World Hearing Voices Congress 2013
Michael and I have spent today at the World Hearing Voices Congress 2013 that opened this morning in Melbourne. What luck it’s held in our home city this year!
Uniting Care Prahran Mission is hosting it. In their CEO’s words “It is the largest consumer-led mental health event in our country’s history, it puts the lived experience of hearing voices front and centre stage, and it is filled with hope and potential for us all.”
BTW, ‘hearing voices’ isn’t limited to auditory experiences. It includes visions and other phenomena, which can be pleasant or disturbing.
‘Hearing Voices’ groups are spreading world-wide and are starting to challenge mainstream mental health paradigms. Which, as you know, is exactly what I’m about too.
The main message I got from today’s presentations reinforces my own belief that hearing voices isn’t problematic.
Only the inability to cope with them is a challenge. Which means that knowledge and acceptance are keys to a peaceful integration and growth.
For me, today’s highlights were many.
One of them was to meet personally a Native American psychiatrist and healer I’ve admired for years. His name is Dr Lewis Mehl Madrona. He specialises in aboriginal styles of health care and has written several books. One of those is titled ‘Coyote Medicine’. I read it about 15 years ago and it was really influential in my own spiritual evolution. Now that I’ve met the author I cannot wait to read it again!
In the next presentation, another extraordinary psychiatrist (Dr Allister Bush from NZ) shared the stage with a Maori traditional healer & cultural therapist (Wiremu NiaNia). These two beautiful men work together and shared some of their professional experiences. Very impressive.
And I could go on and on. It’s such a rich program. It was really hard for Michael and I to choose who to listen to!
Tonight we’re going to a Mad Hatter party! So I had better get dressed now. Could well be a late night before another exciting day tomorrow!
I’ll tell you more about it in the next couple of days.
In the meantime, thanks for reading this post. Have a lovely time – or a mad one! After all, a grain of madness is a great gift!