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Hearing Voices Part 1 – Learning to Listen to “Auditory Hallucinations”

Hearing voices is a remarkably common experience. Most of us will hear a voice or voices at least once, often around significant life events, and many of us do regularly. Hearing voices is about as common as left-handedness, yet some people really struggle and this has led to it being mystified, demonized, and made taboo.

This workshop is designed for clinicians, to help you become more comfortable in beginning to support those who do struggle, yet are left to struggle alone with difficult experiences like voices, that sometimes get called psychosis.

We include an introduction to some key ideas and ways of working that accept and normalize hearing voices as a human experience that can be troubling, but that may also offer rich insight into working through difficulties in life.

The focus is on bringing compassion to this experience. We offer a trauma-informed approach to understanding the difficulty, making connections between difficult life experiences and difficult experiences with voices, and how these difficulties are compounded when the person has their experience denied and is left to deal alone with their pain.

Aims

The aim of this workshop is to demystify the experience of hearing voices and begin to work in practical ways with a person who struggles, supporting them in finding their power to live a life they deem worth living.

  • Accepting voices as a normal human experience that is remarkably common, yet one with which some people really struggle.
  • Truly trauma-informed – explore and understand common links between difficult life experiences and difficult experiences with voices.
  • Learning how to support a person who struggles with voices in finding and using their power to act in their own life.
  • Show ways working with voices can be analogous to working with any other difficult experience a client might bring to your practice.
  • Show how many of the tools and approaches you already use can also be used with these clients.
  • A Map – a simple, practical tool for use in many ways including communicating with clients about what is possible and co-creating plans for working together, and supporting them in reclaiming their power with difficult experiences.

Sharing Insights
We will share insights from our own experiences and areas of practice: Kevin Healey will share some personal insights from living with voices, and from working in the community; Dr. Erica Martin will share insights from her own learning and from having taken some ideas and practices into her clinical work. We hope that you will also bring and share your own insights and experiences.

Getting practical

We will also provide information in using, selecting and combining approaches including:

  • Formulation
  • Maastricht Interview and Construct
  • Voice Mapping
  • Voice Profiling
  • Non Violent Communication
  • Voice Dialogue
  • Coping Strategies
  • Safe- enough

Further workshops in this series will focus on practicing some of these approaches and working through difficulties that can arise.

 

Date to be announced

Presenters:

Kevin Healey hears voices that you don’t and has done for as long as he or his voices can remember.  Founder and coordinator of www.recoverynet.ca, Toronto Hearing Voices group and the Hearing Voices Café. Drawing on skills and experiences gained from three decades of group work in organizations, in peer support and the wider community he develops innovative trainings and workshops that enable others to better understand and support those who struggle with the kind of experiences that get called “psychosis”.A member of the hearing voices worldwide community, in Oct 2016 was honored to receive the Intervoice annual Award for Innovation at the World Hearing Voices Congress in Paris.  Website: www.recoverynet.ca

Dr. Erica Martin is a registered Clinical and Forensic Psychologist. She obtained her Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, and completed both her Masters and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology at York University. She currently works in private practice as a forensic and clinical psychologist, and was most recently employed at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences where she worked as a forensic psychologist, conducting both assessment and therapy with individuals who have severe and persistent mental illness and who have been found Not Criminally Responsible (NCR). She took the lead in the development of a CBT for Psychosis Group treatment manual for complex patient presentations at Ontario Shores, and was the point-person for psychosis intervention at the hospital. Her research interests include the decision—making process in the forensic mental health system, as well as the management and rehabilitation of dynamic risk factors.

 

 

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