News

INTERVOICE

We are a member of  INTERVOICE, (more information here) the international organisation representing networks in 35 countries across the world.

Radio Pembrokeshire Announcement for the Haverfordwest “With Voices in Mind” Group

Hearing Voices Cymru have placed an advertisement on Radio Pembrokeshire announcing the formation of the new With Voices in Mind Group that meets in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire

Listen to the announcement here:

This is the text for the announcement:

“Do you hear voices?

Voices from inside or outside your head that others cannot hear?

You are not alone.

Hearing voices is a common human experience.

You are not crazy. But the experience may be upsetting and frightening.

If it is, you are welcome to join us.

We are “With Voices in Mind”.

A friendly space where you can share your experience with other people who hear voices.

We meet monthly in Haverfordwest.

Would you like to join us?

For more information contact Josie on 01437 763626 or visit our website hearingvoicescymru.org.”

Japan Dropped the Term “schizophrenia”

Very helpful description of the positive change that happened when Japan dropped the highly stigmatizing term “schizophrenia” here

How Dogs Can Help with Mental Health – Mind Boosting Benefits of Dog Ownership

 

“There are so many ways that they can benefit your life, each of which can give your mental health the boost it needs. This guide takes you through the amazing ways in which dogs can help us in their own amazing way.

An amazing 95% of us see our dogs like family, and it’s not hard to see why that is the case. For thousands of years, we have lived side by side with them, and they have become an integral part of life for so many of us.

Similarly, a good number of people suffer from mental health issues, and it can be hard to go through it alone – hence we have dogs in our lives. As someone who suffers from crippling anxiety that affects my everyday life (amongst other mental health stuff), the comforting presence of my dog throughout each day has been a constant I never truly knew I needed until he appeared in my life.

It’s because of him that I am able to get out of bed every morning and face the day – because he needs me to do these things for him in order to live a happy life, and my husband works odd hours so I am the only one who can do it.

With him, I have comfort at all times, and the knowledge that he is only ever a stretch of my arm away if I need to pet him. The thing is, dogs can be the greatest boon to our mental state, and in many ways, they allow us to live a life that is a little more normal and structured than it would be without them.:

From the website “DogOwner” with our thanks to Will Tottle for his permission to link to this guide.

To read the full guide go here

 

Hearing Voices While Grieving Can Be Beneficial

Continuing her series of articles about hearing voices, Jane Fisher considers the role voices can play when we grieve. 

“My heart keeps calling you. I know you can hear me. And I hear you, too.” Celine Dion’s heartfelt words to her late husband during a concert revealed one interesting piece of information – her husband spirit is always by her side, she hears him and talks to him.

Interestingly, her experience is far from odd, with many people who have lost a significant loved one reporting the same phenomenon. In one study published in the British Medical Journal, academics interviewed 227 widows and 66 widowers in Wales, finding that almost half of those interviewed had seen or heard their dead spouse.

The researchers call these phenomena “hallucinations”, noting that they were most common during the first decade after widowhood. A question remains: can hearing voices of a lost loved one benefit us during the grieving process?

Help from Hearing Voices

In the above-mentioned study, 66.7% of those who heard a loved one’s voice felt that the experience was helpful. This experience can suggest continuity; that the loved one somehow continues to exist. It can also enhance the sense of spirituality. Those who hear voices take solace in the fact that one day they may be reunited with this person. Spirituality (the idea that there is a universal and eternal life force) plays an important role in bereavement and stress reduction. Many studies have shown that those who lead a spiritual life are happier and less stressed; they also feel less isolated. When a partner passes away, it is vital to guard oneself against the health effects of stress; these can include poor sleep, weight gain or loss, having trouble concentrating, forgetting to take medication, etc.

Voices can be Healing or Painful

Academics postulate various reasons why someone might hear voices while grieving. These include preoccupation, and custom. Jacqueline Hayes, an academic at the University of Roehampton, has conducted much research into this subject. She recently told the Daily Mail: “People report visions, voices, tactile sensations, smells, and something that we call a sense of presence. I found that these experiences could at times be healing and transformative, for example hearing your loved one apologise to you for something that happened – and at other times foreground the loss and grief in a painful way.” If voices are immersing you more profoundly in grief, help from a therapist may be indicated; there are serious consequences to persistent grief, including depression and anxiety.

