The latest quarterly newsletter from Intervoice 
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Intervoice Newsletter August 2013

Dear All,
Welcome to the August edition of our newsletter. There is lots of encouraging news from around the world and it is great to share that with one another. We are very excited about the International Congress that takes place in Melbourne, Australia in November this year. There is an excellent line up of speakers as well as workshops, a party and a chance for the Intervoice family to meet one another. If you haven't booked yet, details are below.
We want the hearing voices movement to keep on growing and to reach new people and new parts of the world. To help us to do that, we have relaunched our membership scheme - we hope that both recent and long-term friends will feel able to support our work. We are also inviting applications from people interested in becoming Intervoice Board members. Elections will take place on 22nd November at the AGM in Melbourne. For members only: passive and active voting rights. For more information, please see below.
TED gave the stage to Eleanor Longden, who courageously presented her own story and convincingly promoted our humane approach to an audience with Peter Gabriel, Bono and Bill Gates (amongst other celebrities).
I hope to meet many of you in Melbourne - I know the Aussies are working very passionately to make the event a big success!
with best wishes,
Dirk Corstens
Chair of Intervoice
World Congress 2013 Logo

Australian Update - World Congress and more!  

Kellie Comans, Intervoice Board Member, sent this report from Australia:

"We are so excited here in Australia to be hosting the 2013 World Hearing Voices Congress, in November from the 20th to the 22nd. The quality of work,sheer passion and dedication from Voices Vic and all those involved in organising this event will ensure it's an incredible success. The wide variety of International and Australian speakers are a credit to the organisers and are sure to add to what promises to be an innovative,thought provoking and inspiring Congress. For more information: Just after all the excitement of Congress the NSW Hearing Voices Network is hosting a conference for Hearing Voices Group Facilitators in Sydney. This will be a fabulous opportunity for facilitators to come together and share experience and strategies."  For more information contact:  or

Richmond Fellowship WA brings two special guests to Western Australia this month:  Peter Bullimore and Stuart Bakewell. Peter is a hearing voices expert based in the UK. He is a Trustee of the UK Hearing Voices and Paranoia Networks and is himself a testament to how effective the methods advocated by these networks can be. Peter is in Perth to present on the topics of paranoia, unusual beliefs and childhood trauma.  Stuart is an area manager for St Mungo's in the UK. All his services respond to co-occurring mental health issues and substance misuse within residential settings.

Inside Out and Associates is an organisation committed to providing opportunities to understand better the experience of extreme states and of mental distress and what this means for people experiencing distress as well as family, community and service system responses to supporting people through these experiences. They too are hosting Pete Bullimore this month for two days training in Sydney around paranoia and the Maastricht interview.  Inside Out and Associates have provided some incredible events, training conferences in the past few years of a high calibre and are fantastic allies for Intervoice and the Hearing Voices Movement.

Kellie says "it's an exciting time Down Under and I'm working to get some positive stories about Intervoice, the Congress and the Hearing voices experience into the media. One example I'd like to take a lead from is Richmond Fellowship WA's fabulous HVNWA Co-ordinator, Amanda Waegli

The Open Paradigm Project has produced a 23 minute video of last year's World Congress held in Wales, UK. See

News and Reports

Intervoice AGM and relaunch of membership scheme

Intervoice has relaunched its membership scheme for individuals and organisations. There is a sliding scale of fees and we hope that as many people as possible will add their support in this tangible way to enable Intervoice to develop its work. Members will enjoy a number of benefits, including an excellent resources pack; use of the new Intervoice Supporter logo and be eligible to vote at Annual General Meetings. For more information see:

Invitation for new Board Members

Intervoice is also seeking new Board members. There will be an election at the AGM on 22nd November in Melbourne. If you would like to find out more about becoming a Board Member, or about nominating someone to become a Board member, please contact:

Last year, Intervoice was officially registered as a charitable company in the UK and has a new constitution. In the first year all the current Board Members have to stand down and be re-elected at the AGM. In following years, one third of the Board will have to stand down (but can stand for re-election). Intervoice's charity registration number is 1148778 and it is also registered at Companies House - 06337580

Eleanor Longden:  TED 2013 YouTube and ebook releaseEleanor at TED

We reported in the last newsletter that Eleanor was invited to present at the TED 2013 conference on her experience of voice hearing as well as the important work of Intervoice and the Hearing Voices movement.  The talk is now available to view on YouTube and is accompanied by an ebook "Learing from the Voices in my Head."   The TED video has already been watched more than 479,553 times. The ebook can be purchased via, Apple's ibookstore, Barnes & Noble online and the TED book app for iphone and ipad.


