Rufus May: Mindfulness & Voice Hearing

Foredrag afholdt torsdag d. 8. november 2012

How can mindful attitudes be helpful to the experience of hearing voices? This talk will look at ways to become less overwhelmed by powerful emotions including voices. If we can generate a mindfulness energy we can step back from the voice hearing experience and change how we relate to it.  This will include learning new ways to mindfully be with the underlying emotions attached to the voice.  This acceptance approach is one both promoted by the hearing voices movement and by mindfulness proponents.

I advocate the use of a broad range of mindfulness approaches to help the person step back from the intensity of the relationship with a domineering voice (or voices). At the same time there is a role for mindfully listening to the voice and the emotions it is guarding or signaling.  This mindful listening is more possible in an accepting community and is something we all would benefit from learning to do and support.  This deep listening to the voice can be aided by mindful dialoguing.  When the feelings and unmet needs the voice is pointing to are addressed the relationship with the voice changes to one that is collaborative rather than hostile.

Rufus May works as a clinical psychologist in adult mental health services in Bradford, England. Rufus is known for promoting recovery based approaches to psychosis and other mental health difficulties which he sees as understandable responses to difficult life circumstances.  His interest in this is rooted in his own experience of psychosis and recovery in his late teens.