Indexed on: 09 Nov '16Published on: 01 Nov '16Published in: BJPsych Advances
Auditory hallucinations (voices) are the most common symptom in schizophrenia, occurring in 70% of those with the diagnosis. A proportion respond to antipsychotic medication, but despite adequate concordance with prescribed medication, voices may still remain. Voice hearers often inadvertently activate coping strategies that maintain the symptoms and linked distress. Assessment can identify ineffective strategies. Effective strategies can then be initiated, starting with distraction to reduce distress in the short term and leading to focusing approaches that give an improved understanding of voice maintenance. This article describes how to recognise voice hearers’ ineffective coping strategies and how to teach effective approaches that are a crucial catalyst in the recovery process.