Founded in 2010, the Hearing Voices Network USA represents a partnership between individuals who hear voices or have other extreme or unusual experiences, professionals and allies in the community, all of whom are working together to change the assumptions made about these phenomenon and create supports, learning and healing opportunities for people across the country.
Many voices can be unthreatening and even positive. It's wrong to turn this into a shameful problem that people either feel they have to deny or to take medication to suppress.
~ Professor Marius Romme
The Hearing Voices approach was originated through the work of Marius Romme and a woman to whom he was providing treatment, Patsy Hage. Not only did Patsy directly challenge Marius to expand his thinking and accept her experiences as real, but he also witnessed the power of peer support first hand when he observed her and others receiving treatment at a local hospital impacting one another simply by taking the space to talk frankly and non-judgmentally with one another about hearing voices. Since that time, Marius and his wife and colleague Sandra Escher, have written several books and made many appearances to talk about what has grown out of that initial learning, ultimately forming the foundation of this International movement.
Hearing Voices Networks have now been established in over 20 countries with Hearing Voices groups spreading even more rapidly. Intervoice (The International Network for Training, Education and Research into Hearing Voices) also developed in the 1990's and has since thrived in its efforts to help tie together and support the International Hearing Voices community.
In the United States, Hearing Voices groups have existed in small numbers for well over five years, with some of the earliest known groups forming in Wisconsin, California and Massachusetts. However, there has been no real way to link them together, spread knowledge about the Hearing Voices approach, provide consistent guidelines on what qualifies as a 'Hearing Voices' group and support the development of new groups. These are the primary purposes of the Hearing Voices Network USA. Join us as we move forward and become one of the newest members of the International network!