Elisabeth Svanholmer writes:
We are looking for contributors to a new online resource about hearing things that others don’t.
Hearing the Voice is currently working with people who have personal experience of hearing voices to develop Integrated Voices – a new online resource that will help people find clear, balanced and comprehensive information about hearing and experiencing things that could be understood as ‘voices’.
We, Elisabeth Svanholmer (voice-hearer, mental health trainer) and Rufus May (Hearing Voices Group facilitator), have been commissioned to research content for a section of the website which will be looking at ‘Living with Voices’.
In our experience there is an amazing wealth of knowledge and wisdom already out there. People from all walks of life have found ways to understand and live with their experiences and we want to encourage people to share these with us.
The material we collect can help shape the Integrated Voices website and it is our hope that the website will be full of personal reflections, quotes and stories to inspire others and to help people feel less alone with the things they experience.
We are very interested in diverse experiences and we are aware that calling it ‘hearing voices’ doesn’t resonate with everyone. We would love to hear from people who have experiences such as djinns, spirit guides, schizophrenia, auditory hallucinations, persecution, electronic harassment, intrusive thoughts, thought transmissions, inner voices, ancestors and invisible presences.
We are looking to collect ideas about strategies that people use to cope. We are also hoping to gather a wide range of personal statements about what everyday life is like for people who hear or sense things that others don’t.
If you hear voices or support someone who hears voices, there are different ways to contribute.
We have launched an online questionnaire. It consists of about 10 open ended questions about everyday life with experiences such as voices, coping with these experiences and talking about them with others. There is also a version for family members, friends and supporters.
If you’d like to complete the questionnaire, you can do so here.
If you prefer a PDF or paper version of the questionnaire you can contact Elisabeth to arrange this.
We will be facilitating two focus group sessions – one in Manchester on Friday 4 May (2-4pm) and one in London on Thursday 3 May (1.30-3.30pm). More information about the focus groups and how to take part is available in this flyer.
If you would like to share your experiences and ideas about coping in a 1-to-1 interview you are welcome to get in touch. We might be able to meet to do the interview depending on where you live but we could also do it over the phone. We would like to audio record interviews to make sure we don’t miss anything or misunderstand. Any material we collect will be kept securely and won’t be shared with anyone without your permission.
If you are interested or have any questions about interviews please contact Elisabeth.
Visiting Hearing Voices groups
Elisabeth is arranging to visit different Hearing Voices Groups in the UK to have informal sessions where people can share their knowledge and stories. If you are a member or a facilitator of a group and you want to contribute you are welcome to get in touch and we can look at different possibilities.
The deadline for participating will be 4 May 2018.
You can contact Elisabeth by email or phone 07926685432.
About Elisabeth and Rufus
Elisabeth Svanholmer is originally from Denmark, now living in West Yorkshire. She has experienced hearing and sensing unusual things all her life, and was a member of a hearing voices peer support group for 7 years. She is passionate about destigmatising these kinds of experiences and has been working and volunteering with the Hearing Voices Network since 2006.
Rufus May does not hear voices. When he was 18, however, he experienced powerful beliefs and perceptual experiences, which included perceiving the TV and radio communicating with him. Since 2001, he has worked on a weekly basis with Hearing Voices Groups, and has a long history of working collaboratively with voice hearers and their supporters in both his work as a clinical psychologist and as a volunteer with the Hearing Voices Network.