Home

Hope, healing, resilience, community, and listening to each other’s stories with empathy and respect

Hearing Voices Network Cymru offers support and understanding to people who hear voices, see visions, have other extraordinary experiences and those who care for and support them

Mae Rhwydwaith Clywed Lleisiau Cymru yn cynnig cefnogaeth a dealltwriaeth i unigolion sy’n clywed lleisiau ac i’r rhai sydd yn eu cefnogi


If you hear voices, see visions and have other extraordinary experiences, we can help

We offer information, support and understanding to people who hear voices, see visions, have other extraordinary experiences and those who support them. See our aims here.

 


Hearing Voices Cymru signs Open Letter endorsing the Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

Mental Health Europe and the British Psychological Society are seeking signatories to a letter endorsing the recent and ground breaking United Nations Special Rapporteur’s report on mental health – to raise awareness of it among the media, policy makers and the mental health sector.

The report calls for a shift away from isolating mental health services which are coercive and inappropriately medicalised to ones that are recovery and community-based & promote social inclusion.

You can find the report here:

You can find the letter of support here:

Some quotes from the report:

  • “The history of psychiatry and mental health care is marked by egregious rights violations”
  • “We have been sold a myth that the best solutions for addressing mental health challenges are medications and other biomedical interventions”.
  • “Conventional wisdom based on a reductionist biomedical interpretation of complex mental health-related issues dominates mental health policies and services, even when not supported by research”.
  • “For decades now, an evidence base informed by experiential and scientific research has been accumulating in support of psychosocial, recovery-oriented services and support and non-coercive alternatives to existing services”.

We are one of a number of organisations from the UK, Europe and beyond that have signed.

If you or your organisation would be interested in signing, please contact ailbhe.finn@mhe-sme.org or email UNlettergroup@gmail.com, and they’ll add your name.

 


2017 World Hearing Voices Congress

The congress will be hosted at Boston University’s George Sherman Union, USA

Intervoice Day

Date: Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Time: 8:30 Registration; 9:00am – 4:30pm Program

Location: Metcalf Hall, George Sherman Union, Boston University Campus, 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA

Registration: FREE (Registration required)

A day for people involved in the Hearing Voices Movement to come together, share experiences and hear about new initiatives around the world. Featuring: speakers, open space discussions about topics decided by attendees and the chance to share what’s happening in Hearing Voices Networks in your country.

Continental Breakfast provided. Lunch is on your own. A convenient food court is located one level below.

 

2017 World Hearing Voices Congress

Dates: Thursday, August 17th & Friday, August 18th, 2017

Time: 8:30am Registration;  9:00am – 5:30pm Program

Location: Metcalf Hall, George Sherman Union, Boston University, 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA

Registration: $95/$120/$150 (Tiered fee includes both Congress days)

Each day will consist of keynote and workshop opportunities. Share interactive time with people from around the world interested in growing compassionate approaches to understanding hearing voices, seeing visions and having other unusual experiences. With over 32 countries participating in Hearing Voices around the world, the conversations are sure to be enriching.

More information here


“What we are trying to do is to create a new reality in which voices and visions are commonplace.”

Hywel Davies




 
International Mental Health Congress

 18 & 19 July 2017 | All Nations Centre, Cardiff

The Congress was a great success. 250 people attended from all over Wales and across the globe.

Hywel Davies, chair of the Hearing Voices Network Cymru gave a keynote speech entitled “Living with Voices”. In the speech he said:

“By opening up the possibility of new ways of regarding the experience of voice hearing outside of the medical model we are creating more accepting and hopeful ways of considering so called psychotic experiences as meaningful and resolvable.

By involving users and carers creatively in the decision-making process in terms of policy, legislation, healthcare system and evaluation, we can bring about a more sensitive and humane approach to mental health in the western world. I believe that the lessons learnt over the last thirty years by the Hearing Voices Movement have much relevance to mental health services across the world. Furthermore, ensuring that the experience of people with lived experience is at the centre of thought and action in the recovery process is crucial to the successful development of emancipatory and effective mental healthcare systems …..

