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: "A randomised controlled pilot study of Experience Focussed Counselling with voice hearers." 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 project, a randomised case series (Making Sense of Voices: a case series) in England (which included a focus on talking with voices). 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. He is currently also active as a consultant in an additional research project about the efc intervention in Switzerland and Germany. 

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


Articles, chapter and book by Joachim Schnackenberg, Senait Debesay and others

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).

8. Experience Focussed Counselling with Voice Hearers: Towards A Trans-diagnostic Key to Understanding Past and Current Distress - A Thematic Enquiry. (Schnackenberg, Fleming, Walker, Martin, 2018, Community Mental Health Journal. Onlineveröffentlichung: 1. Mai 2018). Onlineleseversion

9. Experience Focussed Counselling with Voice Hearers as a Trauma-sensitive Approach. Results of a Qualitative Thematic Enquiry. (Schnackenberg, Fleming, Martin, 2018, Community Mental Health Journal. Onlineleseversion

10. Making Sense of Voices: a case series. Psychosis. Psychological, Social and Integrative Approaches. (Steel, Schnackenberg, Perry, Longden, Greenfield, Corstens, 2019, Onlineveröffentlichung: 17. Januar 2019. Onlineleseversion

11. Stimmenhören und Recovery: erfahrungsfokussierte Beratung mit Stimmenhörenden - ein Aufruf zu neuen und mutigen Beziehungen. (Hearing voices and recovery: experience focussed counselling with voice hearers - a call to new and courageous relationships. (Schnackenberg, Schumacher, Debesay, 2019, Psychiatrische Pflege Heute, 25(3): 139 - 146.

12. Stimmenhören verstehen als Schlüssel zum Recovery in der erfahrungsfokussierten Beratung. (Making sense of voices as a key to recover in Experience Focused Counselilng). (Schnackenberg, Debesay, Feldmann, 2020, Kerbe - Forum für soziale Psychiatrie, 01, 17 - 18. Kerbe_2020_1.pdf

13. The Practical Handbook of Hearing Voices: Therapeutic and Creative Approaches (Parker, Schnackenberg, Hopfenbeck (Hrsg.) (2021), Monmouth: PCCS Books

14. Stimmenhören. (Hearing Voices) (Schnackenberg, Debesay, Burr, 2022), in Lehrbuch Psychiatrische Pflege, 4. Auflage (Sauter, Needham, Abderhalden, Wolff (Hrsg.)), Hogrefe Verlag

15. Nicht geteilte Realität. (Non-shared reality) (Schnackenberg, Debesay, Iusco, Feldmann, Burr, 2022), in Lehrbuch Psychiatrische Pflege, 4. Auflage (Sauter, Needham, Abderhalden, Wolff (Hrsg.)), Hogrefe Verlag

16. Der Blick über den Graben: das Vereinigte Königreich und die Psychiatrie (The look across the channel: the United Kingdom and psychiatry) (Schnackenberg, 2022, Sozialpsychiatrische Informationen, Schnackenberg, J.: Der Blick über den Graben: das Vereinigte Königreich und die Psychiatrie – Einzelartikel aus SI 2/2022 - Psychiatrie Verlag (

17. Hearing Voices. (Schnackenberg, 2022), in Sage Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy (Winter, Hanley (eds.)

18. Talk-based approaches to support people who are distressed by their experience of hearing voices: A scoping review (Burr, Schnackenberg, Weidner, 2022) - Frontiers in Psychiatry, Online publication: 10. October 2022,

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