Urb Entreaquas B 19
Camino del Faro 5 Alicante
What does Intervoice do?
The alternative perspective held by Intervoice is based on epidemiological research, which shows that voice hearing is apparent in 4% of the normal population. We hold that hearing voices is a human variation and not the symptom of an illness in itself and that it is the way of coping with the voices that might make people ill. This is very important for all people concerned, voice hearers, therapists and researchers, to meet and exchange information. To see that voice hearers do recover, to discuss the barriers they met and the care they need to recover.
Intervoice organises an annual meeting for all participating countries. At this moment there are participants from England Scotland, Wales, Holland, Finland, Austria, Italia, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Palestine, Spain, France, Belgium, Japan, New Zealand, America and Greece.
Intervoice maintains a website a (www.intervoiceonline.com) and a newsletter. It has also created an online forum for people to chat and get information.
The last Intervoice meeting was held in November 3-4 in Centre Parcs Sherwood Forest near Nottinghem East Anglia England.
In 2011 The Italian network lead by Marcello Macario will organize the Intervoice Meeting.
The History of Intervoice
At an International hearing voices network conference in Maastricht in 1996 , Prof. Marius Romme founded the organisation Intervoice. The network had spread over many countries so it became time to structure a possibility for international contacts and exchange of experiences.
The organisation is for voice hearers, family members, therapists and researchers. To summarise: for everybody who is interested in voice hearing. The name Intervoice has been composed from the words International Network for Training, Education and Research in VOICE hearing. This name was Ron Coleman’s idea.
Intervoice was founded together with people who were involved, in Holland as well as abroad. The alternative attitude towards hearing voices, developed in Maastricht, seemed to spread around. Hearing voices networks and groups of voice hearers were forming in many countries. Invitations for presentations and training came from England, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal, Italia, Japan, and America. Sometime later Ron Coleman went to Australia and successfully introduced the new approach for hearing voices which resulted in many groups being set up in Australia. He also introduced the approach successfully in Bethlehem in Palestine. More recently Peter Bullimore introduced the approach in Greece, which also was successful.
We invited people from these countries to participate in Intervoice.
People who participated from the very first were: from the UK Ron Coleman, Paul Baker, July Downs, Terence McLaughlin. Mike Smith and Liz Ellis. From Germany Hannelore Klafski and Monika Hoffman. From Austria Chuck Schneider, Marlene Weiterschein and Michaela Amering. From Holland Dirk Corstens and Jeanette Woolthuis. From Italy Pino Pini and from Sweden Maths Jesperson, Lis Bodil Karlsson and Alain Topor.
From the beginning Intervoice created the space to meet each other. In the first twelve years this happened about every other year, each time in a different country. The host country paid for lodging for 2 participants per country. Meetings were organised several times in Maastricht - Holland, in Gloucester and Manchester in the UK, in Dundee and Glasgow in Scotland, in Berlin - Germany, in Florence - Italy, in Copenhagen - Denmark, and in Perth - Australia. In recent years as more people started to participate in the meetings, they became an annual event. It will however become too expensive to pay for 2 participants. The participants at the intervoice meeting in Copenhagen felt the need to structure the organisation and to apply for funding: to professionalize it (2007). As the UK is the country with the most active participants and also the country where funding is easier, it was decided that INTERVOICE should become an English based organisation. Under the English law this was only possible as a company. This company was founded in 2008 with Marius Romme and Sandra Escher as directors. We are now in the process of becoming a charity.
A new jacket
Last year at the Intervoice meeting in Valkenburg - Holland 120 voices hearers, family members and professionals participated. To formalise Intervoice a board was chosen and Marius resigned. The new chair is Dirk Corstens (Holland), the secretary Jorn Erickson (Denmark), the treasurer Liz Ellis (UK), other members are Ron Coleman (UK), Jacqui Dillon (UK), Ami Rohnitz (SW) and Sandra Escher (Holland). Paul Baker who had worked on the Intervoice website and the newsletter for many years for free got the paid job as secretary of Intervoice, thanks to the generous grants of Hywel Davis who supports the website financially. Previously Intervoice was based in Belgium, in Marius's home town but has now moved to the UK. Liz Ellis was so kind to make the arrangements for this by establishing a UK bank account and a formal company address. At the first board meeting it was decided that there should be a member’s fee. Of 10 euros for voice hearers, 25 euros for professionals and 50 euros for organisations.