…. A principle lesson from my experience is the importance of encouraging voice hearers to talk and share experiences. The voices are not in themselves the problem, it is our relationship with our voices that can at times be overwhelming.

A problem shared is a problem halved.”

You can read Hywel Davies’s keynote speech here

A selection of photographs of the event can be seen here.


Recovery Conversations – One-Day Workshop – Across the UK

Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor from Working To Recovery are running a number of one-day workshops across the UK in Chester, Bangor, Swansea, Cardiff, Dundee, Bristol and Birmingham.

Recovery conversations is a one day workshop that introduces participants to different ways of engaging in often difficult conversations with people having psychotic experiences.

Rooted in a narrative approach of working and building on work carried out by Micheal & Cheryl White and Marius Romme & Sandra Escher, recovery conversations will introduce attendees into ways of both entering into and how to build on often fixed narratives that are keeping clients stuck in what Taylor and Coleman call the illness trap.

Moving beyond the concept of illness to one of wellbeing is for Taylor and Coleman a process and it is this process that they will unpick during the workshop breaking it down to series of interactive conversations and exercises that participants will be able to use after the day.

There are 10 Bursary Places on each day for Voice Hearers sponsored by Hearing Voices Network Cymru.

For more details go here.


Working Creatively with Psychosis: Using Voice Dialogue, Body Dialogue & Voice Sculpting

Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor from Working To Recovery are running a number of one-day workshops across the UK in Chester, Bangor, Swansea, Cardiff, Dundee, Bristol and Birmingham.

Working creatively with psychosis is a one-day practice workshop that will explore how we can use Voice Dialogue, Body Dialogue and Voice Sculpting ways of working that can enable clients to explore the most difficult parts of their distress in a safe and secure enviornment.

There are 10 Bursary Places on each day for Voice Hearers sponsored by Hearing Voices Network Cymru.

For more details go here.


Mental Health Summer Recovery Camp 2017

Getting the Experience of a Recovery Community for Everyone

7th – 12th September 2017

Tanycoed Farm, Llansilin, Shropshire, SY10 9BS, Wales

Working To Recovery Ltd are hosting their third Summer Recovery Camp.

The purpose is to create an environment of recovery and for everyone to experience it for themselves! Each year the Recovery Camp, grows organically, both leading up to it and during the Camp. During the Recovery Camp there are talks, debates, workshops, alternative therapy and a whole host of other things that happen.The morning begins with Chi Gong, Meditation and other practices. This is followed by a Morning Meeting when we all check-in. This is followed by workshops. Workshops can be run by anyone attending and so range from a whole host of areas.

After lunch, we have a ‘Big Tent Discussion’ – which is led by an invited speaker, who talks on a topic, opening up to a debate and discussion. Following this there are more workshops.

Throughout the day, there are taster sessions of alternative therapy (for donation) and a range of other things that organically grow throughout the camp – like EFT, Zen Tarot Readings, Energy Healing, etc…

The evening is a time to have fun, play and relax. Bands play, there is a music Open Mic Night and the last night there is a Mad Pride night, where anyone can stand-up and do a piece – poetry, story telling, singing, magic, comedy, whatever people can bring.

You can find out more about this highly recommended event here.


 Os ydych chi’n clywed lleisiau, gallwn ni helpu

Bydd llawer o bobl yn dechrau clywed lleisiau o ganlyniad i straen aruthrol neu ysgytiad. Rydym yn cynnig hysbysrwydd, cefnogaeth a dealltwriaeth i’r rhai sy’n clywed lleisiau ac i’r rhai sydd yn eu cefnogi. Gweler ein hamcanion yma.

