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.
First shown on BBC 3 in May 2018, this thoughtful documentary about three people who hear voices was broadcast again on 10th July and is now available on BBC iplayer for the next four months.
To watch the documentary go here
#EmergingProud is a grassroots film made from a compilation of interview clips conducted by Katie Mottram, and clips sent in by people wanting to share their stories for the campaign. The #EmergingProud campaign aims to reframe so called ‘madness’ as the catalyst for a positive transformation, if properly supported and validated. This film was made possible thanks to those who #EmergedProud to share their personal stories, and the donations of the music and artwork featured in the film. The aim is to provide HOPE to those going through psychological distress and difficult process, to show that there can be a benefit to be gained through the pain.
“This is more than a movie, this is a movement! A new paradigm of mental health and human awareness is emerging and these are some of the pioneering voices heralding that change. I watched the Emerging Proud film with tears in my eyes thinking of the lives that will be saved and of the possibilities and gifts made available when human transformation is managed well. And this is just the beginning…..” – Kimberley Jones, UK.
“Emerging Proud is an important contribution toward our understanding of what society labels as ‘psychosis’ or ‘serious mental illness.’ The subjects profiled in Katie Mottram’s film embody a clear and direct link to the spiritual nature of these experiences for many people. It’s time we start listening, there is so much to learn.” – PJ Moynihan, Producer/Director, Healing Voices
Visit the Emerging Proud website here
Spirituality and Mental Health
Please click on the links above for more information about these important books by Isobel Clarke.
Her work spans two areas: psychosis and spirituality, and clinical psychology. Both seek to bring spirituality into centre stage, founding it in cognitive and other research and theory, and regarding it as a central part of what it means to be human.
For more information about hearing voices, mental health and spirituality please go here.
2018 World Hearing Voices Congress
The Hague, Netherlands
Call for Papers
Living with Voices: a human right!
We are excited to announce that the World Hearing Voices Congress will be returning to the Netherlands in 2018 for its 10th anniversary.
The 10th World Congress includes:
Wednesday 12th September: Intervoice Day
A day for those who are part of Intervoice, or the World Hearing Voices Movement, to come together and share their experiences and ideas. This day is usually smaller than the main congress and encourages discussion and the sharing of wisdom. It is also a day we present the Intervoice Awards.
Thursday and Friday 13th and 14th September: World Hearing Voices Congress
An exciting two-day programme of talks, workshops and opportunities for learning open to people who hear voices (or have similar experiences), family members, friends, professionals, academics and anyone who is interested in learning more.
Saturday 15th September – Public Day
A day that is open to members of the public, aimed at raising awareness around voice-hearing and engaging people in interesting conversations that can create a change in attitudes to hearing voices.
Fo more information and how to book your place go here
“What we are trying to do is to create a new reality in which voices and visions are commonplace.”
Winston Churchill was ‘probably’ sexually abused as a schoolboy, a novelist claims
Source: The Daily Mail (full article) 2nd July 2018
The future prime minister was subjected to ‘appalling treatment’ at school, House of Cards author Lord Dobbs said. The peer, who has also written four novels about Churchill, said: ‘He didn’t have a difficult childhood – he had an impossible childhood. He was neglected, he was abused physically, emotionally and probably sexually too.’
Lord Dobbs argued that Churchill’s violent treatment at school was critical in the making of Britain’s greatest wartime leader.
‘In order to understand the man, I felt it necessary to understand the young child,’ he said. “His first days at his first school, St George’s in Ascot run by a Reverend Sneyd-Kynnersley, a man who was brutish in his violence even by Victorian standards. Winston was one day found to have stolen a pocketful of sugar. For that crime he was taken to the headmaster’s study and thrashed. He had to be broken.‘He was stripped, held down over a beating block, and thrashed and thrashed again – until the blood was coming from the wounds. But Winston wasn’t like the rest of us. After he recovered from that thrashing he found an opportunity to sneak back into that headmaster’s study and stole his straw boater that he used for official occasions. He took that straw boater – the sign of authority – to the woods and for one glorious afternoon kicked the crap out of it. Not bad for an eight-year-old boy who had just been so cruelly abused. In that eight-year-old boy I could see some of the origins of the 65-year-old man.’
Winston Churchill was born in 1874. Churchill was Prime Minister of Britain during the second world war, and is renowned for making magnificent speeches from embattled Britain in 1940 and 1941, during which he made a constant and inclusive appeal to all free men and women in the world. However, his father despised him and when he was a child described that he had “a great talent for show-off, exaggeration and make-believe.”
Despite his political successes Winston Churchill suffered from what he described as his “black dog” – depression, and also heard voices. Winston Churchill is credited as being the greatest of all Britain’s war leaders.
During World War II, Winston Churchill heard voices, Churchill’s “voices” would tell him to “sit here” or “sit there?” (Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia, 1990, “Hallucination”)
Read more about Winston Churchill here.
Paul Baker, July 2018
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.
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”.
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.