RE: Voices

Bill Ramsay (
Wed, 02 Jul 1997 13:27:19 +0100


At 08:25 AM 7/2/97 +1000, you wrote:

>The credit you gave me for the comments:
>>>but as some of the
>>>cog-behaviourists in the UK are also asking- what of the personal construals/
>>>beliefs about voices, how do they relate to client histories etc and (as you
>>>have been discussing) how do clients construe adherence and recovery??
>>>...Is the client with
>>>no insight one who simply invalidates the world view of the worker? I see
>>>these as serious questions to consider, not to be thrown away as "anti
>>>psychiatry rhetoric".
>really belongs to Lindsay Oades.

Apologies, Lindsay! Reading skilss not fully on stream early in the morning!

>I did refer to the Dutch literature, which did involve a TV show. this is
>how they elicited their 'data', i.e., they invited viewers to write in about
>their experiences (if I rememeber correctly).

I forgot to raise the interesting possiblilities discussed (so I'm told -
can anyone comment?) in:

"The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" by
Julian Jaynes,
(most recent, revised edition by Penguin, 1993).

It's been on my essential reading list, which gets longer and longer, for
ages now ...

>Regarding your comments:
>>But I ramble. Point is, isn't this a fairly clear vindication of the basic
>>idea of constructive alternativism? Reconstrue your voices & thus establish
>>some sort of control over dialogue (and when it happens) much as you would
>>in the office or over the dinner table. ..snip
>I was reading an interesting article on 'command' hallucinations, i.e,
>hallucinations which command a person to perform a certain act such as not
>eat or harm someone. Again, if my memory serves me correctly, voices which
>were construed as positive were more likely to be obeyed than voices which
>were unwanted or perceived as negative.
>In these terms someone who construed their voices as negative and were
>'commanded' to kill might be less likely to act on them than a person who
>construed the voices positively. However, it is probably far more difficult
>for someone to live with and accept voices which are perceived negatively or
>they are unwanted by the person. Finally, while for some people voices are
>construed positively, for others they are a source of great torment.
>An interesting subject worthy of more attention,

Not unrelated, perhaps, to the question of getting persons "under hypnosis"
to commit criminal or irrational acts? The context in whch the voices are
heard (or the context presented "under hypnosis" - see Richard Condon, "The
Manchurian Candidate") must affect the construing thereof. If obeying the
command will invalidate core constructs then it is less likely to be obeyed,
if not, then obedience is more likely?

Peripheral, but entertaining at the time: an elderly friend who had been a
wireless operator/air gunner in the RAF pre-WWII used to wind his wife up by
saying he was getting messages in Morse Code from their (old and rattly)
refrigerator. At least, we think he was winding her up ... How could we
have told?



W. Ramsay,
Dept. of Educational Studies,
University of Strathclyde,
Jordanhill Campus,
G13 1PP,

'phone: +44 (0)141 950 3364 (direct dial-in)
fax: +44 (0)141 950 3367
'fax: +44 (0)141 950 3367