The Schizophrenia debate

As we have reported in previous newsletters,the "schizophrenia" label is the subject of continuing debate.  Most recently, Bill George sent Intervoice a press release about a new Forum in the journal "Psychological Medicine"published by Cambridge University Press. Bill and Aadt Klijn, Foreign Affairs Co-ordinators for Anoiksis (the Dutch association of and for people with a psychotic vulnerability.  Anoiksis means "open mind") have written an article that has been reflected upon by various commentators.  Anoiksis' alternative name for schizophrenia is:  Psychosis Susceptibility Syndrome (PSS).  It means: Psychosis because of the unreality of hallucinations and delusions; Susceptibility because patients are not necessarily psychotic (but it is latent) and Syndrome to reflect associated cognitive and negative symptoms. Many people commented fully on the article and most thought that the greatest improvement would be a change in the public's negative perception of the label "schizophrenia".  For more information contact

Hearing Voices Network round up

Japanese flag
Wakio Sato from Japan reports:
"A seed of Hearing Voices was sown into the soil in Dalian, China" The 49th Annual Congress of the Japanese Association of Clinical Psychology was held in Dalian University, China on 5th & 6th July. It was held as a joint event with the University and in co-operation with the Japanese Association of Comparative Folklore. Professor Sou Kyoki, the Vice-President of Dalian University and School Principal of Japanese Language and Culture contributed most to the success of the event. The main title was "Clinical Psychology in Eastern Asia; a new age of mutuality, which included "Natural Disaster and Psychology, Present Clinical Psychology and its problems in both countries and Clinical Psychology Tomorrow. As another programme on the second day, there was a Symposium on Compartive Folklore titled "Whereabouts and appearance of Mind and Soul in Eastern Asia." Under the theme of "Clinical Psychology Tomorrow" Wakio made a presentation on "Hearing Voices: a way in which you accept voices not as a symptom but as an experience and so you grow as a human" He says "the audience consisted of Chinese psychologists, folklore researchers, students of Japanese language and psychology association members. They seemed to be listening keenly but I haven't had any feedback yet from the Chinese people!" Wakio talked about the Hearing Voices method and philosophy and about a case of a non-patient voice hearer, Reverend T Iwamoto from a Japanese religion called Konko-kyo which originated in the latest Edo period in the village where Wakio is now living. He hopes this opportunity will be the start of Hearing Voices development in China.

England flagOn 9th July, Mind in Camden's Prison Project held a one day conference in London:  <strong>'Voices Unlocked'. </strong>It showcased the inspiring work of the project over the last three years setting up Hearing Voices groups in prisons across London and raising awareness amongst prison staff. The day was both celebratory and educational with prison staff sharing their experience of facilitating the groups and explaining how and why their perspective on voice hearing has changed as a result. Group Facilitators from all the prisons reflected on their involvement and shared practical advice for other prisons thinking of implementing the approach.  Speakers included Jacqui Dillon, Chair of LHVN, who talked about supporting prisoners with violent voices and the Prison Reform Trust spoke about the relevance of peer support within prisons.  Afternoon workshops included:  making sense of violent voices; rethinking paranoia and working with trauma and self-harm. there was plenty of opportunity to learn from those with lived experience of hearing voices. the conference attracted a wide variety of attendees and provided a platform for extending the project across the country.  a short film about the prison project was shown for the first time.  it includes interviews with prison staff as well as words and art work of prisoners who have attended groups.  see:

Spanish flagIn Madrid, Spain, the 18th Annual Course of Schizophrenia will be held from 28th-30th November.  The title is "Inner dialogue, Hallucinations and Therapeutic Strategies" with contributions from Marius Romme, Sandra Escher and other professors.  There will be a special workshop run by Olga Runciman to promote the Spanish Hearing Voices Movement.  See  


USA flagHearing Voices Network USA are collecting information about new research projects and articles in progress that relate to the Hearing Voices Movement in the USA. If you know of a project, book, film, article or other material, please get in touch:

