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A qualitative investigation into non-clinical voice hearing: what factors may protect against distress?

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Mental Health, Religion and Culture
Issue number4
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)373-388
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A total of six individuals who identified themselves as “mediums” (people who perceive themselves as able to “communicate” with “spirit” or the deceased) and who reported hearing the voice of spirit (or “Clairaudience”) as a routine part of their work as mediums were interviewed about their experiences using a semi-structured interview format. Interview transcripts were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. The resulting three themes suggest that the experience of “Clairaudience” is broadly akin to the “voice hearing” experience. Participants’ explanations of these experiences in terms of “communicating with spirit” appeared to reduce anxiety and distress, added meaning and purpose to their lives and conferred ways to “discipline” or “control” their experiences to avoid intrusiveness, being overwhelmed or to manage negative experiences. The implications for clinical treatment of distressing voice hearing are considered in terms of existing literature around voice hearing.