Hearing voices (also referred to as ‘auditory verbal hallucinations’) need not be associated with problems. However, for a number of people, they are. Problems are particularly likely to arise if the voices are frequent, say negative things, and if the person has no control over them.
Different people want differ ways to cope with their voices, as our research has previously found. For some, medication may be the solution. For others, approaches such as cognitive behavioural therapy or the Hearing Voices Movement’s Maastricht Interview may provide answers and peace.
Another potential way of coping is neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback works by showing people their brain activity in real-time, and then training them to manipulate this. It allows you to control your own brain.
I have just received some funding from the US-based Brain & Behaviour Research Foundation to test whether EEG-based neurofeedback can help people distressed by voice-hearing. My thanks go to them and to their donors for making this research possible.
The trial will be done in collaboration with Dr Michael Keane at the Dublin-based neurofeedback clinic, Actualise.
Work will start towards the end of 2017, when I will be looking to recruit a post-doc to work on this trial with me.
Hopefully this approach will prove effective and give people who are distressed by their voices another therapeutic option to choose from.