Compassion for Voices: a tale of courage and hope

Historically, the primary aim of psychosis treatment has been to reduce or eliminate psychotic experiences (eg with antipsychotic drugs), which has shaped our broader cultural views of these phenomena as being the undesirable symptoms of a disordered brain. This results in stigmatisation of people with such experiences, which is not only isolating and shaming for them, but can also drive them into an internal battle with their experiences, eg attempting to fight, control or suppress them.

This 5-minute film presents an alternative way of relating to experiences; this goes against the tide of traditional approaches and culturally engrained attitudes. Essentially, it charts the therapeutic progression of a young man, Stuart, from being tormented by his voices, through establishing safeness, to developing the qualities needed to engage with them through compassionate dialogue. For people with psychosis, this may have therapeutic value as a template or metaphor for their own recovery journey.

Compassion for Voices is a Cultural Institute at King’s project in collaboration with the Department of Psychology and animator, Kate Anderson.