The Origins of Voices: Life History and Voices & Lessons for Recovery

Dirk Corstens, Keynote address at The Julian Jaynes Society Conference on Consciousness and Bicameral Studies, Charleston, WV, June 2013.

Abstract: Julian Jaynes’s book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind inspired an emancipatory approach and the emergence of international hearing voices networks and eventually Intervoice, a global emancipatory organization for voice hearers and their allies. From our perspective hearing voices is viewed as a personal but normal experience that people (can) learn to cope with. Voices make sense in the context of the voice hearer and his/her personal history. Understanding this process gives the opportunity to improve the relationship between voices and voice hearer and solve underlying problems. I will describe how we systematically make sense of these voices and support recovery by engaging with the voices. Several examples and a research project will be presented.

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