 Mae Rhwydwaith Clywed Lleisiau Cymru yn aelod o INTERVOICE (rhagor o wybodaeth am INTERVOICE yma) y mudiad rhyngwladol sy’n cynrychioli rhwydweithiau clywed lleisiau mewn 35 o wledydd ledled y byd.


Ein Gwaith

Mae cyfyngiadau’r agwedd feddygol tuag at glywed lleisiau a chyflyrau meddyliol eraill, wedi eu labelu yn glefydau, fel sgitsoffrenia a salwch deubegynol (bipolar), yn dra hysbys. Mae seiciatreg yn cyfeirio at clywed lleisiau fel rhithweledigaethau clywedol ac yn eu hystyried fel symptomau seicosis. Ystyrir eu bod yn rhan o salwch meddwl hirbarhaol.

Fodd bynnag, dengys ein gwaith a’n hymchwil fod llawer o esboniadau am glywed lleisiau, a’i bod yn bosib clywed lleisiau ond cael profiadau rhyfeddol a bod yn iach. Bellach, er y bydd llawer yn clywed lleisiau o ganlyniad i straen eithafol neu ysgytwad, mae’n bosib hefyd ddysgu sut i ymdopi â lleisiau ac adfer eich bywyd. Oherwydd bod unigolion sy’n clywed lleisiau a gwasanaethau iechyd meddwl wedi cael gwybod yn well am waith y mudiad clywed lleisiau (yn weithredol ers dros 25 mlynedd), rydym wedi helpu llawer sy’n clywed lleisiau i ffeindio ffyrdd i ymdopi, i wella ac i ffynnu.

Dywed Hywel Davies, cadeirydd Rhwydwaith Clywed Lleisiau Cymru:

“Rwy’n clywed lleisiau, ac rwyf wedi eu clywed ers imi fod yn 11 oed. Nawr, rwy’n byw bywyd llwyddiannus a chynhyrchiol, ac rwyf wedi dysgu sut i fyw gyda’m lleisiau. Ystyr ysbrydol pwysig sy ganddynt imi. Er bod y profiad wedi bod, ac yn dal i fod, yn anodd weithiau, rwy’n gallu siarad am fy lleisiau, trwy gefnogaeth ffrindiau agos a chydweithwyr yn y mudiad.

Yn y mudiad clywed lleisiau, ein nod yw newid agweddau cymdeithasol tuag at y rhai sy’n clywed lleisiau, fel y gall unigolyn ddatgan “rwy’n clywed lleisiau yn fy mhen” heb gael ei ddiarddel.

Rydym wedi darparu’r wefan hon er mwyn y rhai sy’n clywed lleisiau yn y pen, aelodau teuliol, cyfeillion ac eraill sydd â diddordeb. Ein nod yw rhoi gwybodaeth, gorau y gallwn, i’ch helpu chi ar eich taith. Gobeithiwn y bydd ein gwefan yn ddefnyddiol ac o ddiddordeb ichi”. 


Our Work

The limitations of the medical approach to hearing voices and other states of mind like visual hallucinations,  labelled as illnesses, such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder, are well known. Psychiatry refers to voices and vision as auditory hallucinations and visual hallucinations. It regards them as schizoaffective disorder or psychosis symptoms of hearing and visual hallucinations and part of long term, chronic mental illnesses.

However, our work and research shows that there are many explanations and that it is possible to hear voices and  have other extraordinary experiences and be well. Further, although many people begin to hear voices as a result of extreme stress or trauma it is also possible to learn to live with them and recover your life. As knowledge of the work of the hearing voices movement, (active now for more than twenty five years) has become better known by people who hear voices and schizoaffective disorder or mental health services, we have helped many people who hear voices to find ways to cope, recover and thrive.

Hywel Davies, the chair of the HVN Cymru says:

“I hear voices and have done so since I was eleven years old. I now live a successful and productive life and have learnt to live with my voices. My voices have important spiritual meaning for me.  Although at times the experience has been and can be difficult, through the support of close friends and colleagues in the hearing voices movement I am always able to talk about my voices.  

Our goal is to change  attitudes towards people who hear voices so that people can say “I am hearing voices in my head” without being ostracised.

We have set up this website for people who hear voices in their head, family members, friends and interested citizens. Our goal is to provide the best information that we can to help you in your journey. We hope you will find our website useful and interesting.”


Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ’s

This website provides up to date information about how people of all ages including children hearing voices can find more effective ways of accepting, living with, and coping with overwhelming voices. Here are some answers to questions we have been asked about our work.

Question: Why do we refer to the experience as “hearing voices in my head” and why do we believe the language to describe experiences so important?

Answer: When people have this experience, they often refer to it as “I hear voices”“a voice” or “voices in my head“. Generally speaking, people do not refer to their voice-hearing experience or experiences as “auditory hallucinations”, “visual hallucinations”, “delusions” or “psychosis symptoms”. Our research and work over twenty five years have revealed that the experience has meaning and connected with life events and is not in itself a disorder requiring intensive bio-chemical treatment.

We have reached the conclusion that many of the treatments and much of the medical language used by traditional western psychiatry to help people who say they are “hearing voices in my head” are unhelpful, inaccurate and unintentionally harmful.

Terms such as “auditory hallucinations”, “visual hallucinations” and “delusions” as descriptions of what is occurring to the individual deprive the experience of meaning. Furthermore, this process is not helped at all by terms most closely associated with voices such as “schizophrenia”, “schizoaffective disorder”, “psychosis” and/or “psychotic disorders”. These terms and similar terms deprive the experience of significance and humanity. They wrongly infer that the experience is part of a life long chronic emotional illness that cannot be resolved or nullified by the individual with the help of family, colleagues, friends, meditation, creativity and/or belief.

The experience is in fact meaningful to the person experiencing the voice or vision. The key is to help the person unlock the meaning and learn to accept, live with, and cope with their voices or visions.

Question: What has our work and research revealed about the experience?

Answer: Many people say things like this: ” I hear voices in my head” or “I hear a voice in my head“. The experience varies from person to person. Some people hear a voice whilst others hear more than one voice. For others, they may hear many voices. People of all ages have this experience. The work and research of Dr. Sandra Escher show that children hearing voices is not uncommon and that with support they can live well with the experience.

However, when the experience is reduced to a “delusion”, a sign and symptom of a “psychotic disorder” and when no consideration is given to the life story, the content and the personal meaning ascribed to the so called “auditory hallucinations” or “visual hallucinations” , then this makes it much more difficult for the person to recover.

Question: Is the experience a sign of illness?

As we have said above, we do not believe that hearing voices is necessarily a part of a “disorder”. Nor is it part of “psychosis symptoms” or part of a “psychosis” or part of “psychotic disorders” such as “schizophrenia” or “schizo-affective disorder”. Our work and research over twenty five years have discovered that there are many people (about 4 – 7% of the population ) who have this experience and who can be regarded as healthy and well functioning. These people are coping with the voices and the so called “symptoms” such as “delusions” without recourse to traditional treatment. This important fact is often neglected by western psychiatric orthodoxy. This may hold the key to a better understanding of what “psychosis” entails and could lead to a much more effective treatment of “psychosis”.

Therefore the important question is what is it that people coping with voices can tell us that can assist people who are overwhelmed by the voice-hearing experience?

Question: How is it possible to live with voices?

Answer: Can “psychosis” be a way of coping with unliveable circumstances? We believe there is strong evidence that this is indeed the case. The relationship between trauma, unusual life experiences and crisis has been identified by over 70% of people with voice experiences. This reality often goes unrecognised. This is so because the sole focus of current “psychosis” treatment is on eradicating symptoms such as “delusions” and “hallucinations” rather than on unlocking the meaning. On thre contrary we believe that one can  say “I hear voices” and be healthy and well.

More Frequently Asked Questions here.


 

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish.

Close