Experience Focussed Counselling (efc)

Experience Focussed Counselling (efc) constitutes a psychosocial counselling approach developed by Professor Dr. Marius Romme and Dr. Sandra Escher at the University of Maastricht, Netherlands, and whih was first published in book form in 1993 (Romme & Escher - Accepting Voices). 

Psychiatrist Romme and his colleague Escher did develop their counselling approach on the basis of many years of therapeutic and counselling practice, as well as on the basis of new insights from seven scientific studies with about 350 voice hearer (Romme & Escher - Accepting Voices). In their studies Prof Romme and Dr Escher had questioned voice hearers who were mentally well and voice hearers who were experiencing hearing voices as negative and distressing. 

Central insights of active voice hearers further helped to develop the efc counselling approach. Some of the internationally well known examples in this context are Ron Coleman, Jacqui Dillon, Peter Bullimore, Eleanor Longden, Antje Wilfer and Suzanne Engelen. 

It was particularly noticeable in this context how relieving it was for voice hearers to be able to share openly about their voices and to not consider them as a symptom of pathology, but as a human characteristic, and to integrate them in life. 

It is important to note in this context that efc does not constitute a therapeutic but rather an accompanying or counselling approach. Therapeutic effects do of course develop nonetheless. 

It was particularly the extraordinarily positive feedback and experience of voice-hearers worldwide with this recovery-focussed way of working, which prompted Prof. Romme and Dr. Escher to work out Experience Focussed Counselling as part of a workshop-based training concept. 

The professional guideline for this approach was first published in Dutch in 1999, in English in 2000, and in German in 2008. It is widely known as "Making Sense of Voices".