Workshop#1 Accepting Voices in Calgary- Sat 5th May, 2018

First time in Western Canada… 

Opportunity to participate in ground breaking innovative workshop that enable you to transform your own understanding of experiences that get mystified and called “psychosis”, of connections with trauma and between difficult life experiences and difficult-to hear-voices, to be less afraid and feel more able when life calls upon you to support someone who is struggling.

 Limited Spaces, Register Now.
For more see below.

About this workshop

This workshop offers a uniquely human way of understanding the kind of experiences that get called mystifying names like “psychosis”; a non-diagnostic way of understanding such experiences and deeper understanding of how we might better support those who live with these experiences and who struggle by coming from understanding, humanity and compassion.

  • Do you work with people who hear voices or other experiences that get called names like “psychosis” and who struggle with that?
  • Do you have someone in your life who hears voices and struggles and feel limited in your ability to understand and support them?
  • Have you come to realize how the story that a person hearing voices must mean “illness” ? limits not only them but limits you too, and limits all of us?
  • Are you weary of the notion that we must fear ourselves and fear each other ?
  • Are you curious to learn more and are you asking “what else can I do?”

If so then this workshop might help you tilt your universe and emancipate yourself. It offers new, very simple and very human ways to understand and begin to act .

If you’re looking for a workshop on how to diagnose and categorise your friends, family and colleagues and what dehumanizing names to call yourself and them, then know that this is not it.

Our aim is that you can feel more confident in your ability to offer yourself as a one person safe space to people who live with experiences that get called names like “psychosis” and that can be difficult to live with and more difficult to talk about.

we envisin a society that understands

Join  us in enacting a world that understands voice hearing, supports the needs of people who hear voices and regards them as full citizens.


Register now…

Registration is required


  • Community                       $150
    • register nowEarly bird                          $100
  • Worker                                $200
    • Early Bird                          $150

Either: click the red button 
or click on, or copy/paste the link below…

– ———————————————————————————————– –
How this Workshop is part of a structured approach to learning 
Note: This workshop is foundational and participation is prerequisite to other more advanced learning opportunities, eg..

#2    Working With Voices
#3    Starting and Sustaining Hearing Voices Groups In Your Community
#4    Carnival des Voix 
[running your own]
#5    Working with Maastricht Interview
#6    Facilitating Voice Dialogue

_  ____________________________________________________  _

Full Workshop Description

Accepting Voices: Workshop Description

This unique and innovative workshop offers you a non-diagnostic understanding of the kinds of experience like hearing voices that are that are sometimes called “psychosis”.

We offer you simple,  everyday language to show you how you can understand such experiences not as “disconnected from” but intimately connected with reality and in ways that can be overwhelming, painful, frustrating, sometimes terrifying response to the reality we share,

It also offers a framework you can use to connect and draw from your own experiences to help you truly empathize and understand how better to support people who might be undergoing such difficult experiences.

You’ll leave feeling more at ease with both yourself and your ability to offer yourself as a one-person safe-space to people who struggle.

Join us in enacting a society that understands voice hearing, supports individuals who hear voices and views them as full citizens. .

What you can expect and connect yourself with a community of people doing just that.

This workshop will enable you better to …

  • Understand hearing voices [and other experiences] as a normal human experience, that can become problematic, when a person is left to struggle without support..
  • Share simple data and stories about just how common it is to hear voices- how it is not in itself a problem and many people do – some cultures regard it as bringing great benefit.
  • Peer through and beyond diagnostic frameworks – resist the urge to catalogue and categorize everything you witness as “symptom”.and instead,
  • take an interest in the person struggling with their experience of voices and other experiences called “psychosis” as a human being having a hard time..
  • Begin to accept even the most difficult of human experiences as something that can be understood, explored and even valued.
  • Look within your own experience and relate with different experiences like hearing voices, visions, unshared beliefs.
  • Explore how you can be at ease in your role and be more real with people who have difficult experiences .
  • Offer yourself as a one-person safe-space to people who struggle with experiences like hearing voices.

Who this workshop is designed for…

We believe the hearing voices approach is emancipatory for all.

If, in your work, you work with you come into contact with people who hear voices and who struggle with that; and you have experienced how that can leave you feeling uncomfortable or worse, then we think you’ll find this one day workshop useful.

So, if you’re a doctor, nurse, social worker, community worker, housing worker, peer support worker, psychologist, therapist, police officer, etc. then it may be for you.