They also suggest that people should look Susan Inman's article "People who Hear Voices Need Science-based advice" as it represents many misunderstandings about the Hearing Voices Movement - responses would be very helpful to help educate people!
Irish flagFollowing the report on the success of the Dublin Group, Ireland, in the last newsletter, it was good to hear that two groups have also started in Cork.  Angela Carrazza writes that the group was set up after she and a colleague and two experts by experience went on a facilitation course with Jacqui Dillon.  Angela's workplace allows her to dedicate one day per week to hearing voices work in an acute unit; staff seem very relieved that someone is finally doing this kind of work.  For details of the groups please contact


French flagYann Derobert reports that a very successful  Hearing Voices conference was held in Nancy (France) in June with many participants from the UK who were able to share their experiences.


Danish flag
Rufus May has recently given a talk in Copenhagan, Denmark, on living mindfully with voices.  There is a youtube clip in two parts and a paper on Rufus' website



Research & Publications

From Durham University (UK)
Hearing the Voice is an ambitious, interdisciplinary research project that aims to provide a better understanding of the experience of hearing voices.  The experience has been richly described across cultures and historical eras, and raises profound questions about the neural foundations of language; the nature of thought and the unity of the self.  In September, there will be an international meeting of researchers who will present and discuss their work.

From Manchester University (UK)
"Do you hear voices?  We are looking for voice-hearers in Greater Manchester for a new research study on hearing voices"
Voices are not always a sign of mental health difficulties.  Some people find their voices a difficult and frightening experience, while others consider them a positive and useful part of their lives.  We would like to know more about why this is in order to develop better ways ot help people with distressing voices.  We are looking for people who would like to take part in a research study, sponsored by the University of Manchester (UK), to try and increase our understanding of the experience of hearing voices.  We are interested in speaking to people who have all different kinds of experiences s of hearing voices, be that negative, positive or neutral.  The study will invlove a meeting with a researcher in complete privacy to complete some questionnaires and interviews focusing on people's personal experience of hearing voices.  If you live in the Greater Manchester area and would like to find out more about the study, please contact Filippo Varese at 07583608167 or write to

Simon McCarthy-Jones:  Monthly Blog
Simon, researcher from Sydney and author of the book "Hearing Voices" (2012) has a monthly blog where he summarises articles about hearing voices and related subjects in major scientific journals:

Canadian Scholars Press
has published a new book "Mad Matters" showcasing the work of Canadian psychiatric survivors, activists, academics and writers who have involved themselves in various ways with the pursuit of social justice by and with people within the mental health system.  More details from

ISPS- US 14th Annual Meeting
ISPS-US are holding their 14th Annual Meeting from 4th - 6th October in New Brunswick, New Jersey (USA).  The conference title is: What's in a Name?  Emerging Perspectives on the Intersection of "Schizophrenia" and "Recovery".  The keynote speaker is Debra Lampshire, an experience-based expert, professional teaching fellow at the Centre for Mental Health Research and Development at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and Project Manager for the Auckland District Health Board.  More details from or visit

Asylum Associates 10th Anniversary Conference - England
Asylum Associates 10th Anniversary Conference in association with the Critical Psychiatry Network will be held from 2nd-4th September in Nottingham, England.  The theme is "Psychiatry Beyond the Current Paradigm".  The British Journal of Psychiatry recently carried a paper with this title by the UK Critical Psychiatry Network; it emphasises the importance of working with people rather than upon them.  Unexpectedly, it receieved very little criticism from academics and peer psychiatrists.  This joint conference is an opportunity to walk that talk!  Contact: or

Campaigns & Polls

We have started a series of polls on the Intervoice website to find out what you think.  The first one asked "Do you think that Hearing Voices groups are best facilitated by people with lived experience?"  185 people responded and here are the results:

43%  Yes, at least one facilitator should be a voice hearer
24%  It doesn't matter who facilitates them as long as they are good at it
23%  Yes. Definitely.  All groups should be facilitated by voice hearers
4%    No, only mental health professionals should facilitate a group
4%    No, anyone can facilitate a group
2%  Other answers

Suzanne Engelen has written a summary of the lively debate that followed on Intervoice's Facebook Group page:

This month's poll asks "What do you find most useful for coping with difficult/challenging voices?".    1137 people have already voted and the poll is still open. See  We will be releasing some coping strategy articles with the results at the end of the month
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