Hearing Distressing Voices Simulation Training

Developing Empathy for the Lived Experience of Psychiatric Disability: A Simulation of Hearing Distressing Voices is a 3-hour workshop developed by Pat Deegan, Ph.D., where participants listen to a recorded lecture by Dr. Deegan about the experience of hearing voices, and then listen to a specially designed audiotape that simulates the experience of hearing voices that are distressing. While listening to the voices, participants undertake a series of mock tasks/activities including cognitive testing, social interaction in a community setting, a psychiatric emergency room interview and day treatment activities group. Through the simulation experience participants increase their understanding of the lived-experience of psychiatric disability and increase empathy for those who struggle with it, and the impact their involvement/intervention can have on a voice-hearing person. Dr. Deegan reviews research literature on voice hearing, a number of coping strategies found helpful for voice-hearers and provides guidance for working with people who hear distressing voices.


Learning Objectives

  • To learn the types and varieties of voice hearing experiences.
  • To increase empathy and understanding of the experience of hearing distressing voices.
  • To learn more effective ways of helping people who hear distressing voices.

Who Benefits

The training has been developed and adapted for a wide range of mental health professionals, family members, community-based first responders, police officers, District Attorneys and Judges.


During the Fall and Spring semesters at York College, NAMI York Adams presents this training to the nursing students and Psychology students.