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Don’t React – Choose How to Relate to Distressing Voices!

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"Don’t react – choose how to relate to distressing voices!" - A webinar presented by Mark Hayward

There has recently been a shift from conceptualizing a voice as a sensory stimulus that the hearer holds beliefs about, to a voice as a person-like stimulus which the hearer has a relationship with. Understanding voice hearing experiences within relational frameworks has resulted in the development of psychological therapies that focus upon the experience of relating to and with distressing voices. This presentation will explore lessons learnt from the development, experience and evaluation of one of these therapies – Relating Therapy. These lessons will be located within the broader context of other relationally-based therapies that seek to support recovery through the use of digital enhancement (Avatar Therapy) and dynamic interaction with voices (Talking With Voices).

About the presenter:

Dr. Mark Hayward has worked as a Clinical Psychologist within NHS mental health services for the past 20 years. His roles combine clinical (Lead for the Sussex Voices Clinic), research (Director of Research for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust) and teaching (Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sussex).

His research activities have focussed primarily on the exploration of voice hearing within relational frameworks – acknowledging the voice as an interpersonal ‘other’ and researching differing aspects of the relationships that people can develop with their voices. These relationships have been central to the development and evaluation of new forms of individual and group therapy that can facilitate acceptance of self and voices through the use of assertiveness and mindfulness training. His books include the CBT self-help book ‘Overcoming Distressing Voices’, and the research monograph ‘Psychological Approaches to Understanding and Treating Auditory Hallucinations’.

Mark is committed to increasing access to effective psychological therapies for people distressed by hearing voices.

About ISPS-US webinars:

ISPS-US webinars are free to ISPS members, with a donation of $5-$20 requested from others, though no one turned away for lack of funds. Please do register if you want to attend!

These meetings are recorded and shared on the ISPS website and elsewhere for later viewing.

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