Our Mission

The efc Institute is strongly associated with the international Hearing Voices Movement. The movement with its networks, self-help groups and initiatives enables the kind of exchange which for many means they feel better able to cope in their lives. It is important to note that the hearing voices understanding of the efc approach can help people with visions, difficult convictions, physically unexplained, or spirit and similar experiences, too. 

In addition, the efc Institute has accepted the challenge to establish the Experience Focussed Counselling approach within psychiatric and psychosocial support services. 

The Hearing Voices Movement, represented internationally through Intervoice, has formulated a special need for training to complement medication focussed psychiatric and psychosocial support. 

The efc approach is firmly embedded in recovery principles and seeks to contribute to significantly changing the life perspectives of people diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders, which are often very limited. 

In this process the approach does also make a contribution to the discussions on validity and reliability of these diagnoses. 

Strong long-term side-effects in traditionally primarily medication orientated interventions do make alternative ways of working with voices particularly valuable and interesting for voice hearers and associated persons. In this way an independent and normal life becomes possible again for many voice hearers. 

The book Living with voices, Romme et al 2009, introduces some of the experiences in the applicatio nof this approach. In this book 50 voice hearers describe how a making sense approach like efc has helped them to recover, that is, to "live one's own life again and not the life of the voices." (Coleman in Making Sense of Voices, Romme and Escher, 2000).