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.