HVN AGM on 26th July 2014

The Hearing Voices network Aotearoa NZ, are holding their AGM on 26th July at the Fickling Center in Mt Roskill Auckland.

We are now accepting committee nominations.

The meeting will be held in the lunch time. Afterwards we will have a wonderful speaker- Paris Williams author of  ‘Rethinking Madness’.



David Healy and Robert Whittaker Coming to NZ September 2011

Some of you may have heard of David Healy before, as Richard Bentall spoke about his book “let them eat Prozac”. Casper – www.casper.org.nz are bringing both him and Robert Whittaker to New Zealand for Friday 2nd September 2011. Registrations close AUG 19 so get in quick!!
Here is a link to his website
Also accompanying him is Robert Whittaker- here is a link to a video of him speaking.
Very fascinating video I might add.
I have also imbedded another video on Robert Whittaker below

Phone: 09 442 1581 Mobile: 021 066 1872 Email: maria@casper.org.nz www.casper.org.nz




Ron Coleman workshops in Auckland and Wellington


Te Reo Orooro

Are hosting 1 day workshops  In Auckland and Wellington

ADVANCED “WORKING WITH VOICES”             with  Ron Coleman


Hearing voices is one of the most common experiences that people diagnosed with a psychotic illness have and research has shown that many people continue to hear voices even after prolonged use of medication. This has meant that many voice hearers do not get relief from their experiences. The consequence of this is that many people live lives that are low in quality and high in distress. Many professionals are left frustrated when medication does not deliver the desired results.

Ron Coleman has been active in the field of mental health since 1991, when affecting his own recovery from mental illness, he used his experiences to develop his ideas for recovery centered treatment of others. Since then he has went on to write numerous books and papers on the subject and was influential in the development of the Hearing Voices Network in the UK. Ron and his partner Karen travel around the world delivering trainings in this field through their company ‘Working To Recovery”. http://workingtorecovery.co.uk  RON IS DONATING HIS TIME FOR THE WELLINGTON WORKSHOP TO RAISE FUNDS FOR THOSE EFFECTED BY THE CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE. ALL PROFITS FROM WELLINGTON WWORKSHOP WILL BE DONATED TO THE RED CROSS EARTHQUAKE FUND.

This one-day course is for people who have either been on the “Working with voices intro” day or have gained experience of working with voices either personally or in the workplace.

Throughout the day this course will

  • Support you in developing effective ways of working with voice hearers using short, medium and long term strategies
  • Enable you to use the above strategies to support voice hearers in taking control of their experience and more importantly getting on with their life.
  • Give you an introduction to the Maastricht interview schedule
  • Enable you to use the ‘Working with Voices Workbook’


When: 9.00am to 3.30 Pm

Auckland Wednesday  1st June 2011

Wellington: 9.30 to 4pm  Friday 3rd June 2011


Auckland: Western Springs Garden Community Hall, 956 Great North Rd, Western Springs Auckland

WELLINGTON : Film Archive Center Cnr Taranaki and Ghuznee St Wellington.

Cost: $120 for waged-We would like to encourage support people to bring a voice hearer with them. And offer a discount of for this i.e $100 instead of $140 for both people.    $20 for unwaged voice hearers . n.b Morning and afternoon tea provided. Participants to provide their own lunch.     We are a registered charity. These fees will help support our work.

Bookings: Call Lize   021 049 0887 (wellington) or Adrienne  (Auckland) at 0272650266 for more details or email: info@hearingvoices.org.nz  for a registration form. Please note spaces are limited. If you want to come you will need to book asap. 

Pursuing the Knowledge of Wellbeing- event Friday 29 October 2010 Auckland

 Psychiatric Survivors Inc., the New Zealand Healing Association Inc, GROW,and the Patients Rights Advocacy Waikato organize:
 Pursuing the Knowledge of Wellbeing


Friday 29th October 2010 9.00 am to 4.30 pm 

Auckland Horticultural Centre, 990 Great North Rd, Western Springs

All are welcome, you can see registration details on the attached form.Looks to be a interesting day including the following:


Generation Rx (Miller K, 2009)A 80 minute film about millions of children who have been effectively forced onto pharmaceutical drugs for commercial rather than scientific reasons, withthe risk of devastating consequences.

