Listening to a loved one who hears voices can be the most simple yet powerful act. Acknowledging the emotions the person is experiencing and that the voices are real experiences and not figments of their imagination can be extremely validating.
You can find out more about talking about voices with others this section, of our website and specific suggestions for supporters are available here.
An excerpt from ‘Gail Hornstein on First-Person Narratives of Madness: An interview with Eric Maisel’.
They have confided in you. It’s important that you believe what they tell you.
Be curious and try to get to know the voice(s) like any other ‘real’ person.
Let people talk about their voices at their own pace and don’t try to force the issue.
If the voice-hearer tells you the content of the voices, ask the voice-hearer their opinion about what the voices are saying before you offer yours.
Find out more
Lucy Nichol (2018). Believing me is crucial: How to talk to somebody about hearing voices. Metro. A useful, easy-to-read article about how to respond to someone who’s hearing voices
National MIND also has some tips on how to support some who is hearing voices, which you can access here.