Research and Studies

Research has been and remains a central part of the international hearing voices movement. Many well-known scientists are part of the movement. 

The movement does also consider it to be one of its tasks to contribute to further develop helpful and relevant research methods. For example, sharing one's own recovery story, a common practice within the Hearing Voices and Recovery Movement has become accepted and established as a relevant and authoritative source of evidence within user-orientated recocvery research.

Studies of the efc Institute

Even though by now there are many recovery stories in relation to efc (Living with Voices. Romme et al., 2009), tradititional efficacy studies are somewhat limited. However, in order to further evaluate the efficacy of efc with traditional research methods, a randomised controlled pilot study was recently conducted by Joachim Schnackenberg in collaboration with different psychiatric organisations and under the supervision of the University of the West of Scotland, as well as the University of Applied Sciences, Hanover. 

The pupblication of the study showed efc as a safe and potentially helpful intervention in the reduction of voices related distress. Since the completion of this study Joachim Schnackenberg has also been part of an additional research pilot research project in England (a case series which included voice dialogue). He was part of the training team. He also functioned as a consultant in the research team and as the main supervisor for the interventionists on the project (study has not been published yet). He is currently also active as a consultant regarding a potential additional research project about the efc intervention in Switzerland. 

The efc Institute is always looking for additional research partners. Do please contact us at if you are interested in a collaborative research process. 


Articles, chapter and book by Joachim Schnackenberg and Senait Debesay

In the following you can find a selection of publications.

1. Stimmenhören - ein Phänomen emanzipiert sich (Hearing voices - on the emancipation of a phenomenon) (Schnackenberg, Romme und Escher, 2008, pp. 4 - 7, in Kerbe - Forum für Sozialpsychiatrie) (Article in German).

2. Stimmenhören verstehen. Erfahrungsfokussierte Beratung mit Stimmenhörern  (Making sense of voices. Experience Focussed Counselling with voice hearers) Schnackenberg, 2008, Seiten 13 - 15, in Psychosoziale Umschau). (Article in German)

3. The need for Experience Focussed Counselling (EFC) with voice hearers in training and practice: a review of the literature. (Schnackenberg and Martin, 2013, in Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing)

4. The need to refocus mental health service provision to endorse recovery and resilience to achieve better mental health outcomes. (Schnackenberg and Bomke, 2015, in Adjacent). 

5. Auf Stimmen hören. Erfahrungsfokussierte Beratung als Ausweg aus psychiatrischer Bedeutungslosigkeit (Listening to voices. Experience Focussed Counselling as a way out of psychiatric meaninglessness). (Schnackenberg, 2016) In: "Stimme Stimmen Stimmungen" (Voice voices moods) (Loch-Falge, J., Heinze, M. & Offe, S., eds.), p. 52 - 67. Berlin: Parados Verlag.

6. A randomized controlled pilot study of Experience Focused Counselling with voice hearers. (Schnackenberg, Fleming and Martin, 2016, in Psychosis. Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches. Online publications: 5 July 2016). 

7. Stimmenhören und Recovery. Erfahrungsfokussierte Beratung in der Praxis. (Hearing voices and recovery. Experience Focussed Counselling in practice). (Schnackenberg and Burr, likely publication in Spring 2017 (contains a chapter on hearing voices in children and young people by Senait Debesay).


You can find additional literature and references on the website of Intervoice