Research Output
A randomised controlled pilot study of Experience Focused Counselling with voice hearers
  Background: There is a need for improved psychosocial interventions for distressed voice hearers.
Aims: To evaluate a novel approach to hearing voices: Experience Focused Counselling (EFC) aka Making Sense of Voices.
Study design and methods: Twelve voice hearers were randomly assigned to a 44-week EFC or Treatment As Usual intervention as part of a pilot study design.
Results: At the end of intervention, EFC showed clinically large treatment effect improvements on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale – Expanded Version psychotic symptoms (Cohen’s d=1.6) and overall psychopathology domains (d=1.3), and the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales voices (d=1) and delusions (aka nonshared reality) (d=1) scales. EFC voice hearers also felt more able to do first trauma disclosures (n=4) than TAU group voice hearer (n=1).
Discussion: EFC improvements may have been related to the focus on reducing voices-related distress. EFC holds some promise as a safe and effective intervention for voice hearers, with possible improvements in general psychopathology, psychosis, voices and non-shared reality (aka delusions)-related distress. This will need replicating in more powerful studies.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    05 July 2016

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  • Publisher

    Informa UK Limited

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  • Cross Ref:


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  • Library of Congress:

    RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    615 Pharmacology and therapeutics


Schnackenberg, J., Fleming, M., & Martin, C. R. (2017). A randomised controlled pilot study of Experience Focused Counselling with voice hearers. Psychosis, 9(1), 1-13.



Experience focussed counselling, hearing voices, making sense of voices, psychosis, randomised controlled trial, schizophrenia

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