Part of the mission of Intervoice is developing positive, hopeful messages that promote acceptance, tolerance and understanding of voice hearing experiences. One strategy to achieve this involves the generation of new knowledge and evidence. Unfortunately, however, much research presently being conducted maintains the idea that voices are in some way connected to illness or disease. We believe that this is because the questions posed are partly designed to come to this conclusion (for example, that voices “are a symptom of schizophrenia”).
In response to this, Intervoice has set up its own Research Committee. The Committee is comprised of a mixture of voice hearers, academic professionals and mental health workers. All its members are actively involved in international research into hearing voices and/or promoting more diverse understandings of the voice hearing experience.
Research guided by voice-hearers themselves
Our main aim is to generate knowledge that both supports the aims of Intervoice and influences society, the academic community and mental health practice. Crucially, however, our work will be informed by the needs of voice hearers themselves; issues which are relevant and valuable for them in their daily lives. We want voice hearers, as well as their friends, allies, and supporters, to respond to the query: what research questions are relevant to you?
For example, issues might include:
- What is the effect of medication on voices?
- How useful are self-help groups?
- What are helpful ways for nurses and psychiatrists to respond to voice hearers?
- What information is helpful for friends and family members?
- What coping strategies are effective?
Once ideas and suggestions have been sent to us, the committee members will either put these questions onto their own research agendas, or encourage collaborators to address them (e.g., PhD students). In the long-term, we will also set up a database of questions that are available to other researchers from organisations and universities outside of Intervoice.
If you would like to submit a research suggestion, or just want further information, then please contact [email protected] or leave a comment below.
Let us know what research areas are important to you
Whether or not you have any ideas for research questions, we’re interested to see what areas are most important to the Intervoice community. Please take a minute to fill in our poll and let us know what matters to you.