Finding Solace in Others

Voices of those who are still around can play a far more important role in the bereavement process than one may realise. Social interaction enables one to feel supported and connected during one of life’s most trying times. A sound diet, regular exercise, and mindfulness based practices such as meditation and yoga can also help ground the mind in the present moment, providing relief from the worry and stress of losing a life companion.

If hearing voices is beneficial to you, then you are certainly not alone. Many people who are grieving find great solace in hearing a loved one who has played such an important role in their lives, perhaps for many years. If grief is overwhelming and voices are immersing you deeper into what may come to be persistent depression, however, it is vital to obtain professional help so that you can start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

‘Believing me is crucial’: How to talk to somebody who is hearing voices

Rai Waddingham, who contributed to the BBC Horizon programme ‘Why did I go mad?’, first experienced a vision aged just seven. Of course, this unexpected event terrified her. Now, when Rai reflects on her experiences, she can find meaning in them and she has learned to live more in harmony with her voices, visions, feelings and beliefs. And so has her family.

Rai said: ‘My experiences don’t come with a guidebook. If friends, family and supporters want to understand what I’m going through, they need to talk with me about it. ‘It’s helpful if they position themselves as learners. They can learn from me about what I’m experiencing, if I feel comfortable enough to talk about it. ‘In talking about it with people I trust, I begin to learn things about my experience too – and ask questions of myself I’d never thought to ask. ‘A sound engineer once asked me whether my voices sounded different in different spaces – a small room or a large cathedral. It was one of the best questions I’ve been asked because neither of us knew the answer – I had to listen to my experiences in a different way. ‘More than that, it wasn’t a ‘mental health’ question – he was interested and open to hearing what it was like for me. It’s these kinds of conversations that have helped me feel less freakish and alone.’

Rai also agrees with Dr Gilligan about acknowledging her voices and emotions. She said: ‘It’s important to me that my friends and family recognise that the voices I hear and visions I see are my reality – I’m not making them up; they’re not figments of my imagination.

Source: Metro UK, 20th May 2018

Read more here:

Psychosis and Spirituality : Consolidating The New Paradigm

 


Details

Second Edition

Edited by Isabel Clarke, Hampshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Wiley; 2nd Edition edition (28 Sept. 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0470683473
ISBN-13: 978-0470683477

Information on purchasing this book here.


The new edition of this successful text builds on the very latest research to present a unique exploration of the psychology of both spirituality and psychosis. The editor brings together fascinating perspectives from a broad range of distinguished contributors, including David Lukoff, Peter Fenwick and Gordon Claridge, to develop and support the link between these two areas of human experience. This text offers a fundamental rethinking of the interface between psychosis and spirituality, proposing new and original insights.

Since the publication of the first edition, there has been an increased momentum to this field, which in turn has enabled a more hopeful and less stigmatizing perspective on psychosis. The second edition reflects the most recent body of qualitative and quantitative research, and the latest clinical initiatives. This has led to the addition of ten new chapters, and an expanded clinical section, which will be highly relevant to clinicians working with psychosis.

This new perspective will be important for those with a professional interest in both psychosis and spirituality, such as therapists and priests, in addition to those seeking a well-grounded framework for their own personal explorations in this area.


“Spirituality is the key strand that unites the great variety of cultural understandings of psychosis with recovery. This text contains contributions from leading authorities in the field; it points towards a more complete human approach to psychosis, and challenges long-held assumptions about the nature of human experience. It should be read by all mental health practitioners and students, and will be of interest to academics in theology, anthropology and philosophy, as well as service users and carers.”

Professor Philip Thomas, University of Bradford, UK


About the Author

Isabel Clarke is a consultant clinical psychologist, working in acute mental health in the NHS. She is the author of “Madness, Mystery and the Survival of God” (2008), and co-editor of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy For Acute Inpatient Mental Health Units : Working With Clients, Staff and the Milieu (with H. Wilson,2008).

