What You're not Hearing About the Hearing Voices Movement

Recently the Hearing Voices Movement (HVM) has been receiving a lot of very positive press in Canada. The Globe and Mail, CBC’s Tapestry program and the University of British Columbia’s alumni magazine TREK have offered similar kinds of stories. The public finds out about the long known but not well-publicized fact that lots of people who have auditory hallucinations don’t have mental illnesses. Then we learn about someone who benefitted from the supportive atmosphere that the Hearing Voices Movement’s programs offers. We hear that this program helps people better manage their voices.

How could anyone object to such a helpful use of our very limited mental health budgets?

Some of us need to object because, by failing to differentiate between the needs of people who actually have psychotic disorders and those who don’t, HVM poses serious risks.

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Hmmm… not sure what to think about this.



I’ve heard some very negative things from some members hear about the HVM. From what I’ve heard they seem to be very anti treatment - and because people who have schizophrenia or psychosis frequently don’t want to believe/or don’t believe, they need any help - the HVM can really validate those people even though they are very low functioning (living on the street, etc.).

I’m not directly familiar with them - but I encourage anyone who is to add their own comments.

They can also damage high-functioning SZs. Take my word on that. Anyone pushing that garbage needs to be shown the door here, and quickly.


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The group I go to is hvn.
In terms of the hvn philosophy…there is some things I agree with and theres things I don’t.
In the first meeting we got a presentation what hvn is about, I voiced what I disagrreed with and it was accepted. Personally I’ve found that nothing is forced onto you.
The group is a mix of people, older and younger (18+), with different views…I will always go by logic and see meds as short term solution vs people who swear by meds vs people who haven’t gone on meds yet etc.
In terms of wellness level, everyone is around the same wether or not they are high or low functioning. Ive experienced in other groups where I’ve felt completely at different ends of the scale where people are still believing sh*t and whatnot.
The person that runs my group is a former sufferer and he is open about it, he works for the nhs and is very knowledgeable. He doesn’t like using scientific terms of our illness. He’s big on Buddhism and mindfulness. I like the fact that he speaks to everyone on a level and not the ‘I’m the professional’ type. he doesn’t spout bollocks, If he suggests something he will always back it up with evidence.
The way he runs the group is confidentiality is key so what is said in the group stays in the group, we talk and discuss our views with no judgement. Confidentiality is broke on a person only if they seem truely unwell, say suicidal or psychotic.

So yea, I haven’t had a problem with hvn, their philosophy worked when they started but times have changed and so has information, so maybe updating it wouldn’t hurt.