what advice would you have…
A friend of mine was asked this question, and I’m just going to paraphrase his answer. First off, try and identify a more mature voice which is more reasonable, make friends with it, and ask this friendly voice to get the domineering voices to be more reasonable. The idea is to create a community of voices who will respond and converse, rather than shout or make unhelpful demands.
Argue back at them in your head, or out loud in an appropriate setting…my “voices” have let me know that they can hear thoughts but they didn’t make me aware that they can hear my thoughts when I first started hearing them…
Just argue back against them is what I do.
Have reason and do the opposite of the “bad” things they say. Like if they tell you to kill someone, dont do that. If you are working legs and they tell you to do your next set on time, then do your set on time no extra rest, you get the picture.
One of my voices is good, the other two are bad.
One thing I found useful that I have posted here before sometime was a trick with the vacuumcleaner. If I turned that on, the tone of the voices would change into screaming or yelling tone of voice. While this might not sound too appealing, the sense of being in control I got out of this little trickery was empowering. I don’t really know whether the pitch of the hallucinations changes with everyone who does this, but it can be worth a shot.
The content of what the voices say to me isn’t domineering because im secure in myself and my belief so when a voice trys to be domineering I consider it ignorant rhetoric, a lot like a commercial on tv.
My voices turn into my parents voices. I don’t say anything back i just focus on some other thought. If you are under any stress i would try to do tjings that ease it cos i have a theory that it causes voices to be more prominent. Then again idk. I would try to be friendly to the voices and see what happens.
I write notes to my “voices”. If they’re being very nasty or demanding I write them a note telling them I simply will not listen unless they talk to me in a kind way. I let them know I hear them, and I want to listen to them (I say this even if I don’t mean it, shhh), but they must be kind and respectful or I will tune them out completely.
Sometimes this makes them very angry and they scream at me for a bit, or they sulk, or I just hear a lot of chatter / background noise; but it usually gets the point across and cuts down on the cruelty.
No kidding? …really.
Lots of good suggestions here, but the one Kerome offered is evidently popular with pros who treat sz pts, 'cause I’ve heard it several times from them. REBT founder Albert Ellis would have gone straight at the dominator with factual evidence and rational arguments, as would Wayne Dyer, who more or less ripped off Ellis’s therapeutic notions.
Aaron Beck and Don Meichenbaum would do it more indirectly, by elevating the patient’s overall consciousness to the extent that the dominator’s voice would be seen for what it was. Murray Bowen, the father of Family Systems Psychotherapy, was onto the various voices as possible representations of both family members and ego reactions thereto.
I guess I have to ask now if you had a domineering father, mother, older sibling, someone in early life who was often threatening. (If you wind up with a psychodynamic or Family Systems therapist, he or she is going ask the same question.) It often helps to put face on the voice and to understand that that face is a human being who needed a victim because they had been one as well. The voice is not the voice of God or some truly powerful but mysterious presence in your mind. It’s almost always the recreated voice of – at least psychodynamically – someone from the past.
It was hugely helpful for me to come to recognize, acknowledge, accept, own, appreciate and understand that I had been dependent upon a caregiver who was sometimes a raging monster.
I acknowledge them and even agree with them-without ever the thought of acting anything out of course.
I listen, let them have their say without interruption, then nod my head a lot, keep my face agreeable, thank them for their opinion and go on about my business…
When this didn’t work on one particular pest, I bought him a one-way ticket to the farthest point away from me that Greyhound went, and told him Merry Vacation compliments of me.
By the time he figured out it was only a one way ticket, it was too late, he already found a new friend to bother.
Best $$ I think I ever spent-hadn’t seen him since.
This did not work very well for me. I ended up arguing all day with my hallucinations, and it would keep me from interacting with actual people, it would keep me from sleeping, it was basically all i did all day long. It came to the point that I identified that my biggest problem was that I couldn’t stop arguing with them, this interferred with my life and I just needed a break from it all.
So I thought of ways how to decrease the salience of my hallucinations, such that I wouldn’t be tempted to argue all day with them. My solution was to eliminate all suggestions of them being subjects of some kind, both explicit and implicit, from my ways of thinking. For another subject, so I thought, commands more attention than a mere object of thought.
This would consist of monitoring my thoughts for signs that I was addressing the hallucinations in the second person (which implies another subject), thinking of them in terms of names and it involved addressing delusions of telepathy of course. Though no longer in direct conversation with the hallucinations - it is not difficult to see that such would undermine itself for the very intelligibility of a conversation presupposes another subjectivity.
This worked wonders over the course of a few weeks where I would obsessively monitor my thought to consistently eliminate any reference to another subjectivity from it. The contents of the hallucinations became much more limited and their salience diminished. It allowed me to have conversations with actual people again, to fall asleep more easily etc. For I now perceived of the hallucinations as a mere noise - and their repetitive content fitted in quite nicely with that conception.
when my voices used to try and beat me up… I had to fight back when I could.
Or I would try and listen to the one voice I had that was calm and logical…
Sometimes taking a walk or getting away from where I was when the voices were getting bad helped me reset.
I’d wear head phone and blast music with no lyrics.