VISN 5 MIRECC - Virtual Voices
A Simulated Experience of Hearing Voices that are Distressing
This workshop is intended for "non-voice" hearing persons only, as recommended by Patricia E. Deegan, PhD, Director of Training, The National Empowerment Center. The experiential workshop is focused on hearing voices that are distressing. Participants are required to wear a walkman-like cassette player and listen to a prepared audiotape simulating the voice hearing experience.
The tapes are made by actors who have had the experience of hearing voices at some time in their lives. Participants are asked to complete four workstations while wearing the headphones. Ample time is devoted to process the "voice hearing" experience. This program has been presented to clinical social workers, case managers, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, and residential staff at University of Maryland Medical School. It has also been used to sensitize Baltimore City and County Police in their annual training on mental illness issues.
At the end of the training, attendees will be able to:
- Understand the day-to-day challenges that face people with psychiatric illnesses.
- Learn about the subjective experience of hearing voices that are distressing.
- Become more empathic toward people who hear distressing voices.
- Change practices to better address the needs of people who hear distressing voices.
The workshop is approximately 90 minutes in length, and works best with between 10-15 participants.
Cynthia Clark, RNC