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By Laurie Ahern, Daniel Fisher, MD PhD
People can and do recover from severe emotional distress known as "mental illness".This curriculum has been developed by Laurie Ahern and Dan Fisher MD, Ph.D. It includes a 34-page guide and a 90-minute video lecture on the PACE (Personal Assistance in Community Existence) curriculum, featuring information on the empowerment model of recovery, PACE/Recovery principles, and recovery research. This information is useful for administrators, consumers, families, advocates, and providers who want to transform their system to one based on a recovery culture.
Note: The Hearing Voices Curriculum is now available as a virtual training. For some suggestions on how to conduct this training virtually, click here.
Learn more about the Updated Hearing Voices Curriculum in the video below.
Originally created by Patricia Deegan, PhD with updates by Dr. Dan Fisher and Oryx Cohen
WHAT IS IT?Hearing Voices That Are Distressing is a complete training/curriculum package in which participants use headphones for listening to a specially designed recording. During this simulated experience of hearing voices, participants undertake a series of tasks including social interaction in the community, a psychiatric interview, cognitive testing, and an activities group in a mock day treatment program. The simulation experience is followed by a debriefing and discussion period. The curriculum includes an updated DVD and updated discussion questions that focus on what we can do to support people who hear voices."...The first graduate students who experienced 'Hearing Voices' said it changed their lives. We now require it for all our graduate students in sites across the country." ~ Paul J. Carling, Ph.D. Executive Director The Center for Community Change, Trinity College, Vermont "...The voices simulation gave me a good overview of what people who do hear voices go through on a day to day basis." "...Incredible experience which gave a great insight. " "...Every Officer should have this experience so they can understand what people who hear voices are going through." ~ Law Enforcement Officers from Utah CIT Academies
WHO BENEFITS FROM THIS TRAINING?This curriculum has been developed and piloted for a wide range of mental health professionals including: Inpatient/outpatient psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, social workers; psychologists; direct care workers in residential, day treatment and psychosocial rehabilitation programs; mental health administrators, policy makers; and police officers, academic faculty and students."...I recently participated in the 'Hearing Voices' training. I must confess, I was disturbed by the sudden realization that I have been treating schizophrenia for four years, yet I have never known what it really was. I may have had the knowledge, but not the wisdom or true empathy -Â until now." ~ Jim Willow, M.D. Psychiatric Resident, PsycHealth Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
WHO CREATED IT?Patricia E. Deegan, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and developed this curriculum as part of her work with the National Empowerment Center. She also publishes and lectures internationally on the topics of recovery and empowerment. Pat is a person with a psychiatric disability, who also has experience hearing voices that are distressing.
By Patricia Deegan, PhD
"How does one work with people who are unmotivated"This curriculum, organized into eight modules, will help consumer/survivors/ex-patients, staff, families and friends to provide more effective support and compassionate understanding for those diagnosed with mental illness who appear unmotivated. Roy Starks, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Mental Health Corp. of Denver, Inc. wrote: "Both staff and members found the training materials invaluable. I have worked in the field of Psychiatric Rehabilitation for thirty years and found this training tape to be the most helpful I have ever seen...I recommend this training to anyone working in mental health." Staff of the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare comments:
- "Pat is a powerful myth-buster!"
- "These tapes really challenge and overturn conventional ways of thinking about 'unmotivated' or 'low-functioning' consumers."
- "Pat makes it so clear that their are no cookie cutter approaches, and her emphasis on relationship is so important."
- "These training materials will really be useful in working with staff who are resistant to the role changes that are needed to move the system toward a recovery orientation."
- "There is so much authenticity in this material. It is a grounded and thoughtful presentation of the life experience of real people."