Keywords: Hearing Voices Movement; Self-Help; New Psychiatric Care; De-Medicalisation of Otherness; Resistance Practices.
The essay proposes to reconstruct the history of the International Movement of Voices' Hearers. People who hear voices in their head, without anyone speaking, are commonly labelled as schizophrenic. The Hearing Voices Movement strongly contrasts this definition of otherness as pathology and offers a different way of thinking about voices and living with them. The essay describes the history of the movement, starting by its origins in the Netherlands: the experience of Patsy Hage, a 30 years old patient, was the beginning of the International Movement of Voices' Hearers, a network of self-help groups spread all around the world. The authors analyse the counter-discourse proper of the Hearing Voices Movement, by identifying four dialectical moves: the focalisation only in the voices experience; the restitution of the experience of voice to the normality; the meaning making of this experience; the valorisation of this special otherness. The essay closes with a map of the voices hearers groups in Italy.