London Hearing Voices Network

We train people and organisations in facilitating Hearing Voices and/or Unusual Beliefs groups, offer an additional programme of courses and workshops in the field of critical mental health and hold quarterly Network Meetings including a speaker presentation.

Together with its sister projects Voice Collective and Voices Unlocked, the London Hearing Voices Project has developed an excellent local, national and international reputation and is part of the wider international ‘Hearing Voices’ movement. We do partnership working with Universities, recently we have been collaborating with Durham University’s Hearing the Voice, to create an online resource Understanding Voices (www.understandingvoices.com).

Voice-hearing is a common human experience which can often be positive or neutral. But when voices are distressing, one of the most effective and empowering kinds of support is to meet in a group with other voice-hearers – where people can connect, share, explore ideas and sometimes sit with challenging emotions. The first meeting of this sort took place over thirty years ago in Holland and since then, across the world, Hearing Voices Groups have offered a safe space to countless numbers. For some the experience is life-changing, representing a turning point in their recovery.

In a Hearing Voices Group, meaning-making is encouraged, and we are interested in exploring people’s relationship with their voices. But we always value the person’s own understanding of their voices, this is paramount. Many do understand their voices/visions/alternative realities as resulting from individual trauma, but there is an almost infinite range of other routes to understanding, all of which we respect. For instance collective and intergenerational trauma; spiritual practice; religious belief; psychological explanations; drug use/withdrawal; telepathy; neurodiversity and more. Believing that voice-hearing derives from a brain chemical imbalance is a common story in psychiatry, perhaps the dominant one, but while some people find it harmful and lacking in scientific evidence, we also fully support those who find it helpful. Experience of voices is rarely a result of one thing, and possible causes overlap in very individual ways.

We use ‘voice-hearing’ as an imperfect umbrella term to include many different experiences, e.g. seeing things or sensing things that others don’t, or experiencing beliefs that others find unusual.

Additional information

  • Mysticism and Madness;
  • Complex Trauma & Dissociation;
  • Your Story, My Story, Whose Story?;
  • User-Survivor Research in Mental Health;
  • Philosophy of Mind (workshop series);
  • Talking about Psychiatric Medication;
  • Activism, Burnout and Self-Care;
  • Deconstructing ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’;
  • Exploring Mindfulness and Voices;
  • CFT & the Courage of Compassionate Relating;
  • Creative Strategies for Peer Support Involvement;
  • ‘I is for Insult’: Questioning Borderline Personality Disorder.
  • An Islamic Perspective on Mental Health

Building on roots first established over 30 years ago, the London Hearing Voices Project was founded at Mind in Camden in 2005.

We had the aim of expanding peer support for voice-hearers across London. Forty new Hearing Voices Groups were created over the following five years, through a network of partner organisations — by delivering to their staff members and voice-hearers a unique 3-day training course on skills for facilitating a group. Between 2012 and 2015, Mind in Camden’s Paranoia & Beliefs Project extended the reach of the London network to include those who might experience alternative realities and beliefs.

Voices Unlocked https://voicesunlocked.com/

Voice Collective http://www.voicecollective.co.uk/

English Hearing Voices Network https://www.hearing-voices.org/

National Paranoia Network https://nationalparanoianetwork.org/

Understanding Voices www.understandingvoices.com

Jacqui Dillon www.jacquidillon.org

Rachel Waddingham www.behindthelabel.co.uk

Rufus May www.rufusmay.com and https://openmindedonline.com/

Critical Mental Health Nurses’ Network https://criticalmhnursing.org/ Mental health nursing has a long and distinguished history of thinking critically, of examining the assumptions of models and refusing the narrow focus of other disciplines.

Critical & Creative Approaches to Mental Health Practice – ‘CCrAMHP’ http://www.ccramhp.org.uk/ For all who are passionate about sustaining creative and critical practice in mental health. Open to mental health practitioners, students, educators, service users and carers.

Critical Psychiatry Network http://www.criticalpsychiatry.co.uk/index.php?start=4 A network primarily for psychiatrists, psychiatric trainees and medical students. But there are many interesting articles freely available on this website as downloads or via links.

Critical Psychotherapy Network https://criticalpsychotherapy.wordpress.com/2015/06/28/welcome/ A network of people in the UK promoting the development of drug-free and minimum medication therapeutic environments.

ISPS UK – The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis http://www.ispsuk.org/ ISPS is for professionals, service users and carers to share their ideas and examine their differences. Promotes different approaches to psychosis – psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural, arts-based, family and holistic.

