Category: Voice Hearing

Starting & Sustaining Hearing Voices & Paranoia Support Groups



A TWO-DAY SKILLS’ BASED WORKSHOP:  6th and 7th December 2018

FOLLOW-UP DAY: 1st April 2019


School of Nursing and Human Sciences

Dublin City University


Facilitator: Peter Bullimore, an internationally renowned voices and paranoia trainer

 Background to the Workshop:

There are now a number of Hearing Voices Groups in Ireland ( )

To continue the development of a network of Hearing Voices Groups, a 2-day training programme for people interested in becoming group facilitators is now again available. A follow-up 1 day workshop is also provided to provide support and guidance for those who have completed the training and are facilitating a group.  Please note that you should be able to commit to both sets of workshops.

This is a free workshop, funded by the Nursing and Midwifery Practice Development Unit (NMPDU) and organised by the Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing ( ).

Aim of the Workshop:

A 2-day workshop for mental health staff and people with lived experience who want to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate a Hearing Voices Support Group.  On completion of the workshop, participants will be expected to start a hearing voices group or co-facilitate an existing group.  A 1-day follow-up workshop in April will provide support and guidance for those who have completed the training in their endeavours to set-up and facilitate groups.


Workshop Content:

Hopes & fears of starting a group

Why start a group?

Therapy or therapeutic group

Ground rules & starting points

The role of the facilitator

Benefits of a group

Understanding group members & communication skills

Conflict management & coping with difficult members

Extending the group

Reviewing the group

What are the challenges & rewards?

Support for facilitators

This workshop is targeted primarily at mental health nurses, whose applications will be prioritised, but applications are also open to other mental health workers and people who experience voices, visions and paranoia.

To book a place, please complete the application form below and email to or post to the address on the form. Places are limited, so early booking is advised. Successful applicants will be informed by the 23rd of November.

Hearing Voices Support Group workshop flyer and application















Elisabeth Svanholmer writes: Artwork by Elisabeth Svanholmer is looking for contributors to a new online resource about hearing things that others don’t

Hearing the Voice is currently working with people who have personal experience of hearing voices to develop Integrated Voices  – a new online resource that will help people find clear, balanced and comprehensive information about hearing and experiencing things that could be understood as ‘voices’.

We, Elisabeth Svanholmer (voice-hearer, mental health trainer) and Rufus May (Hearing Voices Group facilitator), have been commissioned to research content for a section of the website which will be looking at ‘Living with Voices’.

In our experience there is an amazing wealth of knowledge and wisdom already out there. People from all walks of life have found ways to understand and live with their experiences and we want to encourage people to share these with us.

The material we collect can help shape the Integrated Voices website and it is our hope that the website will be full of personal reflections, quotes and stories to inspire others and to help people feel less alone with the things they experience.

We are very interested in diverse experiences and we are aware that calling it ‘hearing voices’ doesn’t resonate with everyone. We would love to hear from people who have experiences such as djinns, spirit guides, schizophrenia, auditory hallucinations, persecution, electronic harassment, intrusive thoughts, thought transmissions, inner voices, ancestors and invisible presences.

We are looking to collect ideas about strategies that people use to cope. We are also hoping to gather a wide range of personal statements about what everyday life is like for people who hear or sense things that others don’t.

If you hear voices or support someone who hears voices, there are different ways to contribute.

Online questionnaire

We have launched an online questionnaire. It consists of about 10 open ended questions about everyday life with experiences such as voices, coping with these experiences and talking about them with others. There is also a version for family members, friends and supporters.

If you’d like to complete the questionnaire, you can do so here.

If you prefer a PDF or paper version of the questionnaire you can contact Elisabeth to arrange this.

Focus groups

We will be facilitating two focus group sessions – one in Manchester on Friday 4 May (2-4pm) and one in London on Thursday 3 May (1.30-3.30pm). More information about the focus groups and how to take part is available in this flyer.


If you would like to share your experiences and ideas about coping in a 1-to-1 interview you are welcome to get in touch. We might be able to meet to do the interview depending on where you live but we could also do it over the phone. We would like to audio record interviews to make sure we don’t miss anything or misunderstand. Any material we collect will be kept securely and won’t be shared with anyone without your permission.

If you are interested or have any questions about interviews please contact Elisabeth.

Visiting Hearing Voices groups

Elisabeth is arranging to visit different Hearing Voices Groups in the UK to have informal sessions where people can share their knowledge and stories. If you are a member or a facilitator of a group and you want to contribute you are welcome to get in touch and we can look at different possibilities.

The deadline for participating will be 4 May 2018.

You can contact Elisabeth by email or phone 07926685432.

About Elisabeth and Rufus

Elisabeth Svanholmer is originally from Denmark, now living in West Yorkshire. She has experienced hearing and sensing unusual things all her life, and was a member of a hearing voices peer support group for 7 years.  She is passionate about destigmatising these kinds of experiences and has been working and volunteering with the Hearing Voices Network since 2006.

Rufus May does not hear voices. When he was 18, however, he experienced powerful beliefs and perceptual experiences, which included perceiving the TV and radio communicating with him. Since 2001, he has worked on a weekly basis with Hearing Voices Groups, and has a long history of working collaboratively with voice hearers and their supporters in both his work as a clinical psychologist and as a volunteer with the Hearing Voices Network.