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In order to register an HVN-USA group that you facilitate or manage, you must first have an account on our website.  If you already have an account, you can skip the first set of steps.  If you don't yet have one, you can sign up for an account as follows:

  1. Scroll down to the Login form at the bottom of the left column of the HVN-USA web page and click on "Create an account >".
  2. The account registration form will load in your web browser.  Fill in the form completely and click the "Register" button.
  3. A confirmation email will be sent to the address you provided on the account registration form.  If the email doesn't arive within a few minutes, check your email account's spam folder.
  4. Click on the link provided in the confirmation email to activate your account.
  5. You now have an active account on the HVN-USA website and can log in.  Go ahead and do so now.

Now that you have an account on our website, you can register an HVN-USA group as follows:

  1. Make sure that you are logged in. You should see a "User Menu" in the left column of the web page.  If you don't see it, log in using the form at the bottom of the left column.
  2. Click on Register HVN-USA Group in the User Menu.
  3. The "Register HVN-USA Group" form will load in your web browser.  Fill in all required information.  You can move the mouse cursor over an item's name to see more instructions for filling in that part of the form.  Make sure the email address you provide for "Email of Person Registering" is accurate, as we may need to contact you about your registration.
  4. Click the "Submit" button.  The information you have entered will be stored on the HVN-USA website and marked for review.  You should receive a confirmation email within a few minutes.  If you don't see it, first check your email account's spam folder.  If you still can't find it after an hour, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  5. In some cases, we may contact you for more information when we review the group's registration.

The newly registered HVN-USA group won't be listed publicly until we have reviewed the registration form you submitted.  You can check the status of groups you've registered by clicking on My HVN-USA Groups in the User Menu.

Here is a listing of all HVN-USA groups registered under your username. To edit a group's information, click on its name in the list below.

If you want to make changes to an existing group that is not listed here, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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If you'd like to register a new HVN-USA group with us, you can follow these instructions.


Do I really need to go through a training before starting a Hearing Voices group?

1.  Do I really need to go through a training before starting a Hearing Voices group?

Most of us have been directly and indirectly trained for many years to think about psychiatric diagnoses, hearing voices and other unusual experiences in a particular way.  Our ideas have been shaped and often ingrained by films and television, advertising, the news and professional training courses.  While the Hearing Voices approach may not qualify as 'rocket science,' it does represent a significant shift from this training to a different way of thinking and talking about these experiences.  As a result, for most people, it will be really important to have the time to peel away the old layers of training and explore new ideas in a group learning environment.  It is all the more important because group leaders will likely be challenged at one or more points by others who do not yet understand the approach, and particularly if the group is being held in an otherwise clinical environment.  

For this reason, we highly recommend training fo ALL people who intend to facilitate a Hearing Voices group.  However, we understand that not all people will choose to wait for a training to become accessible.  For this reason, we have also developed a 'Self-Reflection Tool' for individuals who are thinking about starting a group without training.  The tool is intended to support people to think about how ready they are to start a group and also provide some ideas as to what they might do to increase their readiness.

The Self-Reflection Tool can be found here.



Adapted from the Charter developed by HVN England

Revised: September 2020


The Hearing Voices Network USA (HVN-USA), is one of a growing number of nationally based networks around the world joined by shared goals and values that incorporate a fundamental belief that there are many ways to understand hearing voices, seeing things others do not see, and/or other unusual or commonly misunderstood experiences. It is part of an international collaboration between people who have had these experiences themselves, friends and family members, professional supporters, and other allies to create space to talk openly about voices, visions, and more without the assumption that anyone is sick or has an illness.

HVN-USA supports the development of groups for people having these experiences—and separate groups for their family members and friends—that follow the guidelines offered in the HVN Charter. These groups are spaces of trust, respect, equality, acceptance and mutuality. They affirm that each person has the right to develop their own understanding of their experiences. There is no attempt to persuade, teach, preach, fix or change ideas. Hearing Voices Groups become communities where people can find acceptance, belonging, purpose, and space to explore and learn about one’s self, their experiences and their connections with others and the world.

There are three different kinds of HVN groups. The three different types of groups are:

  1. HVN affiliated groups
  2. HVN full groups
  3. HVN family and friends groups

All types of groups are equally valid and important.