Open Dialogue www.opendialogueapproach.co.uk  http://opendialoguenhs.com/ Innovative approach to delivering mental health services originating in Western Lapland (part of Finland) where, thanks to this approach, they have the best outcomes in the Western World.

Spiritual Crisis Network www.spiritualcrisisnetwork.uk Exploring the interface between spiritual experience and psychosis.

Soteria www.soterianetwork.org.uk A network of people in the UK promoting the development of drug-free and minimum medication therapeutic environments.

Drop the Disorder http://www.adisorder4everyone.com/ A network of people in the UK promoting alternatives to psychiatric diagnoses through events, activism and a Facebook group.

Power, Threat, Meaning Framework https://www.bps.org.uk/news-and-policy/introducing-power-threat-meaning-framework A group of senior psychologists (Lucy Johnstone, Mary Boyle, John Cromby, David Harper, Peter Kinderman, David Pilgrim and John Read) and high profile service user campaigners (Jacqui Dillon and Eleanor Longden) spent five yearsdeveloping the Power Threat Meaning Framework as an alternative to more traditional models based on psychiatric diagnosis.

Mad in America https://www.madinamerica.com/ An online magazine webzine which provides news of psychiatric research and original journalism articles around rethinking psychiatric care in the US and abroad.

Madness Radio http://www.madnessradio.net/ Podcasts exploring 'madness' from different perspectives, featuring survivors, authors, advocates, professionals, and artists.

Recovery in the Bin https://recoveryinthebin.org/ User led group critiquing the recovery model.

Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia https://www.bps.org.uk/sites/bps.org.uk/files/Page%20-%20Files/Understanding%20Psychosis%20and%20Schizophrenia.pdf An overview of the current state of knowledge in the field concluding that psychosis can be understood and treated in the same way as other psychological problems such as anxiety or shyness.

European Society for Trauma and Dissociation https://www.estd.org Info that could be useful for a therapist new to dissociation and trauma work.

First Person Plural http://www.firstpersonplural.org.uk A survivor led organisation run for, and by, people with dissociative identities. Includes resources, articles, a forum for members and training resources/videos for workers.

International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation http://www.isst-d.org Has info for the general public, and for therapists (inc treatment guidelines - to help therapists be more useful)

NAPAC - National Assoc. of People Abused in Childhood https://napac.org.uk/ UK charity offering support to survivors of all types of childhood abuse. Has a support line, information, places to get support and info for professionals.

Carolyn Spring Ltd https://www.carolynspring.com/ Business website of a woman with DID dx and her husband. Has information and training.

The Dissociative Initiative https://di.org.au Australian website run by a survivor. She has an online forum and other info.

Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry http://cepuk.org/

The Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal http://willhall.net/comingoffmeds/

Neuroleptic awareness www.neuroleptic-awareness.co.uk/?About_Me

Psychiatric Drug Facts www.breggin.com

Race Reflections www.racereflections.co.uk

To find out more about our training or events, please email jwetherell@mindincamden.org.uk, or sign up to our monthly newsletter 

This privacy notices tells you what you can expect us to do with the personal information you provide when you join the London Hearing Voices Network.

What information do we collect?

We collect your name and contact details.

Our purpose in collecting the information

We collect your information so that we can send you details about our LHVN meetings and other related events via our newsletter.

Legal basis for processing your information

We have a legitimate interest in processing your personal data for communication purposes. We have no intention of transferring your data to another country and would only do so with your permission.

How do we safeguard your information and how long is it kept?

Your personal details are kept in a secure email account and on a database or spreadsheet.

We have internal policies and controls to ensure that your data is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed inappropriately.  It is not accessed except by our staff in the proper performance of their duties.  We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach.

Your rights to correct and access your information and to ask for it to be erased

As a data subject you have a number of rights. You can:

  • Access and obtain a copy of your data on request
  • Require us to change incorrect or incomplete data
  • Require us to delete or stop processing your data under some circumstances, for example, where data is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing

Making a complaint

If you have any concerns or would like to make a complaint please contact us as described below.

We hope that we will be able to resolve any query or concern you may raise about our processing of your information. If not, you can contact the Information Commissioner at https://ico.org.uk/concerns or phone 0303 123 1113.

How to contact us

You can contact us either by phone, email or post:

Mind in Camden
Barnes House
9-15 Camden Road
London NW1 9LQ
020 7911 0822

lhvn@mindincamden.org.uk

You can raise any data protection concerns or issues with our Chief Executive, Brian Dawn, via the contact details above.

Please note:

We regularly review and, where necessary, update our privacy information.  If we plan to use personal data for a new purpose we will update our privacy information and communicate the changes to those concerned before starting any new processing.

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