Conundrums, confounds and cacophonies: Medical Humanities’ perspectives on the phenomenology of auditory verbal hallucinations
Dr. Angela Woods, Durham University
WEDNESDAY 22 October 2014
University of Sheffield
Council Room – Firth Court – 6 p.m.
Improving our understanding of voice-hearing is widely recognised as a key priority of hallucinations research. To date, most of the phenomenological data collected in mainstream scientific studies of auditory verbal hallucination have come from clinical interviews in psychiatric settings, which has potentially shaped what kinds of experiences are reported and how they are interpreted. “What is it like to hear voices?” is a large qualitative study currently being conducted by the Hearing the Voice project and the Lived Experience Research Network. Using a novel phenomenology questionnaire, we invited people to reflect, in their own words, on aspects of experience – including the embodied presence and interpersonal agency of voices, and their relationship to thoughts, external and internal speech – which are rarely the focus of in-depth exploration in mainstream psychological research.
This paper will present preliminary findings from the study and reflect on the possibilities and challenges presented by interdisciplinary and medical humanities approaches to the study of inner experience.
Medical Humanities Sheffield: The interface between medicine and science on the one hand, and the arts and social sciences on the other hand, is one of the most exciting and important in modern academic life, offering unrivalled potential for multi-disciplinary work, policymaking, and public life. Medical Humanities Sheffield is sponsoring a series of open lectures in this exciting field.