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Understanding and working with: hearing voices, delusions and paranoia

Monday 21st September 2015 at Ramada Hatfield (Hertfordshire)

Hearing voices or feeling paranoid are common experiences which can often be a reaction to trauma, abuse or deprivation. Calling them symptoms of mental illness, psychosis or schizophrenia is only one way of thinking about them, with advantages and disadvantages. There has been growing interest into understanding these experiences and significant progress has been made over the last twenty years both in understanding the psychology of these experiences and in finding ways to help. As different approaches have been developed, questions have been raised about how to make sense of these experiences and how to help people get a better understanding and relationship with the voices in their heads. Recently there has been public interest in gaining a service user perspective on these experiences. This has been promoted and supported by individual psychologists who have recently spoken out about their own experiences of psychosis and their recovery. The combination of their experience and clinical training allows for a more in depth explanation.

This workshop aims to develop knowledge and understanding of coping strategies for voices/unusual experiences. The workshop will explore different ways of making sense of these experiences using an integrative approach. The approaches are designed not to be diagnosis specific and to be applied to any individual (adult or young person) who present with hearing voices, paranoia and delusions.

Learning outcomes and objectives:

  • To up-skill psychologists about how to make sense of hearing voices/other unusual experiences and explain these experiences to patients.
  • To improve knowledge of techniques and practical considerations from a psychological perspective when working with these experiences.
  • To increase confidence so psychologists feel reassured and less de-skilled in formulating and working with these experiences using an integrative approach

Who is the course intended for?

All psychologists and mental health professionals. This course will be applicable to those who work in specific psychosis services as well as those who may not be part of psychosis specific departments but encounter problems with delusions, hearing voices and paranoia.

Registration for this event closed at 10.00 on Monday 14th September 2015.

If you have any queries please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 224507


Monday 21st September 2015

These are outline times provided, there will be a break for lunch and lunch will be provided

09:30Registration and Refreshments
10:00Workshop Start
16:30Workshop Close

Speakers and Facilitators

Dr Rufus May

Is an experienced clinical psychologist for who has worked in the NHS for 19 years. His interest in recovery from psychosis and other difficulties is inspired by his own experiences of psychosis when he was 18 and subsequent recovery journey. He has an interest in helping to create alternative understandings to medical labelling and the heavy handed use of psychiatric drugs, which is the dominant approach today. He has worked with hearing voices groups for the last 13 years and is recognised internationally for his extensive knowledge of approaches for helping people who hear voices. To get a sample of Rufus’s work please visit;

Elisabeth Svanhomer

Elisabeth lives in West Yorkshire but is originally from Denmark where she has been involved with the Hearing Voices Network as a speaker and trainer for the past 9 years. Her story features in the book 'Living with Voices' by Romme & Escher. She is passionate about emotional wellbeing, mindful communication and sensitivity.


Ramada Hatfield (Hertfordshire)

St Albans Road West, Hatfield, AL10 9RH •  Directions

Additional Information

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