Tag Archives: hallucination

Carers in mind: It’s real for them

Caring for people with psychosis can be both stressful and mystifying. People who hear voices and respond to visions that the carer can neither hear nor see present particular problems and frustrations. It’s distressing for the individual voice-hearer and, for different reasons it’s distressing for their relatives and other carers as well.

“It’s real for them” is a common expression intended to promote empathy and understanding but there are very real drawbacks if that’s as far as it goes. We all know it’s real for them – that’s why they’re distressed, but if we simply accept that without question we give up a vital part of the recovery process.

In this video we explore the positive benefits that can come from refusing to accept that ‘it’s real for them’ whilst still accepting the other person’s experience. We look at the power of attribution in psychosis, especially in relation to hallucinations and consider the benefits of helping people to change their view about their hallucinations. It isn’t trivialising the problem to see it for what it is. A voice has no power unless the voice-hearer gives it some. However distressing and disturbing voices are they’re still only voices.

By helping people to reframe their interpretation of voices they hear we can reduce the power, the distress and the disruption of those voices.

Please feel free to comment either here on the blog or by using the contact form below and let me know how helpful or otherwise this video has been for you. Please also let me know if you’d like me to cover any other issues facing carers and relatives. I can’t promise to cover everything but I’ll do my best to help if I can.


Psychosis 2: Delusions, illusions and hallucinations

Don't let yourself off the hook thumbnailPart 2 of the psychosis mini-series looks at delusions (AKA ‘Fixed, false beliefs – not amenable to reason’). Delusions are more than just vague ideas – they’re the things people hold to be most certain. Here we look at some of the ways that delusions form, the relationship between delusions, illusions and hallucinations and we begin to think about some of the ways that we can help delusional people.

I have long maintained that this connection is vital to our understanding of psychosis and yet not a word about it was uttered during my nurse training.The student nurses of 1992-95 never heard a peep about these vital links. The student nurses of 2017… well… We consider the role of memory and familiarity in perception and how the self-fulfilling prophecy of expectation can create mistakes, not only in our five senses but in the beliefs we form that so often rely upon that sense data to begin with.

If you’d like to arrange training for your staff please fill in the form here…

Psychosis 1: Hallucinations and society

This is the first of a mini series on psychosis. Here we introduce psychosis in general before talking about hallucinations (the 1st of the ‘big 3’ psychotic symptoms) and how society’s conventions shape the inconsistent way we respond to voice-hearers.
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If you’d like to arrange training for your staff please fill in the form here…