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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book for voice hearers and professionals, 26 Mar 2010
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This review is from: Living with Voices: 50 Stories of Recovery (Paperback)
The opening paragraph of this superb book states: `This books demonstrates that it is entirely possible to overcome problems with hearing voices and to take back control of one's life. It shows a path to recovery by addressing the main problems voice hearers describe - the threats, the feelings of powerlessness, the anxiety of being mad - and helps them to find their way back to their emotions and spirituality and to realising their dreams.' The book centres on the personal stories of 50 voice hearers from around Europe who relate their voice hearing to their life history and who describe how they learned to accept and find new ways of relating to and coping with their voices. Most of these people at some point have received state-provided treatments that have at best been of little help, at worst actively harmful. Some give accounts of hearing voices whilst working in health services and the dilemmas that this has brought. The authors/editors were able to find such an array of interesting people who hear voices through personal contacts and through the Hearing Voices Group Network and Intervoice, and assisted people to tell their stories through interviews and questionnaires that focussed on people's relevant life experiences. Personally, I preferred the first person accounts that read as life stories rather than the more structured responses to interviews or descriptions of the people by the authors. But one of the strengths of the book is its diversity - undoubtedly different readers will respond differently to different chapters. The book thus addresses the need for people to be able to access diverse ways of understanding voices and information about the great diversity of things that might help - this is in great contrast to the current obsession with NICE Guidelines and what Ron Cattrall has called the `cookbook approach to mental health work'.

Prior to the 50 stories there are highly informative chapters on: the importance of the concept of recovery rather than cure/traditional diagnostic and treatment approaches; what causes voice hearing; what aids recovery; how to accept and make sense of voices and `find a way out'; hearing voices groups; psychotherapy; and medication. These chapters summarise and bring up to date Romme and Escher's first two books - Accepting Voices and Making Sense of Voices - both of which have been instrumental in shifting how voice hearing is conceptualised and how voice hearers might help themselves, help other voice hearers and be helped by people who do not hear voices (e.g. professionals like myself). The authors express a hope that in the future voice hearers will not feel so isolated. Help to bring this about: If you hear voices, buy the book. If you don't, buy it and give it to someone who does.

Guy Holmes
Clinical Psychologist
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5.0 out of 5 stars Living stories., 6 May 2014
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This review is from: Living with Voices: 50 Stories of Recovery (Paperback)
These 50 accounts by voice-hearers, past and present, are so refreshing to read. Here we have psychiatric patients and non-patients, as people, in all the doubts and difficulties of their lives, which they relate in interesting detail. They never lost hope and they found help from professionals and from others who suffered as they did.
They accepted that their troubles stem from early trauma. That belief made so much more sense than the psychiatric theory that they had some biological disease which could be benefited by medication. I find the belief in trauma less than the total answer, but it's a big step forward. How good is is to read about real people rather than controlled groups, meta-analyses and the rest. Living stories are what we need to understand these problems.
Alan Sanderson Psychiatrist
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Living with Voices: 50 Stories of Recovery
Living with Voices: 50 Stories of Recovery by Prof Mervyn Morris (Paperback - 11 Sep 2009)
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