Hearing Voices Movement: Jacqui Dillon

First Aired: 06-16-2009 -- 10 comments | Add comment
Jacqui Dillon

What is it like to hear voices? How do people learn to live with their voices, and are voices sometimes positive and helpful? What is the connection between voices and trauma?

Jacqui Dillon, voice hearer and director of the UK Hearing Voices Network, discusses how the movement of people who hear voices is creating self-help alternatives to traditional and often abusive mental health care.


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10 comments on “Hearing Voices Movement: Jacqui Dillon

  1. Hello,

    We at Voices of the Heart, Inc would like to use your interview clips for a part of our Peer Respite Training? Would this be O.K. – Of course we would share all credits…


    1. That’s great Daniel – please use the shows, I hope they help with your training. Cheers- Will

  2. I meant to write to you for so long and somehow never managed to. I live in Switzerland and found the madness radio podcast while surfing around iTunes. I live with the consequences of sexual childhood abuse and have been struggling with the psychiatric system for a very long time (and still do). It might sound a little bit melodramatic (and my English is lousy I can’t find the right words I’m afraid) but Madness Radio changed my life. With all the prosperity and wealth when it comes to things like mental diversity and awareness of mental possibilities Switzerland is still a developing country. It was a whole new world to me to hear about all these all too well-known mental health issues from such different perspectives. I felt connected and a little less like a total alien on this planet. It’s not only the topics but also the way they are dealt with that makes Madness Radio so remarkable. I’m a podcast freak and listen to a lot of interviews but I never heard anyone as respectful, interested, capable and sensitive as Will – you’re doing a great job!

    Thank you all for your effort and keep on going you’re really making a difference!

  3. Thank you for making these thinkers and reformers accessible to us, presenting clear and easy to understand conversations that educate us. It helps to widen my understanding accross disciplines as well as value people’s well-thought-through, personal struggles against an unjust, badly founded MH system.

  4. I hear voices all the time and I’m not conserned about them. I think majority of people hear them but is it true after all.

  5. I sent Will a pm about what I am into, and researching about, and he encouraged me to share it with people here.

    I was greatly insired about a month ago when I suddenly discovered I could read tracts from John Weir Perry’s book Trials of a Visionary Mind. And beginning doing so really inspired a deeper look into the question of what may POST-Jungian, and feminist ideas have to understanding the vast reality of “schizophrenic” and/or ‘spiritually emergent’ visions, and experiences?
    So I began looking and making contacts about this which I still am doing.

    Years ago I read Thomas Szasz’s The Myth of Mental Illness, and R.D.Laing, etc. I am SO glad I did!!!

    For many years I have had a deep interest in mythology, and the book which inspired this interest was The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, by John M.Allegro. Before reading that book, I could never really dig myths–only superficially. But Allegro reveals the complex ways they are composed, in layers, using all forms of literary devices which is an art in itself.
    The layers go to a core level -if you will-only for the understanding of the initiates (I am referring mainly here to the Judaic Christian mythology, but others alos have these layers)

    Later I was to discover Monica Sjoo which was also groundbreaking for me. She co-wrote the first of her books I read, ‘The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth’, with Barbara Mor, and then I read Sjoo’s (MUST BE READ!) book Return of the Dark/Light Mother or New Age Armegeddon? Where she exposes the New Age and how it drastically differs from authentic Goddess understandings!

    So I am really wanting to breakdown compartmentalization of thinking that has been central to our so-called ‘education’ system. because it prevents seeing reality in an integral way.
    An example–Permaculture: Permaculture is an intelligent and loving way of working WITH the land. A very important saying permaculturists use is ‘The Problem is the Solution’, as for example, things that would freak out the mr mower and pesticides agriculturalist and gardener are seen as very vital for those who understand how ecosystems work, etc.
    There is–and this is very much shown in mythology–a continuum to how nature is treated and how animals and people are treated…!
    So my research is encouraging seeing interrelations.

    Jacqui would call this ‘qualitative research’ (and so do I), and recommends the doing away of the ‘schizophrenia’ label–so do I. But I learned a real interesting thing about that term the other day: “Contrary to popular misunderstanding the term “schizophrenia” does not refer to multiple personality syndrome. The Greek etymology of the word actually means “broken soul” or “broken heart”.

    — Michael O’Callaghan”

    So to reclaim that word, which has been so maligned by the Monster/big pharma+shrinks+government, and used to condemn, and abuse/’treat’ many people, and children over generations–is to understand it can mean broken heart and soul. And that what so-called ‘carers’ in the brutal ‘mental health care’ regime does is break heart and soul, and make sure its kept broken, shattered!
    So like ‘madness’ can be reclaimed, so can ‘schizophrenia’–but I can very much understand if despite that explnation people so abused would never choose to hear that term ever again!

  6. thanks everyone for your encouraging comments!

    this was a great interview, Jacqui is fabulous. We are planning a second interview with her soon to get even deeper into coping strategies, group facilitation, and all the different ways to help people who hear voices.

  7. I enjoyed this interview SO much, and have learned in less than an hour so much about hearing voices, and really would like to contact yourselves at Madness radio, and Jacqui

    I loved how it was told that it was a ‘patient’–ie., a human being–NOT a psychiatrist–who encouraged a deeper understanding and intelligence regarding the phenomenon of hearing voices. This is important for me, because I am seeing that it must be people who radically change the brutal ignore-ant and abusive way people have been treated for many many years by the psychiatric, psychological, and general ‘mental health ‘care’ movement

  8. my comment is best put by sharing the following poem I wrote on the subject matter over six (6) years ago:
    hearing voices
    certain people hear voices sometimes:
    not just thoughts pounding away inside
    their own mind either; but as if the words,
    mutterings or noises being uttered were
    from something or someone around them;
    yet never heard by anyone else within
    earshot, other than upon the ears whom
    these sounds have either chosen or fallen
    some are often as rude, negative, angry, mean,
    insulting, scary, distressing and given to shouting
    or murmuring as those experienced from various
    people during numerous situations encountered
    throughout one’s lifetime; others can be calm,
    positive, quieter, soothing, nurturing,
    supportive, inspiring, gentle and clear spoken
    harm, wounds, maiming, ill health and tormenting
    nightmares become wrought by the former; faith,
    hope, healing, well being and pleasant dreams
    fostered as a result of the latter
    when enough time, effort, consideration
    as well as thoughtfulness is taken to reflect
    upon hard questions concerning what any soul
    would really prefer; if ever they truly had
    such choices for themselves what befell their
    own cherished ears; before the next word left
    one’s tongue, it may be more carefully chosen or,
    even better, never said or thought of again
    by Morgan W. Brown
    April 22, 2003
    Montpelier, Vermont, USA
    Author’s Note:
    The above poem specifically concerns the matter of hearing voices (i.e., the voices or sounds being heard) and is not merely focused on those who are hearing voices or the behavior of voice hearers.
    The poem does reference the behavior of others whom voice hearers often come into contact with however.
    The author, that is me, is a hearer of voices himself.
    Originally Posted at:
    Norsehorse’s Old Home Turf

  9. Thank you for all that you do! Madness radio gives me hope and thank you!
    Keep it up!

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