ACCEPTING AND MAKING SENSE of voices is based on the voice hearing experience it selves. The research and practice are not derived from a theory about hearing voices but are directly derived from the way voices are experienced by voice hearers as a personal experience with many variations.
It is essential for this approach that voice hearers as well as mental health professionals and friends and family learn to talk about the voices, because the experience is real. The voices are really experienced as voices of other people sometimes known sometimes not known, by the voice hearer.
This requires a change in attitude specially from Mental health professionals because they are trained not to talk about the voice experience and don’t generally know how to explore the relationship with the life history of the voice hearer. Like the many voice hearers themselves and their family, mental health professionals are afraid of the voices and think that talking about them or even with them is dangerous and will make the mental health situation worth. This holds also for many voice hearers and their friends and family, because there exists a general prejudice in our western society that voices are a sign of madness, instead of a signal of existing problems. These ideas stands in the way of recovering from the hinder of voices and therefore is contra productive. On the contrary learning to talk about the voices is essential to become able to recover.
What means learning to talk about voices
Learning to talk about voices means learning to ask questions about them. Asking how many voices do you (I) hear. What is the age of the different voices you (i) hear. What is their sex. Do they remind you (I) of someone. In what way do they talk to you (me). What does each voice say to you (me). Since when do you (I) hear them and what has happened in that period of time to you (me). For a systematic overview of talking about voices see the voices Interview with professionals.
Why talking about voices
Voices are very personal and there are not two voice hearers who hear the same voices. That is the consequence of the relationship the voices have with the voice hearer. Voices are personal messengers. They refer to personal problems of the voice hearer and these problems are different for each voice hearer. They are personal signals of personal problems and not a symptom of an illness. It therefore is necessary to learn to know them well and learn to understand their message.
Otherwise it is not well possible to help the voice hearer to solve their problems. (See the recovery process)