Community Action on Suicide Prevention, Education & Research.Maria Bradshaw whose 17 year old son Toran committed suicide 15 days after being prescribed fluoxetine will present research data showing a causal link between psychiatric treatment and suicide and evidence that effective suicide prevention requires a social rather than medical approach.
Mental Wealth, Julian McCusker-Dixon .A Philosophy, an insight, and Welcome In 


Living Matrix (directed by Susan Berker, 2009) 100 minutes of exciting individual stories of the inherent capacities of body and mind to heal themselves if allowed and supported to do so. Quantum physics and energy psychology in action confirms thousands of years of observations of ancient healing.

Who Matters Most in Mental Illness? Gary De Forest. Different sides of the same story, aiming for mutually assured survival in the mental health system
 How We Know What We Know About Mental Illness,  Prof Borislav Dacic.If the body is biological and genetic, is mental illness a brain disease or biological and genetic failure in other body systems? Are the mind, soul and spirit important facets of what we believe are mental illnesses? Is the long term drug treatment an efficient and safe treatment in Mental Health? What are the side or direct effects of drugs? Like Minds like Mine or Mind Freedom? We need to talk on these mounting controversies in Mental Health and allow dialogue of different understanding and knowledge in order to get real on mental illness.

More information on 021-206 8759 and on (09) 846-9945 Cost is $40 waged $20 unwaged. 


Cultural Perspectives on Hearing Voices June 26th 2010

The Hearing Voices Network are holding an afternoon on Culturual Perspectives on Hearing Voices. We have three great speakers. David Lui I have heard before at a conference. A very interesting speaker on the Pacific Island view of spirit and spirituality in general. He has a great piece in the book Penini Uliuli. You can read an excerpt from the book here

Sneh Prasad has a great deal of knowledge on the ‘Oriental’ Perspective. I spent some time with her when we were planning an article for the website based on a previous talk I had attended. You can see that article here 

Ivan Yeo will talk to us about the Chinese view of psychosis.When I asked him what he would speak about he said this: Chinese see health as a single entity instead of the Western medical model of dualism, which is physical and mental health. Chinese culture has been strongly influenced by Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. How do such perspectives influence the view of mental illness and mental health?

We would really like to have a speaker on the Maori perspective , but have not been able to find anyone who is willing to talk to for us.

However all in all it is looking to be a great afternoon. It will be held at Connect SR 215 Wairau Rd Glenfield from 1pm to 4pm.

All are welcome to come along. But please book, so we know the numbers for afternoon tea. ctc details and our flier can be downloaded from our website www.hearingvoices.org.nz

The Hearing Voices Network aotearoa NZ will hold their AGM afterwards.


An afternoon of Information, Art and Entertainment

on the experience of hearing voices

Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa NZ Inc

Te Reo Orooro

Providing support and information for hearing voices, visions, tactile sensations and other sensory experiences         .                                 






 The Speakers are

 Chris Hocken and Teresa Keedwell (Hearing Voices Network Palmerston North)

    Making Recovery Happen: Share some of their training from UK’s Ron Coleman and talk of their experiences running a hearing voices group.

 Brigitte Sistig (Psychotherapist and Yoga Teacher)

    Using Yoga Practices to help voice hearers

Poets, Performers and Musicians from        Toi Ora Live Art Trust

Will serenade and entertain us with their creative insights and artistic interpretations

 A delightful afternoon tea will be provided along with interesting conversation. 

 When:   Saturday June 27th 2009 1.00 to 4.00pm (AGM 4-5pm)

Where: Toi Ora, 6 Putiki Street, Grey Lynn

Who:    All welcome including voice hearers, friends, family, carers,

Cost:  Free. A donation will be gratefully accepted, or show your support for our work by becoming a member: $10 unwaged, $20 waged.

 To book your space or for more info contact Adrienne hearingvoices@woosh.co.nz /  0211024151

Hearing Voices Network Aotearoa New Zealand is an independent society and a registered charity. We work solely from donations and charitable grants. https://hearingvoicesnetworkanz.wordpress.com  affiliated with the International Hearing Voices Movement see www.intervoiceonline.org

Say NO to Testing on Humans!

I was at a conference this week. I sat and listened to tests that had been undertaken on “schizophrenics”- the good news is it is now in hyphens. Heard about “token experiments” when people were given tokens for behaving nicely. Heard about people being given watches that bleeped at certain intervals. Saw symptoms divided up, put into percentages, and ,made into charts. I didnt see any faces there. I became increasingly more upset as it went on. Until towards the end I went outside and wept.

I wept and wept around the corner alone. No matter what I did, I could not seem to stop. I finally after 30 mins pulled myself together and returned. Only to see more analysis and statistics of studies. I left. When my cousin collected me in her car, she spoke to me of how she had been training her dog, to behave. She spoke to me of testing on animals. How she had seen videos on the internet of dogs that were put in cages and drugged so much they couldnt move, then tests were carried out on them. As a result she was no longer going to buy the dog foods that carried these tests out.

I wondered why is it still okay to carry out tests on humans?
In the plane on the way home, I realised that I wept because my heart is still open. I do not see figures and symptons, I see people that are experiencing suffering. That are are showing their raw emotions. Not symptoms, figures and data.
I was reminded of testing that used to be done on native people, thesis written on why black and Polynesian people were not the same as others. Pictures of their skulls were paraded about, to prove these theories. Which really just amounted to good reasons to treat them badly. I understood then, what my Maori ancestors suffered. In a more profound way than words could ever have portrayed.

Earlier I had spoken to a woman, who said how Maori land had been confiscated to build a Mental health institute- Tokonui. The irony was that the majority of its inhabitants were Maori people. Still suffering the same treatment, but under a different category.

I wrote this as a way to try and show how I was feeling.

I am not a frog on a slab in a biology class, awaiting dissection to see how I work.
I am a woman.
I am not a statistic- here to be added up, deleted, manipulated and categorised,
I am a living breathing being.
You wonder why those that hear voices feel they are always being watched and monitored by their governments?
It is because most of them are, in their hospital wards.
And the rest of us? We can feel their pain.
I am not someone to be looked at from a distance,
Come beside me and hold my hand.
I do not behave the way you would like.
Should I apologise that my suffering has manifested in a way that you can clearly see
Without me speaking the words to explain it.
Please do not try to explain my pain and suffering.
Please do not drug me, restrain me, and test me like a lab animal.
I know that because people care many companies have stopped animal testing.
So why haven’t you stopped testing on me?
I am not an animal,
I am you dressed in another body, clothed in the events of my life,
My Clothes are not as clean and as tidy as yours.
I cannot see my story in your charts.
6 week tests are the proof that the drugs work.
Their promotional videos say so.
So why is it 20 years later when people are still unwell,
It is they who are made to feel a failure not the drugs?
Say no to human testing, and become a human.
I am not Mad,
I am angry.
Angry that you have forgotten who I am.
I am you.
When will you start treating me like you?


I did  enjoy listening to the presentation by Wiremu Nia Nia and Egan. They told stories of Maori people who were treated as insane,  whose experiences when put into a cultural context were understood, explained and healed. In New Zealand I am pleased to say that there is a greater understanding of the cultural diversity that is present. Health Boards, are at last acknowledging Maori concepts and understandings.

 I am hopeful that a new path is being laid for those that hear voices to walk. The Hearing Voices Network in Aotearoa NZ, and other countries around the world are making people aware  of how changes need to be made. How we are all the same in a different way.

World Congress on Hearing Voices Maastricht Holland Sept 2009

19th November 2008
First Announcement and Call for Papers
World Congress ”Hearing Voices” 17th – 18th September 2009

World Hearing Voices Day in Maastricht, Holland

INTERVOICE, the international association responsible for promoting the interests of people who hear voices has decided to hold a World Congress in September 2009 to bring together people concerned with hearing voices to exchange information and ideas.

We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to participate and play an active part by being a presenter in our proposed open congress. Specifically, we want you to share your experiences of research; education; training courses; mental health care services – and of course – the voice hearing experience itself.

Themes: Experiences: Research: Training: Practice

You can download a print version of this announcement here. Please distribute, forward pass on, add links etc. so we can get this information as widely as possible.


Right from the beginning of the hearing voices movement there has been strong interest among voice hearers, professionals and carers in the issue from around the world – this interest continues to grow today.

Over the last twelve years INTERVOICE has held relatively small gatherings with representatives from the different countries where networks and hearing voices groups have been active. Now the number of countries active in our network has grown to 21 as more and more professionals and people hearing voices have become involved, this has been accompanied by increasing amounts of research and training being carried out internationally. This successful development of our network is largely based on the real evidence that this approach of “accepting and making sense of voices” that we have adopted, works for people and leads to recovery. Further, there is evidence that those voice hearers who had developed into chronic patients have succeeded in wresting themselves away from the traditional psychiatric approach by joining the hearing voices movement and reclaiming their lives.