ALL Hearing Voices Groups* operate within the following guidelines:

  1. We start from a place of acknowledging three freedoms:
  • Freedom to interpret experiences in any way, not just an illness framework.
  • Freedom to challenge social norms-- including gender norms or other ideas about how we are “supposed to be” in the world.
  • Freedom to talk about anything-- not just voices and visions.
  1. Groups are not “treatment” or “psychoeducation”. The primary focus is on making connections and sharing experiences.
  2. Everyone present is responsible for creating an environment that centers respect, support and empathy
  3. There is acceptance that voices and visions, tactile sensations and other unusual or misunderstood experiences are real experiences.
  4. There is no assumption that these experiences are always bad, without value, or needing to be stopped.
  5. The person having these experiences is in the best position to decide or discover what they mean, and what they want to do about them.
  6. Anyone can choose to speak or share in a group, but no one is required to do so. Silently bearing witness to the experiences of others has great value.
  7. Everyone present is seen as responsible for holding the values of the group, not just the facilitators.
  8. There is no requirement for facilitators to take attendance, keep notes, conduct risk assessments, or report to anyone about what happened in the group.
  9. Facilitators are members of the group who also participate and share about their own experiences at least some of the time.
  10. Facilitators use open, non-clinical, everyday language, and create space for others to explore what clinical terms mean for them when they come up.
  11. There is effort made to honor all voices, including those that members might find harder to hear.
  12. Groups are only for people who are attending for their own support. Observers (media, students, providers, and anyone else wanting to come for any reason other than to explore their own experiences) are not able to attend.*
  13. There is no referral or “discharge” process. People come to groups as often and for as long as it works for them, and attendance is always voluntary and self-determined.
  14. Everyone present is asked to practice being attentive to and curious about one another, and to not try to speak for each other.
  15. Privacy and confidentiality are prioritized, and any limits to privacy are shared upfront.
  16. There is recognition that the Hearing Voices Movement is a part of a social justice movement that intersects with other movements and marginalized experiences. People’s experiences with systemic oppression are accepted as real, and there is a commitment on the part of the group to interrupt words or actions rooted in racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, psychiatric oppression and other types of systemic oppression when they come up.
  17. Effort is made to insure at least one facilitator has experienced hearing voices, seeing visions, or similar. When that is not possible, effort is consistently made to move in that direction.
  18. Effort is made to follow as many of the guidelines from the “full group” category as possible, and there are concrete (rather than arbitrary) reasons why certain guidelines are not being met.**


Note: Affiliated groups are groups that follow the guidelines intended for ALL Hearing Voices groups as listed in this section, but do not fulfill some or all of the requirements listed in other HVN group categories.

Full Groups:

As stated above, both affiliated and full groups are valid and have value. For example, Hearing Voices groups in hospitals can be extremely important and even life changing, but will never be able to be “full” groups simply because they meet in the hospital. On the other hand, full groups are extremely important in order to create opportunities for people who may not have easy access to or who have been alienated from the mental health system, or who just have never been a part of a system at all. They are also extremely important because they represent a fuller shift of power into the hands of voice hearers, and that in itself can be incredibly important to someone’s healing process. To be considered a full group, groups must follow all the guidelines named above, as well as:

  1. Active efforts should be made to prioritize and support the development of group facilitators who have themselves experienced voices, visions, etc. Ultimately, the goal should be to have both facilitators have this experience first-hand.
  2. Groups are open to anyone with lived experience, whether or not they use any particular mental health or other services.
  3. Groups are open to anyone from any geographical area.
  4. Any limits to privacy are decided by the group itself.
  5. Responsibility lies with the group (not just the facilitators) when problems arise or decisions need to be made.
  6. Groups do not meet in clinical settings.


Family and Friends Groups:

Like all HVN groups, Family and Friends groups follow the guidelines listed above. Groups are open only to the relatives, friends, and loved ones of people who hear voices, see visions, or have other associated experiences. One facilitator should be someone who themself hears voices, sees visions, or similar, while the other facilitator should be a family member or friend of someone with those experiences. Ideally, all facilitators will have completed a full HVN-USA facilitator training.

Family and friends are uniquely positioned to validate the experiences of those who hear voices or otherwise perceive things not perceived by others. At the same time, the experience of family members and friends also benefits from validation and a sense of community as they learn to resist oppressive conventions and develop alternative frameworks for understanding their own and their loved ones' experiences.

These groups shall provide a space in which family members and friends of voice hearers are able to do the following:

  1. Respect their loved one's experiences;
  2. Examine their beliefs and feelings as a gateway to changing their relationship with their loved one; 
  3. Take ownership of their fears and examine where the fears come from and how to manage them; 
  4. Share experiences of what has been helpful and in that context share resources;
  5. Explore the family member’s experience including the language used when talking about their loved ones;
  6. Validate friends’ and family members’ experiences while at the same time helping them to develop empathy and undo stereotypes and discrimination against voice hearers, and; 
  7. Create a safer place for family members to talk about their experiences without judgement, ridicule or unsolicited advice.


*On rare occasions, groups may choose to hold a special meeting where they invite others to attend for educational or other purposes. These should always be considered “special meetings”, and not regular Hearing voices groups. Everyone who participates must have been given advanced notice of the plan to hold a special meeting, and supported to consider the pros and cons of choosing to participate.

** This last item (#19) applies to full and affiliated groups, not family and friends groups.

In the future, we hope to have a dedicated
phone number and address to offer you.

However, at this time, the best way to reach us is via email at:
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