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Hearing Voices Curriculum *Updated


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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


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


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 -­ until now.”
     ~ Jim Willow, M.D. Psychiatric Resident, PsycHealth Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Sample a sound byte from the hearing voice simulation (mp3, 1843 KB)
Please be advised: Contains mild profanities


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.

959 in stock



This comprehensive package includes:

  • A DVD featuring Dr. Marius Romme, Oryx Cohen, Dr. Dan Fisher, and three voice hearers exploring the history, research, and the experience of hearing voices.
  • Recorded simulation giving an example of what distressing voices sound like available as an MP3 download; to be used in the simulation activities portion of the curriculum.
  • Instructor’s Guide.
  • Instructors Manual for Police Training – An adaptation of the simulation activities adapted by the Salt Lake City Police Department to be relevant to law enforcement officers who may encounter people who “hear voices” or who may be experiencing an altered state.
  • Bibliography.
  • Bonus content includes the full testimony of the voice hearers who were interviewed for the DVD.

Up to 40 participants per training and it can be used over and over again!

An invaluable resource for staff and students!

NEC conducts trainings in this curriculum by request. Call the National Empowerment Center at 800-769-3728 or 978-685-1494 or contact us here if you have any questions.

Additional information

Select Media For Voice Hearing Simulation:

40 Copies of a CD, MP3 Download


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