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Accepting Voices Paperback – Nov 1993


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Product details

  • Paperback: 261 pages
  • Publisher: MIND (Nov. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1874690138
  • ISBN-13: 978-1874690139
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 771,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

"Accepting Voices: A New Analysis of the Experience of Hearing Voices Outside the Illness Model", in which thirteen people describe their experiences of hearing voices. The book illustrates that many people hear voices and that not everyone has recourse to psychiatry, but that there are ways of coping which enable people to come to terms with their experience. It focuses on techniques to deal with voices, emphasizing that personal growth should be stimulated rather than inhibited.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mira de Vries on 7 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
Perhaps the year-and-a-half I waited for the public library to notify me that the book was available testifies to its popularity. One place the book is not popular is in academia. It is not available in the libraries of either of the two Amsterdam universities. Apparently young medical minds are to be shielded from such heresy.

The background to this book is described in Escher's thesis. This edition is an expanded version of one with the same name published in 1990, which was translated into six languages, including English. Besides the editors', there are contributions from voice hearers who have never been psychiatrized, voice hearers who have, psychologists, psychiatrists, mediums, and others.

Romme takes the phenomenon most identified with schizophrenia and turns it from a symptom of disease into a normal, possibly even pleasant part of the person. Non-psychiatrized people often report benefit from the voices they hear. They are kept company and guided through life by them. The real problem with voices is not that they exist - or don't exist - but that in some people they can turn nasty, criticizing, nagging, and domineering. The solution is not to suppress them, which doesn't work anyway, but to learn to deal with them, to become assertive towards them.

Who can help a voice hearer learn to cope? Not the clinician, Romme feels, but rather fellow voice hearers. He reports sitting in on discussions between two voice hearers arranged by himself. He was surprised at how eager the discussants were. Apparently they felt that at long last they could talk openly and honestly about their voices with someone who understands.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Child on 28 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was worth the wait. It's not an easy read as it lacks flow but the concepts and content are worth exploring for anyone working in mental health
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Edward Daniels on 22 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
I had worked in mental health nursing for 15 years before I read this book and slowly but surely gone from burn out to boredom to frustration to being totally deskilled by the state of psychiatric healthcare in the UK. Over the last year or so I have been reading books like these that have totally reignited the spark that brought me to working in this field and provided me with hope that I can now try to inspire in the people I meet in this line of work.
I am saddened only by the fact I had not read this sooner and instead drifted along in the steady hopeless grind for all concerned.
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i found that this book did not have any scary ideas in it which is what i was reassured about before i read it and since i once had a problem with voices i find that i no longer worry about them half as much. i learned how to understand that voices come from an unknown part of myself and as such there is no need to be afraid of examining what part of my experience of life, or part of my belief system, they come from. One of my voices came from feelings of disappointment i felt in myself that i did not do enough to engage with life so i feel very glad that i can live a fuller life with a deeper knowledge that this is exactly what i need to do.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Hearing voices isn't sick 11 July 2011
By Mira de Vries - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Perhaps the year-and-a-half I waited for the public library to notify me that the book was available testifies to its popularity. One place the book is not popular is in academia. It is not available in the libraries of either of the two Amsterdam universities. Apparently young medical minds are to be shielded from such heresy.

The background to this book is described in Escher's thesis. This edition is an expanded version of one with the same name published in 1990, which was translated into six languages, including English. Besides the editors', there are contributions from voice hearers who have never been psychiatrized, voice hearers who have, psychologists, psychiatrists, mediums, and others.

Romme takes the phenomenon most identified with schizophrenia and turns it from a symptom of disease into a normal, possibly even pleasant part of the person. Non-psychiatrized people often report benefit from the voices they hear. They are kept company and guided through life by them. The real problem with voices is not that they exist - or don't exist - but that in some people they can turn nasty, criticizing, nagging, and domineering. The solution is not to suppress them, which doesn't work anyway, but to learn to deal with them, to become assertive towards them.

Who can help a voice hearer learn to cope? Not the clinician, Romme feels, but rather fellow voice hearers. He reports sitting in on discussions between two voice hearers arranged by himself. He was surprised at how eager the discussants were. Apparently they felt that at long last they could talk openly and honestly about their voices with someone who understands. As a non-voice hearer, Romme was further surprised how little he himself understood of what was being said. This underscores the futility of trying to remediate hearing voices through therapy.

Happy voice hearers seem to be the minority. Most voice hearers have at best learned to cope. Voice hearing typically begins as a result of being subjected to situations in which one is extremely powerless (trauma). Sexual abuse in childhood is one of the situations frequently mentioned, but not a few people first begin to hear voices during psychiatric incarceration and even in psychotherapy. Not only is psychiatry not the cure but it is sometimes the cause.

The main coping tool that Romme suggests is peer support. Other authors take a supernatural view of voices, suggesting they are connected to mediums or reincarnation. Romme admits that this sounds rather flaky, but whatever works is welcome. The fact is that the people who accept supernatural explanations for their voices do well.

Perhaps in an effort to present a balance of opinions, Romme & Escher also give space in their book to psychiatrists and psychotherapists who advocate "treating" voice hearing. There are even several plugs for psychiatric drugs. This runs counter to the general theme of the book and confuses the message.

I greatly admire Romme's efforts to provide voice hearers with tools for staying out of psychiatry and taking control of their own lives. Not being a voice hearer myself, I am not in the ideal position to judge the book. If you hear voices, please try to access this book and send your thoughts about it to MeTZelf.

Copyright © MeTZelf
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Blinkers 9 Feb. 2010
By Edward Daniels - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you are an institutionalised healthcare worker and wonder just what the hell happened to all the good intentions that brought you into the job in the first place - burnt out, assimulated into the ridiculous system - then you might want to try this one. Worked for me anyway. I always thought I was going to work this way...and then it was trained out of me...
I was then so much a part of how the nhs works that I couldnt see the old things and other ways of working......then I was for a long time disillusioned...bored (ashamedly)...then back to being nothing but a very good organiser or some kind of butler toward doctors as a charge nurse... I couldnt get out, have kids and couldn't find anything that was actually helping the people I worked with...I was pretty much trapped...
And now finally I have come full circle and fallen back in love with trying to help people in life...and it is no small part down to this book and others like it.

It goes without saying I wholly recommend this book to anyone who hears voices also!
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