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A discursive approach to narrative accounts of hearing voices and recovery

Goldsmith, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-6934-1925 (2012). A discursive approach to narrative accounts of hearing voices and recovery. Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches, 4(3), pp. 235-245. doi: 10.1080/17522439.2011.590599


Substantive objective: To research the range of discursive constructions ‘recovered’ voice hearers employ to describe hearing voices and the implications for positioning and subjectivity (what can be thought and felt) using each construction.

Methodological objective and method: To explore a ‘sympathetic’ application of Foucauldian discourse analysis, adapting Willig’s (2008) method, analysing two published accounts.

Results and conclusions: Heterogeneous discursive constructions for talking about hearing voices were identified, including: ‘many-’selves’’, ‘taking-the-lead-in-your-own-recovery’, ‘voices-as-an-’imagined-world’’ and ‘voices-as-a-coping-strategy-for-dealing-with-trauma’. The discourse of the biomedical model was not prominent, suggesting alternate discursive constructions may create subjects with a greater capacity for ‘living with voices’ and create a subjectivity from which vantage point the experience holds meaning and value and can be integrated into life experiences. This research may have useful clinical applications for mental health services aiming to collaboratively explore service users’ ways of understanding hearing voices.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychosis: Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches on 4 August 2011, available at:
Publisher Keywords: discourse analysis, service user perspectives, recovery
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
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