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Can't You Hear Them?

Can't You Hear Them?

The Science and Significance of Hearing Voices

Simon McCarthy-Jones

Quick Overview

What's wrong with you?' People who hear voices will often hear this alienating question, and are treated ineffectively with anti-psychotic drugs. Recounting the stories of voice-hearers, this book suggests that we should instead ask 'What happened to you?, and offers an alternative approach to auditory hallucinations.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2017, 8.98in x 5.98in / 228mm x 152mm, 376pp
ISBN: 9781785922565
2017, ePUB, 392pp
ISBN: 978-1-78450-541-7
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The experience of 'hearing voices', once associated with lofty prophetic communications, has fallen low. Today, the experience is typically portrayed as an unambiguous harbinger of madness caused by a broken brain, an unbalanced mind, biology gone wild. Yet an alternative account, forged predominantly by people who hear voices themselves, argues that hearing voices is an understandable response to traumatic life-events. There is an urgent need to overcome the tensions between these two ways of understanding 'voice hearing'.

Simon McCarthy-Jones considers neuroscience, genetics, religion, history, politics and not least the experiences of many voice hearers themselves. This enables him to challenge established and seemingly contradictory understandings and to create a joined-up explanation of voice hearing that is based on evidence rather than ideology.


'An engaging enquiry into the psychology and neuroscience of voice hearing that explores hallucinated voices in all their fascinating forms.'
- Vaughan Bell, University College London, UK

'A remarkable book about voice hearing, which provides an accessible account of the science, but does not lose track of the meaning of the experience. It is compassionate, controversial and compelling!'
- Chris Cook, Professor of Spirituality, Theology & Health at Durham University, UK

'With rigorous science, penetrating analyses, colourful and enjoyable prose, and an astonishing breadth of knowledge - Simon McCarthy-Jones has delivered a book that will undeniably be appreciated by many.'
- Frank Larøi, University of Bergen, Norway and University of Liège, Belgium

'On finishing this book my initial instinct was to re-read it in order to appreciate its insights for a second time. Can't You Hear Them? is not only a work of impressive scholarship but a compelling, beautifully-written story of human experience and endeavour.'
- Dr Eleanor Longden, Psychosis Research Unit, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, UK

'A brilliant and thoughtful travel into the complex experience of hearing voices. Superbly written, with intelligence, but also a delightful sense of humour, this book will become an indispensable addition to the bookshelves of clinicians, scientists and people who hear voices.'
- Renaud Jardri, MD, PhD, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Lille, France

'Clinicians should recommend this volume to their patients, scientists should recommend it to their students, and voice hearers should recommend it to others in the voice hearing community. I cannot think of a better accolade than to say few would fail to benefit from reading this volume, irrespective of whether the audience is seeking answers to the experiences one is having or seeking guidance on the underlying mechanisms of voice hearing per se.'

'This is a little gem of a book, and a must-have for anyone working with, living with, or curious about voices.'
- Vanessa Beavan


By (author): Simon McCarthy-Jones