This is an opportunity not to be missed!
It is the first time the Congress has ever come to the United States. And, it is likely to be the last time for quite a while.
The Congress will take place at Boston University on Wednesday, August 16 - Friday, August 18, 2017. The main Congress events will be held on Thursday and Friday.
This event welcomes voice hearers, providers, peer supporters, family members, advocates, educators, legislators, policy-makers, law enforcement and the interested public. You will receive cutting-edge, must-know information that will inform your thinking on mental health, trauma, substance use, forensics, public health, healthcare, residential treatment, public housing, education, public safety, disability rights, self-help, working with children, youth and more!
The Congress is being sponsored by the Hearing Voices Network USA, http://www.hearingvoicesusa.org/. The Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community, http://www.westernmassrlc.org/, is assisting the effort and has been pioneering the hearing voices approach in the United States for a number of years.
Congress Highlights ...
Dirk Corstens will be joining the Congress from the Netherlands to offer opening remarks at the official start of the World Hearing Voices Congress on Thursday, August 17.
More about Dirk: Dirk works as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, and has been a key collaborator in Marius Romme and Sandra Escher’s Hearing Voices project at the University of Maastricht, Netherlands, since 1992. He served as Chair for the Intervoice Board for 7 years, and remains an active member today. Dirk works with many voice hearers on a regular basis, and has a particular interest in developing ways to communicate with voices.
Meanwhile, the Congress will be welcoming workshop presenters from more than seven different countries on a wide variety of topics. The full workshop menu will be available soon, but for now, here are just a handful of highlights:
The Effectiveness of the Hearing Voices Approach in Forensic Settings with Peter Bullimore and Jo Withington (England): This workshop will highlight how the Hearing Voices approach can be successfully implemented in forensic settings.
A Family's Journey with Unseen Voices and Pictures: Mother and Son's Strength to Conquer It Together with Meri and Nico Viano (USA): This workshop will explore trauma, voices, and the family journey as told by a mother and son who have come together to share their experiences and support others traveling down a similar path.
Open Dialogue with a Political Edge? Questions, Concerns & Opportunities with Rachel Waddingham (England): This workshop will explore the Open Dialogue approach, how it is being implemented in different areas and the concerns and worries it raises. Additionally, it will explore some of the tensions and critiques, and what it might look like if it had a stronger political awareness and could learn from survivors.
A Conversation on Gender and Sexuality with Marty Hadge and Natan Cohen (USA): This workshop will provide a space for people who challenge societal norms regarding gender and sexuality to explore how these experiences impact and relate to experiences under the hearing voices umbrella.
Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal - When, How, and Why with Olga Runciman (Denmark): This workshop will discuss how to withdraw from psychiatric drugs (from both the perspective of someone who is withdrawing and those who are supporting them), as well as addressing common worries and fears.
People of Color and the Hearing Voices Network with Chacku Mathai and Earl Miller (USA): This workshop will create an opportunity to be involved in an engaging and intersectional analysis of our movement that results in a better understanding of what’s happening and what we all can do to improve the equity and inclusion of people of color in the Hearing Voices Network.
Film Screening - 'Hearing Voices' with filmmaker, Bruno Tarpani (Brazil): This 50 minute documentary follows the story of three people who hear voices. Discussion with the filmmaker to follow the screening. View a trailer HERE!
Facilitating Difficult Situations: Practical Tools for Groups with Will Hall (USA): This workshop will explore tools and techniques for addressing challenges in support group situations including low attendance, lack of resources, conflicts, and more.
Creating and Sustaining Safe Spaces for Children and Young People Who Hear Distressing Voices with Eve Mundy (England): This workshop will explore what safety, and safe spaces, might look and feel like for children and young people who hear distressing voices, see upsetting or frightening visions, or have other ‘unusual’ sensory experiences that they find overwhelming.
How to Survive College as a Voice Hearer with Alison Branitsky and Sarah Felman (USA): This workshop will provide practical strategies to coping with hearing voices as a student.
Challenges and Winning Ingredients for the Implementation of Hearing Voices Groups with Myreille St-Onge (Canada): This workshop will focus on the results of a recent study that sought to evaluate the challenges and winning ingredients involved with implementation of Hearing Voices groups, and will discuss lessons learned.
Sonic Sandbox- Experience Deeper Connection through Sound Improvisation with David Ford (USA): Sonic Sandbox will include collaborative music improvisation exercises that support being present in the moment and connecting with others using sound.
Hearing Voices Groups and Recoveryː Preliminary Results of a Study of Different Hearing Voices Groups in the Netherlands and the Experiences of Its Participants with Barbara Schaefer (Netherlands): This workshop will offer findings from a study that has followed individuals involved with Hearing Voices groups over the course of a year, focusing on one primary question: To what extent do participants experience participating in the Hearing Voices Group as being helpful to their recovery?
Additional workshop presenters will include: Claire Bien, Caroline White, Jeannie Bass, Ksenija Kadic, Gail Hornstein, Don Karp, Tami Gatta, Akiko Hart, Pamela Wagner, Katherine Crabtree, David Walker, Judy Murray, Shaun Hunt, Jennifer Hanley, David Son, Andrea Freud, Ronda Richardson, Kathleen Lowenstein, Kevin Healy, Stephen Zuckerman, Jenna Rai Miller, Jude Grophear, Val Resh, and Carina Iati.
The First Major Exhibit to Explore Hearing Voices Enters the US
'Hearing Voices: suffering, inspiration and the everyday' is the first major exhibition to explore voice-hearing from personal, scientific, literary, historical and theological perspectives. It is the result of a collaboration between Durham University’s Palace Green Library and Hearing the Voice – a large interdisciplinary study of voice-hearing funded by the Wellcome Trust. It was produced in close partnership with voice-hearers, their families and allies.
Also!: A mobile version of the exhibit will be coming to us in the USA at the Congress.
The mobile version will be a modular display including components such as the history of the Hearing Voices movement, personal accounts from voice hearers across the world, and more.
The exhibit will be on display throughout the Congress.
Have You Checked Out the Congress Keynotes?!
The Congress will offer a great line up of keynote speakers who will be speaking on the mornings of Thursday, August 17 and Friday, August 18. They include:
For more details, check out the keynote page on the Congress website!
American Sign Language and Spanish Interpretation Available!
American Sign Language interpretation will be available throughout the Congress event and simultaneous Spanish interpretation will be available for all keynotes.
Please help spread the word by sharing this information with deaf and hard-of-hearing people, as well as Spanish-speaking people and any groups or organizations providing related supports!
Supporting the Congress
Here are the organizations that have supported the Congress so far, and made it possible to bring guests from overseas, and provide scholarships to those both near and far!
* PLEASE NOTE: This blog was adapted from the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community Newsletter and the Hearing Voices Network USA.