At Sussex Partnership, we are always looking for new ways to treat anyone who comes to us more effectively and comfortably. To help ensure this, we constantly look at ways to improve our care and understand the ever-changing mental health landscape. Wherever it's holding focus groups or conducting research studies, we want to ensure we are at the forefront of care. Our latest research looks into how we issue interventions for our psychosis patients who are distressed by hearing voices as part of the 'Feeling Heard' study.
'Voice hearing' generally means hearing someone or something talking from an unknown source. Voices can appear to originate inside or outside the head or body. Sometimes the voices go away quickly, while others stay around for several minutes or longer. Some are loud, and others are quiet. It may not be possible to make voices go away for everyone, but there are lots of ways to try and live well while they are still around. In the past, we have used Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help our users. However, the therapy has only provided a small amount of improvement, with limited access to service users due to a lack of resources and staff trained to deliver the care needed.
The 'Feeling Heard' study aims to increase access to effective psychological interventions for psychosis patients distressed by hearing voices. Throughout the study, we plan to explore the feasibility and acceptability of offering choices within a pathway of brief and targeted interventions delivered by a wider workforce of therapists.
So, what does the study involve? Participants will have a baseline assessment and a pathway of interventions offered over a maximum of 20 sessions with monthly reviews. During this time, participants will help us learn if CBT interventions for distressing voices are more beneficial when delivered consecutively. This will help our services make decisions about the interventions we should provide for people who hear distressing voices. We know that talking about voice hearing experiences can be helpful but can also feel difficult or distressing. This is why the therapists you will see will be trained in helping people with distressing voices and will help you to cope with any temporary increases in distress, should this occur.
The study is open to adults over 18 years with a diagnosis of psychosis and experiencing voice hearing. To find out more click here