Wednesday, 5 February 2020


Children & Childhood Seminars - Voice(s) of the child

Brooks Building, Room G.16

Stretching the Continuum of 'Hearing Voices' with Children and Young People

Dr Sarah Parry (Manchester Met) ‘Young Voices Project’

The Young Voices Study was developed in 2017 between Dr Sarah Parry at Manchester Metropolitan University and Dr Filippo Varese at the University of Manchester to advance phenomenological and aetiological insights into young people’s experiences of voice hearing. Since then, the research project has developed a sizable dataset with young people who hear voices and parents/carers, established collaborations across sectors, and developed a range of psychoeducation materials with Voice Collective. In addition to supervising a group of PhD students working with us to explore specific areas that require further investigation in this field, we are currently developing an application for funding to pilot an e-health platform for young people and important adults in their lives through an international collaboration of experts-by-experience, clinicians and researchers.

To account for the many sociocultural narratives that surround voice hearing, we developed a developmentally tailored Foucauldian narrative analytic approach to data analysis. Following the first two years of the study, we have illustrated that voice hearing is a heterogeneous and often complex relational experience for young people, with structural inequalities, relational traumas, transitional stress and social isolation attributed causes of voice hearing. Developing personal meaning making around multisensory experiences appears to reduce symptom-related distress through contextualising the origin of the voices/visions in past experiences, without attribution to mental illness. We have begun to identify recommendations for assessment, formulation and relational interventions that recognise the potential impact of the voice-child-other relationship upon psychosocial functioning and wellbeing. I will present a summary of our findings and learnings to date, with a view to future plans and developments in this field.

Link for the teachers/schools animation researchers made.

Please book your place on Eventbrite

Sarah Parry is a HCPC registered Clinical Psychologist and works with children and young people in private practice and in association with a range of trauma-informed children’s services. At Manchester Metropolitan, Sarah is a Practice Fellow in Clinical Psychology and Programme Lead for the Psychological Wellbeing Training Pathway, in addition to supervising seven PhD students. Sarah’s research focusses predominantly on dissociative experiences following trauma, multisensory coping strategies of children and young people, developing procedures to support practitioners working with children who have experienced abuse and practitioner wellbeing. Sarah's work has been published in a range of peer reviewed journals, including the Journal of Children’s Services, the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse and the Journal of Trauma and Dissociation. Book publications: Effective Self-Care and Resilience in Clinical Practice, ISBN: 9781785920707; The Handbook of Brief Therapies, ISBN: 9781526436429

Discussant: Michael Gallagher