For more information about the editor, please visit www.isabelclarke.org

For more information about spirituality and mental health go here

Madness, Mystery and the Survival of God

 


Isabel Clarke, O-Books, 2008, £11.99

This new perspective on faith and psychosis offers insight into the unshakable conviction of both delusion and religious fanaticism. The survival of faith and superstition in a secular age is explained. God is located within the scientific world view in a way that respects mystery and so enlarges rather than diminishes our vision.
“Absolutely first class ! It came into the can’t put it down category so I have read it cover to cover.”
Ian Mowl, Co-ordinator of Green Spirit
“I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this. It is groundbreaking territory, fascinating, good,topical and relevant.”
Janice Hartley, Secretary of the Spiritual Crisis Network Development Group

About the Author
Isabel Clarke combines working as a clinical psychologist in an NHS acute mental health hospital with publishing and speaking on psychology and spirituality. Her other book, Psychosis and Spirituality: exploring the new frontier made considerable waves – three conferences and a yahoo discussion list which flourishes to this day. Her earlier career in medieval history, and her involvement with the spiritual wing of the ecological movement, through Greenspirit, provides a broad cultural context for her ideas. She also helped to found the Spiritual Crisis Network.
For more information, please visit www.isabelclarke.org

 

Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: O Books (10 Dec. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846941474
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846941474

For more information about purchasing this book go here

For more information about spirituality and mental health go here

The Importance of Religion and Spirituality When Hearing Voices

 

Our thanks to Jane Fisher who wrote this article especially for our website.

Religion and spirituality play a vital role in the lives of many people, including those who hear voices. Over the past decade in particular, various studies have shown the positive effects that spirituality can bring, including stress reduction, an enhanced ability to weather life’s vicissitudes, and a sense of companionship. In one recent review published by S Grover et al (2014), it was found that religion and spirituality can also instill hope, lend greater meaning to life, and positively influence social integration. In this post we discuss these important findings, which suggest that health practitioners can benefit positively from greater awareness of the importance of religiosity and spirituality for many patients.

 


The Popularity of Religion and Spirituality 

Studies from across the globe have shown that many people who hear voices, including those diagnosed with schizophrenia, choose to take part in religious or spiritual activities. One 2012 study published in the journal Psychological Services, found that up to 91% of participants took part in religious or spiritual activities. While religious service is evidently more structured, spiritual practice can run the gamut from Eastern practices such as yoga, right through to psychic readings aimed at increasing self-awareness and highlight thoughts, emotions, or behaviors that may benefit from change.

Mixed Findings on Religiosity and Spirituality 

Although research indicates that some persons who hear voices can have religious delusions, many studies show that there are important benefits associated with religiousness or spirituality. These include a reduced likelihood of developing substance abuse, greater social integration, a lower rate of smoking, and an enhanced quality of life. When patients receive religious or spiritual support, they tend to have better recovery and reduced relapse rates, though in some patients, being more religious has been linked to a greater likelihood of suicide attempts.

Religion and Spirituality as a Means of Coping 

In the general population, religion and spirituality have been found to enhance the ability to cope with challenging occurrences and experiences. One study showed that participation in religious worship was the only community activity associated with sustained happiness, in contrast to other activities such as community fundraising. While the latter provides participants with social occasions in which to meet and form friendships with like-minded individuals, religiosity and spirituality go deeper. They provide meaning or purpose to life, even though it may take time and though to achieve greater understanding of the losses human beings face.

Studies suggest that positive religious coping in patients with schizophrenia is linked to greater psychological wellbeing, when God is viewed as a benevolent rather than a punishing force. Participating in spiritual activities, meanwhile, has been found to help patients deal with symptoms.

Spirituality and mental health have many things in common, the most important of which is the alleviation of human suffering and the fostering of personal growth. Despite findings indicating the extent to which religion and spirituality can affect various aspects of the health of those who hear voices (wielding both positive and negative effects), many health professionals lack an awareness of the spiritual or religious needs of patients. When doctors begin to understand the extent to which religion affects outcomes in patients, more personalized services can be provided. While further investigation is required to elicit the best means to achieve this aim, we can take heart in the words of researcher, P Sharma, “Unlike their predecessors, modern psychologists and psychotherapists have stopped pathologizing spiritual experiences and approach them with increasing sensitivity and empathy.”

