Recovery & Self Help

Whilst many people are not distressed by the voices they hear, and these voices are a positive influence in their lives, there are others who feel overwhelmed and controlled by their voices. These books all provide ideas, resources and inspiration to aid people in their recovery from this distress. It includes information about the development of the Hearing Voices Movement as well as practical suggestions and advice.

Understanding Voices – Coping with Auditory Hallucinations and Confusing Realities

M. Romme & S. Escher et al, Handsell Publications

A collection of papers regarding the original research by Romme and Escher, who founded the Hearing Voices movement. The book covers three articles;

The first is a study of an experiment in which people with auditory hallucinations were brought into contact with and described their experiences to each other.

The second is a paper covering a pilot study comparing people who heard voices either diagnosed as schizophrenic, or as having an affective disorder, which concludes that hearing voices is not primarily an incomprehensible symptom of an illness but more a personal way of coping with personal problems.

The third article covers extensive research on the main results of the comparative study of three groups with auditory hallucinations. Following the conclusion, Romme, Escher and Hage include the ‘Maastricht Interview’ schedule, which has been used during their research, and is currently used in therapy.

‘Gek genoeg gewoon Een andere visie op stemmen horen en beelden zien’

by Tilly Gerritsma/Titus Rivas, Deventer Price, 2007, Netherlands.

Book Description:

The phenomenon of hearing voices and seeing images or visions is much more widespread than is commonly thought. Nonetheless, mainstream psychiatry continues to treat such hallucinations as evidence for a mental disorder. ‘Gek genoeg gewoon’ tries to show how outdated this view actually is. Experiential expert Tilly Gerritsma describes her personal process of hearing voices and related phenomena, and how she learnt to deal with them, through the aid of ‘the voice’. She shows that hearing voices can be seen as an opportunity for both psychological and emotional as well as spiritual growth.

Psychologist and philosopher Titus Rivas gives a comprehensive survey of theories about hallucinations. He endorses approaches that offer resistance to a one-sided biopsychiatric view, such as social psychiatry, and emphasizes the reality and normality of paranormal experiences. Hearing voices: an opportunity for emotional and spiritual growth!

About the authors

Tilly Gerritsma (1953) is a mother of four sons. She’s a member of the staff of Stichting Weerklank, and a counselor, and she also gives lectures and workshops about hearing voices and extrasensory experiences.

Titus Rivas, MA (1964) is an author, researcher and teacher. He’s affiliated to Athanasia Foundation in Nijmegen. Ankh-Hermes previously published his book ‘Parapsychologisch onderzoek naar reïncarnatie en leven na de dood’ .

152 pages., pb. Dutch Ankh-Hermes, Deventer Price ca. € 12,50 ISBN 978 90 202 8464 5

Working with Voices – Victim to Victor, 2nd Edition

by Ron Coleman & Mike Smith. P&P Press Limited, 2006.

The new, second edition, Victim to Victor Workbook is for voice hearers and the people they select to support them. It will enable people who have difficulties to cope with their voices and to discover different sides to their voices. It will unfold their relationship with the voices and by doing so will stimulate them to acquire more effective ways of coping. Most important in this process, and well stimulated in this workbook, is to take ownership of the voice hearing experience. The workbook provides the opportunity for the person to begin the process of growing from victim to victor by writing his or her own life history in relation to their voice hearing, then moving forward to other positive growth exercises. This book will stimulate the person to plan their own future and life again, and is especially helpful for those who are presently feeling too overpowered by their voices to become their master.

Working with voices!! Victim to victor: Evaluation of a Mentored Self-Help Intervention for the Management of Psychotic Symptoms

Results from research study show that using the “Working with voices!!” workbook led to statistically significant improvement in the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) factor Anxious Depression for Intervention group participants, over those in the Comparison group.

Recovery – An Alien Concept, 2011 Edition

by Ron Coleman, edited by Eleanor Longden. P&P Books, 2011

An exploration of the concept of recovery by Ron Coleman, including how he gave up being a chronic schizophrenic and went back to being Ron. In ‘Recovery – An Alien Concept’ Ron attempts to reflect on the past and learn the lessons of history in the psychiatric system, by exploring recovery and encouraging professionals, clients and carers to begin their own personal journeys towards recovery.

In these pages the reader may feel the pain of those for whom the present system has failed, feel the inspiration and joy of those who have recovered, and the desire to make recovery a reality for all in this new millennium.

Raising Our Voices, An account of the hearing voices movement

by Adam James, Handsell Publishing, 2001

In this comprehensive book, Adam James demonstrates why he was made ‘Mind Journalist of the Year 2001’. He has brought both the philosophy and struggle of the Hearing Voices Network to life. In this compelling book, the history of the Network from Julian Jaynes’ work on the bicameral mind to the development of the UK Hearing Voices Network as a pseudo mainstream organisation is explained in terms that anyone can understand.

Recovery – Das Ende der Unheilbarkeit

by Michaela Amering und Margit Schmolke, Psychiatrie Verlag, 2007.


“Vorhersagen sind schwierig, besonders, wenn sie sie Zukunft betreffen.” (Karl Valentin).

Das gilt auch für die Schizophrenie. Mit den Daten der Verlaufsforschung wird nicht nur das seit 100 Jahren tradierte falsche Diktum der Unheilbarkeit von Schizophrenie ad acta gelegt, sondern auch ihrer Gesundheit. Persönliche Erfahrungen (…) sind sehr wichtig für die Entwicklung von neuen Behandlungsansätzen. Genesung – Recovery – definiert sich dabei weniger durch die Abwesenheit von symptomen als durch den Zugewinn an Lebensqualität.

Allen Genesenden gemeinsam ist die Erfahrung, dass sie die Hoffnung auf Besserung nie aufgegeben haben. Ihre Botschaft: Hoffnung macht Sinn. Es ist die wichtigste Aufgabe psychiatrischer Träger überhaupt, die Hoffnung auf Besserung und Genesung zu erhalten und die psychischen Widerstandskräfte zu stärken.

Escape, enlightenment and endurance

by Hermione Thornhill, Linda Clare, Rufus May, Anthropology & Medicine, Routledge, Issue: Volume 11, Number 2 / August 2004, Pages: 181 – 199

This paper reports findings from a study which analysed the narratives of individuals who described themselves as recovered or recovering from psychosis, a term referring to experiences such as hearing voices other people do not hear, seeing or sensing things other people do not see or sense, holding unusual beliefs (delusions) or beliefs about the malevolent intention of others which seem unwarranted (paranoia). A narrative approach was taken since it allows for a focus on the construction of meaning and it is the breakdown of shared meanings which, at least in part, defines psychotic experience. It was also anticipated that the way the individual narrated their experience would offer important clues as to how they (and others) had facilitated the recovery process. This paper reports on the analysis of genre, tone and core narratives. Three distinct genres emerged from the analysis: narratives of escape, enlightenment and endurance. There was a relationship between genre, tone and core narrative. The study raises questions about how psychosis is experienced, understood and treated by the individual, by mental health professionals and by society.

4 responses to “Recovery & Self Help”

  1. David Kreate

    I think it is great to bring hearing voices out into the open and believe that some day it wont be a big deal . I’am concerned though it may make some people paranoid and go against the system.

  2. Patrick Julian

    I would like to know if it is normal for kid to hear voice or whisper, I know this kid that says
    he heard whisper of a old lady calling his name

    can that be the kid is sick or developing a phycological problem?

  3. Briar Miller

    I’m very interested in some of the recommended publications but I don’t know where to get them. Not the local bookshops, not Amazon. Any ideas?

  4. Laurie McCarthy (M.A.)

    This would be a response to a Patrick Julian. Wouldn’t it be nice if we knew!?

    Confirmation is needed. Mostly to be sure he’s safe or not maladapting to an environment that one wouldn’t be sure of.

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