Investigating the Lived Experience of Recovery in People Who Hear Voices

Adèle De Jager*, Paul Rhodes, Vanessa Beavan, Douglas Holmes, Kathryn McCabe, Neil Thomas, Simon McCarthy-Jones, Debra Lampshire, Mark Hayward

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)
    76 Downloads (Pure)


    Although there is evidence of both clinical and personal recovery from distressing voices, the process of recovery over time is unclear. Narrative inquiry was used to investigate 11 voice-hearers' lived experience of recovery. After a period of despair/exhaustion, two recovery typologies emerged: (a) turning toward/empowerment, which involved developing a normalized account of voices, building voice-specific skills, integration of voices into daily life, and a transformation of identity, and (b) turning away/protective hibernation, which involved harnessing all available resources to survive the experience, with the importance of medication in recovery being emphasized. Results indicated the importance of services being sensitive and responsive to a person's recovery style at any given time and their readiness for change. Coming to hold a normalized account of voice-hearing and the self and witnessing of preferred narratives by others were essential in the more robust turning toward recovery typology.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1409-1423
    Number of pages15
    JournalQualitative Health Research
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • illness and disease, experiences
    • interviews, semistructured
    • mental health and illness
    • narrative inquiry
    • psychology
    • qualitative
    • recovery
    • schizophrenia
    • stories / storytelling


    Dive into the research topics of 'Investigating the Lived Experience of Recovery in People Who Hear Voices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this