Hearing Voices Group Guidelines

We recommend the following guidelines, which have been developed by Hearing Voice groups to guarantee  a safe, respectful space in which members can freely share their experiences.

  • Is a self-help group and not a clinical group offering treatment
  • Accept that voices and visions are real experiences
  • Accept that people are not any the less for having voices and visions
  • Respects each member as an expert
  • Sanctions the freedom to talk about anything, not just voices and visions
  • Sanctions the freedom to interpret experiences in any way
  • Sanctions the freedom to challenge social norms
  • Encourages an ethos of self-determination
  • Values ordinary, non-professional language
  • Focuses primarily on sharing experiences, support and empathy
  • Members are not subject to referral, discharge or risk assessment
  • Members are able to come and go as they want without repercussions
  • Members are aware of limits to and constraints on confidentiality
  • Accept people as they are
  • Make no assumption of illness
  • Are a self-help group not a therapy group
  • Can be a community to which people belong
  • Work towards upholding equity in the group
  • Decide on the limits to confidentiality not the facilitator
  • Work out problems collectively
  • Share responsibility rather than the facilitator solely
  • Members join for as long as it suits them
  • Are open to people from other geographical areas
  • Facilitator is not under clinical pressure to report back to anyone else
  • Encourages, supports and enables voice hearers to take a co-facilitator or facilitator role.