N & B Seminar: Angela O'Neilin


Angela O'Neilin
Santa Barbara Peer Empowerment

Date and Location

May 02, 2014 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Psych East 3834


Living with Voices – An Alternative View of Hallucinations

Many individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses hear voices other people do not hear. To address the problem of hearing voices conventional approaches in psychiatry typically involve a concentration on removing/reducing the symptoms by the use of medication and some form of therapy. Current therapy approaches in the U.S.A, however, often discourage the discussion about the voices assuming the voices are mere hallucinations and therefore meaningless. Hearing voices can be regarded as a meaningful, real (although sometimes painful, fearful and overwhelming) event, that speak to the person in a metaphorical way about their lives, emotions and environment. Many people who hear challenging voices have found that a turning point in coping with the experience is finding different ways of talking with and understanding the voices. Helping the individual to make sense of their experience rather than view it as a lifelong illness has empowered many individuals to discover they can regain control of their lives and they can manage their emotions and life without prolonged use of medications.


Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences