Marlyse Carroll - author, artist and facilitator

Hearing Voices Congress Day 3

Hearing Voices Day 3

The Congress closed on Friday night. And yes, it was most impressive right to the end.

Today I’ll give you just one quotation before sharing something personal that came out of it.

“People make recovery happen for themselves.
No one else can do it.”

So said Professor Marius Romme, the brilliant Dutch psychiatrist who founded the Hearing Voices Movement in 1987.

I couldn’t agree more.

And now for the personal story!

Bucket List

You might not know that Michael and I still have a big goal on our bucket list: to help fund a Foundation that supports people in spiritual crisis. Well, we’ve just found a way to start doing it.

I’ve already told you about the Hearing Voices Movement. They’re supported by a global organisation called Intervoice – ‘The International Network for Training, Education and Research into Hearing Voices‘.

If you’re interested in mental health, or you know someone else who needs this info, go to

These guys do extraordinary work across the globe. Not only are they on the ground, improving lives one person at a time, they’re also slowly changing mainstream psychiatric paradigms.

For instance, Hearing Voices Australia are now training more and more clinicians in various hospitals. They also train a great number of people who have recovered from schizophrenia and are willing to volunteer as peers for other voice hearers.

We met quite a few of them at the conference. Awesome people.

Despair or HopeWorking in small groups in many countries, they help sufferers help themselves, whether their crisis stems from childhood abuse, addictions, grief, trauma, spiritual emergency or other causes.

Whilst some people benefit from medication, many prefer to use voice dialogue (similar to ego-state therapy) and other techniques to appease their mind. And by doing so, their inner voices turn from hostile to friendly. This is huge!

Talking of mental health, check these scary statistics:

According to the NIH website (the American National Institutes of Health), 26.2% of the adult population in the US will be treated for mental illness this year.

That’s more than one in four adults – in round figures 59 million people, plus all the children and teenagers also medicated.

And in Australia, one fifth of the adult population experiences a mental health difficulty in any year, apparently. The biggest threat is depression.

Huge numbers!

But are all of these unfortunate people really sick?

Do they all need a psychiatric label and medical treatment? How many of those could avoid much long-term suffering and a terrible stigma if they had access to more knowledge and guidance? And/or lifestyle changes aided by peer support?

Millions, I believe. More likely tens of millions! Possibly hundreds of millions across the world!

Intervoice and the Hearing Voices Movement have a similar belief and stand for the same values. Since they have operated for many years, the scores are on the board.

What they do works.

New idea

As a result of the Congress, Michael and I are so impressed that we’ve pledged to start donating 10% of the profits of Am I Going Mad to Intervoice. And we’ll increase this amount to 100% over time.

The funny thing is that we both had this idea at the same time! It feels so right. We had a clear intention and found the perfect match.

Next step is to offer the book online and sell lots of them. Getting there!…

And we’ll definitely attend the next Congress in October 2014 in Greece.

Please let us know your thoughts about the Hearing Voices Movement and their approach. Michael and I would love to hear from you, thanks.


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Cheers, Marlyse
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4 thoughts on “Hearing Voices Congress Day 3

  1. Wow, what interesting stuff. Glad that you and Michael have found a way forward. Mental Health has been a challenge for the country and now with an organisation interested in self help and not medication is the best for many who have been treated wrongly. Getting the awareness out in the communities will benefit many, however the need to have Psychiatrist, Doctors and Counsellors in the same frame of mind, would be really great.

    1. Thanks Chris. Yes, we’re both blown away after seeing so many people coming from different professional paths working together towards a common goal: reforming the mental health system! I also spoke with a few Uni researchers and people currently doing a PhD on related topics. The momentum is building up!

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