Families, carers, everyone. 
The workshop is also highly suitable for you if you love, live with, care for people in your life who hear voices and struggle with that – and you have come to realise the limitations of an approach that limits understanding to illness-brain chemicals and you are curious about how else you may understand, and what else you can do…

Workshop design…

This is an intensive workshop covering a lot of ground , together we will :

  • Gain insights from people who hear voices, and from others who work with people who hear voices.
  • Learn how we can think differently about voices and other experiences that are sometimes labelled “psychosis”.
  • Explore how, as workers, we can accept ourselves and each other, relax and enjoy our work: the better to offer support for people who hear voices.
  • Interact – with deep personal reflection,  shared sense-making and dialogue.
  • We will also share some simple, practical approaches that you can use in your practice on return to work.
  • Connect with resources and both local network and the global hearing voices community.

This workshop is designed to leave you feeling more competent and confident in your own ability to offer yourself as a one person safe space for people who hear voices.

You will not become an expert in one day but you’ll have a good basis for starting and feeling more comfortable – and more human – as you do.


Please feel free to help us let people know about this workshop by printing, posting, distributing, however you can with your networks…

Or, hand to your worker, colleague, or boss, and ask…
“Q. When are you going to do this training?”

Printer freindly poster [pdf]
Accepting Voices-Calgary-05May2018

 About the Presenters, Facilitators, Designers

Kevin Healey hears more voices than you can shake a stick at, so many that even his voices hear voices, and has done so for longer than either he – or they -care to remember.

Founder and coordinator of, Toronto Hearing Voices group, Anglophone Canada’s longest running, and of the Hearing Voices Café.

Creates and delivers innovative, taboo-busting talks, trainings and workshops that enable people to find new language, and simpler ways to understand surprisingly common human experiences that we’ve made fearful and taboo, so making life even harder both for those who struggle and also for the rest of us to understand.

Shows how we can make simple sense of trauma, pain, psychosis, taboo, and butt-hurt voices, and how they interweave and interconnect our inner-struggle with living in an outer-world that is fast becoming unfit for humans who built it and in which we keep creating results that nobody wants. 

After you’ve heard him talk you may join those who say they don’t hear voices but now wish they could.

A member of the global Hearing Voices Network and leading spokesperson in Canada and honoured to receive the first INTERVOICE International Annual Award for Innovation at the World Hearing Voices Congress in Paris, Oct 2016. Also Coordinator for the Toronto branch of ISPS-US International Society for Social Psychological Approaches to Psychosis.

Dave Umbongo
For many years Dave would only say only one word, now he authors articles at and moderates online support groups for voices to talk directly with each other round the world, and coaches and co-presents in workshops for approaches like voice dialogue.

Enjoys creating memes: out of things voices say, about living in a universe that mostly comprises what he refers to as The Weird, and sharing his own wry observations on the human obsession with calling each another horrible names, categorizing and crushing each other into boxes that don’t fit.

Voices have stories too: His favourite pastime is pretending to be a jelly bean , second is remarking upon how “voices” and “humans” behave in ways that are often very much the-one-is–like-the-other. Dave doesn’t really have a bio – like other superheroes he has an “Origins Story”, and like “The Truth…”, at least some of it, “is Out there…”

Mark Roininen
Mark has many years experience as “worker” with a major social services agency, and has worked with many who struggle  with the kind of experiences that get calked “psychosis” .
He shares his personal perspective of how being confronted with his own dark side enabled him to how relate more simply with difficult experiences of the people he works with, in process freeing himself from merely following “the script” and playing “invisible worker” so that he can be both more professional and more human.
His ability to share stories of his own experience of learning how to do this work offers others  hope that they can too.

About Hearing Voices

  • Hearing voices is intentional, ordinary language descriptive of a range of human experiences that in Western cultures has been mystified and made taboo, and that we have been taught to feared – and yet which are also remarkably common, likely much more common than you think.
  • Hearing Voices also refers to an emancipatory approach that accepts such experiences as very real and meaningful- if sometimes difficult to live with, and that seeks to share ways we can learn to live with such difficult experiences and support and connect with each other.
  • This approach also includes many other similar experiences that can be hard to live with and harder to talk about and make sense of.

When we learn to put aside our fear of both ourselves and each other we generate possibilities, to create new roles, to connect with each other, and to find richer experiences of being human and co-create a world that’s easier to live in for all of us.







About recoverynetwork:Toronto

We believe people can and do recover from "mental illness" - because we are living it. We believe in the power of supporting each other: learning from and with each other. You are welcome to join us..
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