On the basis of the existence of healthy voice hearers and the experiences of those people who recovered from the distress with their voices we wish to further explore the implications for the psychiatric concept of illness regarding the experience of hearing voices and the personal, political and social implications of this work.


We would like to bring together:

  • people who hear voices and who have recovered; family members and friends

  • academics who wrote their theses, PhD’s and Masters on hearing voices;

  • those who have conducted clinical and social research on the relationship between trauma and hearing voices, as well as emotional neglect and other psychosocial influences;

  • those who have carried out epidemiological research on hearing voices in the general population, or research on different therapies;

  • those who have developed training programs and courses on the subject; those who gathered specific experiences with voice hearers in crisis periods;

  • those who work in early intervention teams or with special groups like children hearing voices and voices in periods of grief etc.

We are actively seeking the participation of voice hearers who can cope with their voices and voice hearers who are inspired by their voices and find them helpful. In our view, this is a most significant group of people, as they provide living proof to scientists and clinicians that voice hearing is an experience beyond an illness. This would include an input from voice hearers or concerning the experience of hearing voices in non-western cultures. We intend to have a in depth discussion on the value of focussing on the voice hearing experience itself and the being open to the problems that lie at their roots.

They are one of the most important foundations of the hearing voices movement, therefore the participation of this group is essential and we intend to ensure that as many of them as possible will actively participate in the Congress.

Issues we would like to discuss:


We would like to consider:

  • the combined experience of hearing voices with paranoia or personal convictions;

  • voices and visions;

  • voices and self harm; relationships with emotional dynamics like voices and dissociation;

  • voices and acting out;

  • voices and emotional blocking;

  • voices and over-activity.

We would be particularly interested in hearing about the direct experiences in relation to:

  • voices and inspiration;

  • voices and emotions;

  • the metaphoric expressiveness of voices;

  • personal power structures and voices;

  • the characteristics of the voices;

  • how they express the relationship with life experiences;

  • changing the relationship with one’s voices.

Therapies and interventions

In recent years there has been a growing interest in hearing voices from different psycho-therapeutic approaches as well as the more mainstream cognitive behavioural therapies and the influence of these interventions continues to grow. An exchange of the similarities and differences in approach would be enlightening. As with the EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) approach and the pure language approach of Grover. We would also like to hear from and exchange experiences with using complementary therapies like regression, narrative and reincarnation therapies etc.

Debates and discussions

Topics that could be included:

  • Hearing voices as a human variation to be respected and not discriminated against

  • Hearing voices in history

  • Hearing voices in different cultures and subcultures.

  • Hearing voices as a source of information about ones emotions.

  • Hearing voices as a source of inspiration.

  • Hearing voices experiences in the general population.

  • Voices as reaction to traumatic experiences and emotional neglect.

  • Hearing voices and the politics of power relationships.

  • Hearing voices in research (epidemiological; trauma; personal interaction; impact on the body)

  • Hearing voices in the diversity of psychotherapies.

  • Hearing voices as source of inspiration in thesis and PhD’s.

  • The hearing voices movement and the need for change of attitude in mental health care.

  • Characteristics of hearing voices like their metaphorical language; their power structure etc.

  • Hearing voices and emotional coping patterns like dissociation; acting out; blocking; over activity.

  • Hearing voices in relation to the person’s life history. Hearing voices as survival strategy etc.

  • Hearing voices as proof of social political injustice.

  • Hearing voices and the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Coping with hearing voices and the problems at their roots.

  • Approaching hearing voices in crisis episodes.

On the basis of the existence of healthy voice hearers and the experiences of those people who recovered from the distress with their voices we also hope to have an in depth discussion with the pharmaceutical industry about the appropriate use of medication. It will also be interesting to have a discussion on the political and social implications of this work.

Would you be willing to take part?

INTERVOICE invites you to put the date(s) of the world congress in your diary and let Paul Baker the secretary know if you are interested in taking part and let him know what topic you would like to present or bring to the Congress as a lecture, workshop, poster discussion etc. You can also ask Paul for the address of the hearing voices network in your country. email Paul Baker admin@intervoiceonline.org