HV Workshop | ACCEPTING VOICES Part 1 | JUN 2023

What if everything you think you know about hearing voices is wrong?

Or if not wrong, then it at least limits your ability to:

understanding a person’s struggle with experiences like difficult-to-hear voices and others that get called “psychosis” and dismissed as “not real” ? 

support them in navigating their struggle and finding ways they might heal?

bring compassion into your relationships with your fellow humans, especially those who do hear voices.

Who this workshop is designed for…


If you are in a leadership position and seeking ways to develop capacity at individual, team and organization level to support clients in ways that fully honours:

  • Truly understanding trauma and the many ways it can manifest, and in ways that are fully congruent with other approaches like harm reduction and health promotion.
  • Centring our interconnectedness and shared humanity; and drawing on them as resource and source of power and practical action for bringing change that supports community and healing.


If you work in health or social services, and especially supporting those who have been pushed out to the margins of society, then you likely…

  • Meet many people who live with difficult-to-hear-voices are told what they experience is “not real” and many of those who struggle.
  • Know too how that can leave you feeling uncomfortable, confused, lost, or powerless.

This workshop is designed for you.

Supporters and carers.

If you support a loved one who struggles, then you likely do too: to understand the nature of their pain and ways you might best support them and support healing.

This workshop is for you too and you are welcome to join us.

This workshop will enable you to…

  • Offer yourself as a one-person safe space to those who struggle with painful experiences that get categorize and labelled as ‘psychosis” and dismissed as “not real”.
  • Understand what hearing voices can feels like to those who experience them, those around them.
  • Understand how struggle people experience with difficult to hear voices relate with their struggle sin life.
  • Open options for support other than those rooted in fear and control and – put them into practice in supportive environments that promote connection and healing.
  • Free yourself from downloading thoughts, language, and acts of stigmatization used against those who hear voices that you don’t hear.
  • Join with a community of practice that is informed by the International Hearing Voices Movement and individuals who experience voices.

Workshop: Accepting Voices Part 1 Introduction


  • Tue 13th JUNE 2023
  • 9:30am to 5:00pm


  • This is a full day workshop
  • We take an hour interval for lunch.


We’ll have coffee / tea / water available

  • Lunch is not provided.
    We do take 1 hr for lunch.


Church of The Holy Trinity
Trinity Square

[East Side of Eaton Centre]


  • Worker / Full $250
  • Family Member / Carer $150
  • Concessions From $100

Full workshop description follows below the registration box.


Register NOW online- via Eventbrite using the ticketing box below.


More About This Workshop

This introductory and foundational workshop will open doors of new understanding, in non-diagnostic, non-categorizing ways, of a range of human experiences that get called names like “psychosis”and dismissed as “not real”, when at least to the to the person experiencing them, they are very real indeed.

This workshop is designed especially for those who work in health and social services but is open to all who want to learn how they can better support a person who struggles.

Many who find themselves struggling to support loved ones who struggle and find themselves bewildered and frustrated by the help offered by services have also attended and found it useful for them. Indeed, we find it creates a richer experience when we can come together and learn with and from each other.

The world, society, and culture that we have created for ourselves and each other is not fit for humans. Join in co-creating one that is.

What Participants Have Said About This Workshop

“You gave me a whole new way of thinking about voices.”

“I’m not quite sure what I learned but I feel like my whole Universe has been tilted.”

“Eye opening, Stunned”

“Best workshop I ever attended”

“I learned more from one day with you and Dave than in seven years of training to be a psychologist”

Who needs to attend this workshop?

Really, whether you need to attend is your choice, the above is what some who’ve attended said, here’s another.

“Everyone working in mental health. Scratch that: EVERYONE !!!”

This workshop offers a beginning, an introduction to a non-diagnostic, non-medical, human experience perspective understanding of the kinds of experiences – like difficult-to-hear voices- that are often categorized as “psychosis”.

A key part is making connections between pain, trauma psychosis powerlessness and disconnectedness we can experience when we find ourselves feared and discarded by society.

Q. Do you…?

  • Work with people who hear voices and who struggle with their experience of that?
  • Have someone in your life who hears voices and struggles with difficult experiences that get called “psychosis
  • Feel limited in your ability to understand and support them?
  • Feel frustrated at how the story that voices must mean illness limits us – not only the lives of people who hear voices, but all of us?
  • Feel weary of the notion that we must fear ourselves and fear each other?
  • Want to understand connections between adverse events, trauma , injury woundedness, pain and difficult-to-hear voices.
  • Want to minimize the additional trauma generated by how services are typically designed and operated when working to support those who face being rendered powerlessness and disconnected from society?
  • Feel ready to learn more, and find you keep asking yourself “what else can I do?”.
  • Want to know more about how you can be part of creating the future, and join in with enacting a world that understands and is better able to offer real support?

Q. Are Ready to “tilt your universe”?

If so, then this workshop might help you tilt your universe and emancipate yourself with very simple and very human ways to understand and begin to act to support a person who struggles with difficult experiences that get called names like “psychosis”.

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.

Note: If you’re looking for a workshop on how to diagnose and categorize your friends, family and colleagues then please know that this workshop really is not that workshop.

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

How this workshop fits with others we offer…

This Workshop is part of a structured and modular approach to learning ways of supporting people who struggle.

As a first step that is designed to offer a basic grounding but also foundation for further, deeper learning and practice in supporting people who struggle with experiences like difficult-to-hear voices that get called “psychosis”.

Participation in this workshop is step towards to other more advanced and learning opportunities, around Hearing Voices approach (sometimes called Maastricht Approach) to living with and supporting those who live with experiences that, though remarkably common, get dismissed as not real, mystified, made taboo and dismissed as “not real”.

  • Accepting Voices Part 2 – Supporting a Person Who Struggle
  • Starting and Sustaining Hearing Voices Groups In Your Community
  • Carnival des Voix [running your own]
  • Working with Maastricht Interview
  • Facilitating Voice Dialogue

What you can expect

This workshop is a whole day – and a full one, too.

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 – we call it “The Wormhole”- a heuristic that you can use to held you be more open to your own experiences draw from that 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…

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.
  • Connect yourself with a community of people doing just that.

We believe the hearing voices approach is part of broader human liberatory approaches around the world and is emancipatory for all. As Lilla Watson is credited with put it so wonderfully…

“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

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 called “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 other people know about this workshop by printing, posting, distributing, however you can with your networks…

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 but its over fifty years.

Founder and coordinator of http://www.recoverynet.ca, 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.

  • Dave U

For many years Dave would only say only one word, now he authors articles at http://www.recoverynet.ca and moderates online support groups for voices to talk directly with each other round the world, he codesigned this workshop – in fact there’s a lot of Dave in this workshop – if you come you’ll get to meet him/ them.

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

As Dave points out, voices have stories too.

Dave’s favourite pastime is pretending to be a jelly while swearing a lot.

Next 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 already “ 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 called “psychosis”.

He shares his personal perspective of how being confronted with his own dark side enabled him to relate more simply and authentically 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”

Why we choose to use the term hearing voices, what we mean by it…

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 fear – and yet which are also remarkably common, likely much more common than you think. No everyone uses this language, all kinds of people live with experiences they might call voices, some choose other languages.

Hearing voices does not presuppose neither that a voice can only come from a human body, nor must be heard by more than one person, or more especially must be also heard by someone called a “mental health professional” .

Hearing Voices as Approach also refers to broadly emancipatory ideas and ways of working 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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