Connecting People and Ideas in the Hearing Voices Movement

Raising Our Voices – Speaking Our Truths: World Hearing Voices Congress (two days) and INTERVOICE meeting (one day) 2nd – 4th November, 2010, Sherwood Forest Center Parcs, Nottinghamshire, England

Hosted by Hearing Voices England & INTERVOICE and sponsored by Asylum Associates, this was the largest and most significant event ever held in the 23 year history of the hearing voices movement.

Over 400 people attended this years two day Congress and 170 to the one day INTERVOICE meeting. Delegates came from around the world including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, USA and from all over the UK. Many voice hearers were present, alongside psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, academics, social workers and family members.

Our meetings are very special in that they involve professionals and voice hearers as equal partners as presenters and participants  (you need to have to been there to fully appreciate it).

The theme this year was the exploration of personal truths and spreading the message to the wider world.

Topics were diverse but focusede on innovatory and deevloping ideas and practice. We sought to stretch the agenda and push the boundaries. It was held at a Center Parc to ensure a peaceful and enjoyable environment and experience for everyone taking part.

The Congress saw the launch of the new INTERVOICE website, the introduction of a formal membership scheme and the book launch of the English language edition of  Children Hearing Voices: What you need to know and what you can do by Sandra Escher and Marius Romme.

Issues discussed included:

  • On the Road to Recovery
  • Child Sexual Abuse: Making Sense and Moving On
  • Service Users Training Psychiatrists
  • What does voice hearing have to do with me? What is my personal reference as expert by profession who doesn’t have the experience him/herself?
  • Walking the Shamans Path
  • How Art has helped me
  • Experienced Focused Counselling:
  • Meds Free Life/Wife
  • Person Centred Therapy and Hearing Voices
  • Piloting a Hearing Voices Group in a High Security Psychiatric Setting:
  • Re-examining the evidence base for Hearing Voices Groups – what works, what we think works,and what we need to find out more about.
  • How voice hearers can develop their own internal voice and use it to go into a dialogue with their voices
  • Young People

We believe the Congress gave added impetus to our call for a change in the way society and mental health services regard voices. No longer as something to be eradicated, but as an aspect of our humanity that can be valued and understood.

Intervoice was set up to support the International Hearing Voices Movement, celebrating the diversity and creativity within it. We do what we can to share information and connect people with groups, networks and resources.

World Hearing Voices Day Postcard