Voyce Hendrix: Inside Soteria House

First Aired: 12-06-2006 -- 11 comments | Add comment
Voyce Hendrix

Inside Soteria House with Voyce Hendrix, original clinical director who worked closely with Loren Mosher. Soteria House was a non-medication, non-diagnostic label and voluntary residence treating severe psychotic breakdown. Recovery rates were much higher in this humane and egalitarian atmosphere — but the project was shut down because it challenged the pharmaceutical company pro-medication interests.

Voyce discusses how Soteria was different than mainstream facilities and describes the healing results it had.

More info on Soteria House at http://www.moshersoteria.com

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11 comments on “Voyce Hendrix: Inside Soteria House

  1. Hi Phil. Great show. I read Robert Whitaker’s Anatomy of an Epidemic recently and learned that I live less than five miles away from the original Soteria House. I was so inspired by the book that I decided to head on down and check it out for myself. Here are a few pictures:

  2. I am happy to hear the interview with Voyce, a person for whom I have great respect; and I am encouraged to see a resurgence of interest in Soteria-like and real recovery research and projects. I am a former employee of Soteria House, being there for a little more than a year (1978-1979). I had read much of R.D. Laing prior to my being at Soteria. My experience at Soteria enriched my world-view, helped to ground my philosophical notions in real life situations, and elevated my hope in mental health recovery.

    I left Soteria (and California) for personal/family reasons, but my experience there never left my heart. For a number of years, I have been a licensed psychologist in Illinois, where I have taught psychology students in humanistic-existential psychology. I have described my experiences of being with persons in acute distress and witnessing their becoming “unschizophrenic” without (or with very minimal and time-limited) psychotropic medicines. It’s usually like talking in a foreign language at first, given the “education” students tend to receive.

    I would like to contact and communicate with other Soteria folks and participate in a Soteria network. Any help in this regard would be appreciated, including forwarding my contact information, as well as suggesting ways of making contact.

    Best Regards,

    Phil Welches

    1. Hi Phil and Voyce (f you’re reading this),
      It’s nice see your names and hear about the book. I’ve known Voyce since 1972 and he is like a father to me. I tried the Amazon and other link and didn’t find it, but will try to number to call to get a copy.
      As you guys know, I’m an alumni of Soteria House, and was one of the youngest to be part of the Soteria House experience. I suppose I would also be considered a Success Story, since I’ve been a productive member of society. I owe that to dedicated people who were a part of this project like Voyce, Phil, and many others. I appeared briefly in the 1972 film. I don’t know what I was doing with that cigarette!, but it was interesting to see the film. I have full recollection of my experiences at Soteria House and would like to penn my thoughts some day soon. I think the methodology employed by Soteria House is vastly superior to any methodology employed by psychiatry then or now, and I’ve witnessed both of these up close.
      Currently I’ve been working in the laser world for the last 25 years and have a nice career going, have 2 wonderful kids now in their late teens, and a loving caring wife of 23 yrs.
      you can contact me lazed888@yahoo.com

    2. Phil–
      Len Lempa here again. If you want to communicate with me my email is lenlemp@yahoo.com

    3. Phil–
      I also live in Illinois and have always been intrigued with the work Laing did at Kingsley Hall and the work that occurred in the US at Soteria. Not sure where you live but if you are anywhere in the Chicago area I would value an opportunity to just meet and talk over a meal on me. I am a social worker and have worked in the mental health field for over twenty years. I have recently read some of Robert Whitakers work and am trying to move in a direction that moves away from medication reliance in treating psychotic patients. Since you worked at Soteria you have experience that few others in this field have.

      Len Lempa
      Elgin, IL

    4. Hi Phil- great to hear from you! please email
      me at radio(at)madnessradio.net and I’ll put you in touch with Soteria folks.

  3. I just listened to your 2006 show featuring Voyce Hendricks.
    Very exciting and very interesting.
    There is also a U-Tube 15 min video of actual footage of the home and residents during the soteria yrs.
    watch this u-tube video “Soteria 1972”
    I am the owner of the ORIGINAL SOTERIA HOUSE.
    It has undergone a complete and major renovation. (see pics at http://www.svrei.net)
    When I purchased the home, I had no idea about its history. As I learned about the history, I became more and more fascinated with Dr. Loren Moshers work and success.
    It almost inspires me enough to start a clinic, but alas, I am not a Dr.
    I spoke to Moshers widow most recently and she gave me her contact info.
    I was wondering if you could give me Voyce’s contact info or have him call me. I live a few miles from the home in San Jose.
    I have just rented the home to its first occupants after 3
    years that I owned it and since its restoration. They are a group of Community Artist (COMMUNITY RE-BIRTH)and they too, are so intrigued by the work of Mosher and Hendricks, that they would love to meet Hendricks.
    Please let me know what u can do to help. my email is brenton1 (at) hotmail (dotcom)
    Also, I used to live across the street from Agnews State hospital where Voyce worked. I moved away and moved back years later, all before I was 16 yrs old. My very first job was at the 7-11 convienent store right next door to Agnews. we used to ride our bicycles thru there when we were kids and my high school buddy worked there for awhile. He might have even known Voyce. I have also visited the site where “One flew over the cookoo’s nest” was filmed (V.A. Hospital grounds in Palo Alto, and the building has since been torn down)
    After reading all about Dr. Loren Mosher’s works and case studies, there is no denying that his Soteria method works, and works better than the industry professionals and the “Big Pharm” wants anyone to ever know. Acknowledgement universaly would end the need for alot of things pertaining to this, ie.. medicine, doctors, dedicated hospital wards, etc..
    I have first hand experience of the cruel and tortorous methods used by Hospitals and other Doctors to “Help” people with Schizophrenia and Mental Illness, that Mosher tried so hard to convince others as unnecessary. An immediate member of my family had all of these methods applied by the hospitals, for years, and is far worse off now, then ever before. It has destroyed this individuals life and has made this person suffer even great bouts of depression and anxiety than ever.
    Hopefully, someday things will change and someone will make this change happen.
    well, thank you for your time.
    > >

  4. Sounds like you and Voyce were able to reach each other, that is great to connect with the history of Soteria. – will

    1. Hi Will.
      Thanks again for putting Voyce and I intouch with each other. He will be here in the summer to visit the home and meet me and the artist group.
      If you ever make it down this way, please contact me so I can show you the home and meet with you.
      check oout my website http://www.svrei.net to see soteria house revamped.
      I want to offer this Original Soteria House for sale and am hoping that a group of interested people that have the same focus as Mosher and Voyce buy it and operate it the same way. Voyce thought that it was a great idea and was really excited to even think that the possibility could present itself again. He thought this would be such a complete full circle and something to inspire more.
      I too, think that to see the home revived in its original use, may just shove pie in the faces of those who wanted so badly to hush Mosher. This could even get things rolling again for the Soteria Project. Do you have anyway to get the word out for me about the home for sale?
      Voyce said there is a lawyer in Alaska that sued Alaska and got Federal money? to open Soteria Alaska, soon.
      Do you know how to get into touch with this lawyer? Perhaps he might know of someone here who might like to open Soteria at my home?
      ANy ideas you have to reopen the original soteria home, just let me know.
      By the way, the local hip society city newspaper “Metro” will be doing a story on Soteria House soon. They have contacted me about doing this story and I emailed them back to contact me when ready. I believe it is going to be a very big article and I might even get the SAn Jose Mercury News involved (A very large newspaper)
      ok get back to me on your thoughts thanks
      Thanks again

  5. great to hear from you, i will try to get you in touch with Voyce! – will

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