Meaningful Voices: A Phenomenological Exploration of Auditory Hallucinations in Individuals with Schizophrenia

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Length: 17 minutes

Rochelle Suri, PhD

Published research is limited regarding how auditory hallucinations may be meaningful to individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. This paper is a summary of a study regarding an in-depth exploration of auditory hallucinations as experienced in individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. Employing phenomenology as the research method, the study aims at eliciting rich descriptions from the participants regarding their experiences of finding meaning in their auditory hallucinations. Data collected from detailed interviews with 8 individuals across Europe and the United States revealed that meaning, value, and insight can be gleaned from auditory hallucinations, as experienced in individuals with schizophrenia. Furthermore, all 8 participants asserted that their auditory hallucinations played a significant role when contextualized within their life history and experiences. The results of this study may help clinicians better understand auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia, particularly with regard to clinical treatment, as well as shed light on the phenomena of auditory hallucinations in general. Special emphasis on the Hearing Voices Network is also included as an effective forum for people with schizophrenia to make meaning or make sense of their auditory hallucinations.

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