New Cardiff Hearing Voices Self-Help Group 

The Cardiff Hearing Voices Self-Help Group  now meets at Ty Canna, 40 Market Road, Canton,Cardiff. The group meets weekly on Mondays from  5pm to 7pm. Tea and coffee available – 50p. For further information or before attending, leave a message on 07521694234.

This is a self-help group (not a therapy group) for those who hear or have heard voices and who wish to support each other. The group arranges social activities such as bowling, restaurants, trips to the cinema.

The group also aims to reduce stigma and labels surrounding this controversial issue.

For more information about Hearing Voices Groups meeting in Wales go here.

Hearing Voices with Dr. Joachim Schnackenberg

An interview with Dr. Joachim Schnackenberg about his work with people who hear voices. Dr. Schnackenberg is a consultant for hearing voices and recovery in Germany and a researcher, supervisor and trainer in Experience Focussed Counselling with Voice Hearers (also known as Making Sense of Voices or Working with Voices) primarily provided in the German and English language. We discuss the approach of ‘listening to the voice’ discerning its message and seeing it as ultimately either benevolent in nature, or at least with the potential to use the experience towards a positive end if the experience remains considered negative despite an attempt to work constructively with it, no matter how malevolent it may appear.

 

Dementia With Lewy Bodies – Experiencing Extra Voices

 

 

 

We have published a new article about hearing voices as a consequence of dementia with lewy bodies.

Dementia with Lewy Bodies (LBD) is a form of dementia which has symptoms that are similar to Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. It affects 10-15% of people living with dementia. In the early stages, and as the disease progresses, hearing voices is common. This can be disorienting and confusing, both for the person living with dementia, and for their friends, families and carers. It is very important how you react and deal with these voices.

Read the full article here

Jane Fisher, has written this article especially for our website.

Mind Pembrokeshire Needs Your Help!

As someone who has been helped by Mind Pembrokeshire and who has helped Mind Pembrokeshire since 1987, I respectfully ask you to consider donating what you can afford to help Mind Pembrokeshire.

Mind Pembrokeshire is an excellent charity that has saved a considerable number of lives in the past thirty one years.  This pioneering charity has helped more than 6000 people in 2017. Its headquarters are open 365 days a year.

The charity is hoping to raise funds to purchase its headquarters in Haverfordwest in South West Wales.

They need to raise £200,000 by October 2018.

Please donate what you can o enable the charity to stay in its existing home.

Pembrokeshire is one of the most beautiful parts the world, both externally and internally. Let’s help Mind Pembrokeshire keep it that way.

Hywel Davies, Chairman, Hearing Voices Network Cymru and founder member of Mind Pembrokeshire 


More information about the appeal here:

“Mind Pembrokeshire is a local resource centre which has been providing mental, emotional and physical support from The Old Wool Market on Quay Street Haverfordwest for the past 18 years.

The support is for anyone who pops in to see us, no referral needed, no wait time anyone can come in in crisis and get help. We are open 365 days of the year as well, offering therapy for a wide range of mental health issues as well as social and creative activities!

A big part of why we’ve been so successful is our location – we’re just minutes walk from the town centre, yet we still enjoy calming riverside views!

Now we have never reached out for donations, in fact we rarely find the time as on average we have 6000 contacts use the centre in 2017 alone, but unfortunately we find ourselves in a position where we must reach out to the community.

Why we need your help

We have until October 2018 to raise the money to buy our building, to maintain stability for those already a part of Mind Pembrokeshire and to make finding support for those in need that little bit easier.

Help us make Quay Street our forever home.”

Mind Pembrokeshire


 

 

 

From Hearing to Healing: Getting Your Life on Track

Jane Fisher, has written this article especially for our website. Jane considers how to get your life on track if your voices are troubling you. You can read the article here.

“Rest”: New Poem by Hywel Davies

Rest

I offer my life

To God and The King.

Jesus is The Light

Of All, Ev’rything.

Hywel Davies

 

You can read more poetry by Hywel here

Hearing Voices: Embracing the Gift

We have published a NEW article on hearing voices and psychic abilities. The article  was commissioned by HVN Cymru. It provides an explanatory framework for the experience of hearing voices as a psychic gift/ability or the potential for such. Our thanks to the author, Jane Fisher

You can read it 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