chapter  12
Hearing voices groups: Creating safe spaces to share taboo experiences: Jacqui Dillon and Eleanor Longden
Pages 11

This chapter will provide a background and overview of hearing voices groups in England, how they initially developed and how they have subsequently expanded into a network of 180 groups. It will describe the current context; examine the different ways in which groups function, including comparing structured and unstructured groups, closed and open groups, user-led/worker-led and partnership groups, as well as the practicalities of establishing and sustaining groups. The chapter will then explain the many ways that hearing voices groups can be helpful in enabling people to learn to live with their voices and to make sense of their meaning and provide details of research that has demonstrated the bene®ts of attending hearing voices groups. We will also explore some common challenges that arise both inside and outside of groups, in addition to exploring wider issues: ways of resisting the dominancy of the biomedical model as well as attempts to be assimilated into the psychiatric system. We will conclude by proposing that hearing voices groups are effective communal solutions that enable people to make profound changes in their lives.