Hearing Voices groups are a well-established means of providing peer-support to people experiencing voices, visions and beliefs. The proven benefits for members include:
- Decreased stigma
- Increased understanding of own experiences
- Decreased distress
- Increased number and range of coping strategies
- Increased sense of community
- Increased hope for the future
They are peer support groups, based on a strong ethos of self-help.
It is widely accepted that the voices in themselves are not the main problem. It’s fear, powerlessness, distress, isolation, stigma and hopelessness which are barriers to recovery. Hearing Voices groups can remove some of these barriers and help a person take control of their lives.
Each group is different, but all groups hold the Hearing Voices ethos. Groups work to be non-judgemental, supportive, inclusive, a safe space to explore personal meaning and embrace a diversity of views, as well as hopeful, validating, voluntary and confidential.
Setting up and sustaining a Hearing Voices group in a forensic or detention setting brings specific challenges. We are here to help you navigate these, and can connect you with other staff in similar settings who have set up groups.
What group members say
The group has made me feel like my life is more worthwhile. l feel like I am making a valid worthwhile step in my recoveryGroup member
You get an insight into the lives of other group members, who you can empathise with, hear their stories. It gets you in touch with people who have left the unit and you get inspired by them.Group member
I love coming here, listening to others who have the same problem as me. It teaches you how others have become stronger.Group member