tell additional coaching for professionals working in secondary care psychological well being providers (i.e., CMHTs) and/or these supporting individuals who hear voices. Healthcare professionals ought to concentrate on the advantages of HVGs and different teams and encourage collaborations between HVGs and the NHS (i.e., through signposting or group referrals).

This examine referred to as for reflection on my lived expertise of such teams. I attended an HVG (opened as an ‘Uncommon Experiences Group’) throughout certainly one of my admissions to a psychiatric ward on the Warneford Hospital in Oxford, in 2017. The medical workers on the ward appeared baffled by my hallucinations, so one nurse advisable I attend a gathering of the native HVG to entry assist. Once I entered the assembly, I used to be daunted, I felt like a doubtful outsider. One man gazed at me, his lucid, grey-blue eyes pierced proper by way of me, for a really very long time. My hallucinations intensified till the (small) room was filled with males’s faces observing me, piercing me. It was exhausting to inform what was ‘actual’. This was extra instantly triggering than useful. When everybody shared one thing about their experiences, I didn’t know what to say. I feared jeering or disbelief. However once I spoke, a number of folks nodded, some might relate; immediately I felt understood. I didn’t go to many classes, as a result of I felt overwhelmed and scared by among the contributors. It appeared to substantiate and develop what I wanted to decrease and distract myself from.

In my expertise, there have been advantages and dangers concerned in attending the HVG. These teams can’t assist everybody, on a regular basis. Nonetheless, HVGs clearly present a helpful useful resource for individuals who hear voices or produce other ‘uncommon’ experiences, exterior (and fill the gaps of) NHS psychological well being providers. I’m struck with the central tenet of HVGs, that restoration doesn’t imply eliminating the voices: you may study to reside with them, and you may reside nicely. That is empowering and hopeful.

Recovery can mean learning to live with the voices, connecting with people with similar experiences and living well.

Restoration can imply studying to reside with the voices, connecting with folks with comparable experiences and residing nicely.

Assertion of pursuits

Lorna hears voices (amongst different issues), and attended the HVG in Cowley Highway, Oxford, in 2017. Lorna has no conflicts of curiosity in relation to the examine reviewed.


Major paper

Clyde Corentin, Caroline Fitzgerald & John Goodwin (2023) Advantages of Listening to Voices Teams & Different Self-Assist Teams for Voice Hearers: A Systematic Evaluate, Points in Psychological Well being Nursing, 44:4, 228-244, https://doi.org/10.1080/01612840.2023.2189953

Different references

Dillon, J. & Hornstein, G. (2013) Listening to voices peer assist teams: a strong various for folks in misery, Psychosis, 5(3), 286-295. https://doi.org/10.1080/17522439.2013.843020

Dillon, J., & Longden, E. (2013). Listening to voices teams: Creating sage locations to share taboo experiences’ in Romme, M. & Escher, S. (2012). Psychosis as a private disaster: An expertise primarily based strategy, New York: Routledge: 129-140.

Dos Santos, B. and Beavan, V. (2015), “Qualitatively exploring listening to voices community assist teams”, The Journal of Psychological Well being Coaching, Training and Follow, 10(1), 26-38. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-07-2014-0017

Escher, S., Romme, M. (2012). ‘The Listening to Voices Motion’ in Blom, J. & Sommer, I. (eds.) Hallucinations. New York: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-0959-5_28

Higgs, R. N. (2020). ‘Reconceptualizing Psychosis: The Listening to Voices Motion and Social Approaches to Well being’ in Well being and Human Rights Journal, 22(1), 133-144. https://www.hhrjournal.org/2020/06/reconceptualizing-psychosis-the-hearing-voices-movement-and-social-approaches-to-health/

Longden, E., Learn, J., & Dillon, J. (2018). Assessing the Influence and Effectiveness of Listening to Voices Community Self-Assist Teams. Neighborhood psychological well being journal, 54(2), 184–188. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-017-0148-1

Oakland, L. & Berry, Ok. (2015) ‘Lifting the veil’: a qualitative evaluation of experiences in Listening to Voices Community teams, Psychosis, 7:2, 119-129. https://doi.org/10.1080/17522439.2014.937451

Payne, T., Allen, J., & Lavender, T. (2017) Listening to Voices Community teams: experiences of eight voice hearers and the connection to group processes and restoration, Psychosis, 9(3), 205-215. https://doi.org/10.1080/17522439.2017.1300183

Ruddle, A., Mason, O., Wykes, T. (2011). A evaluation of listening to voices teams: Proof and mechanisms of change, Scientific Psychology Evaluate, 31(5), 757-766. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2011.03.010.

Schaefer, B., Boumans, J., van Os, J., van Weeghel, Jaap (2021). ‘Rising Processes Inside Peer-Assist Listening to Voices Teams: A Qualitative Research within the Dutch Context, Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12. 1https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.647969

Syeda Akther, 23/01/2020. ‘What are the folks listening to voices saying?’ https://www.nationalelfservice.web/mental-health/psychosis/people-hearing-voices-saying/

Douglas Badenoch, 27/01/2021. ‘Listening to voices: experiences of kids and younger folks #CAMHScampfire’

Joe Barnby, 07/02/2018. ‘Dealing with our internal voices: AVATAR remedy for auditory hallucinations in folks with psychosis’

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