Hearing Voices that are Distressing: A Simulated Training Experience and Self-Help Strategies

Just as rehabilitation students gain insight into the experience of physical disability by using wheelchairs, so too can mental health professionals and students experience a simulation of some of the challenges facing people with psychiatric disabilities. Who should attend this training? This training has been developed and piloted for a wide range of people including: inpatient/outpatient psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, social workers and psychologists; direct care workers in residential, day treatment and psychosocial rehabilitation programs; mental health administrators and policy makers; family members and friends; and academic faculty and students. A modified version of this training emphasizing self help skill building (and no simulation experience) is available for voice hearers who want to learn to control or eliminate distressing voices. Hearing voices that are distressing is a training in which participants use headphones for listening to a specially designed audiotape. 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 workshop also includes:
  • A lecture exploring the research and literature on hearing distressing voices
  • Presentation of self-help strategies for coping with or eliminating distressing voices
  • Practice exercises where participants learn to teach self-help skills to voice hearer
Learning goals for this workshop:
  • To empathize more deeply with the challenges voice hearers face
  • To reduce the fear and stigma surrounding the voice hearing experience
  • To learn to teach self help skills to voice hearers
Arranging a workshop for your group: Workshops can be tailored to meet your organization's needs. It is suggested that not more than 40 people be trained at one time.

Call the National Empowerment Center at 1-800-769-3728 for more information