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“Maybe it’s kind of normal to hear voices”: The role of spirituality in making sense of voice hearing

Lewis, Sophie Hannah; Sanderson, Chris; Gupta, Anjula; Klein, Claire


Sophie Hannah Lewis

Chris Sanderson

Claire Klein



First-person accounts of voice hearing are scarce. This research aims to explore the role of spirituality in the sense-making process of hearing voices. Five semistructured interviews explored experiences of spirituality and hearing voices. Qualitative data was analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA). Three superordinate themes were identified: need for connection, values about self and identity, and making sense. The findings suggest a relationship between spirituality and voice hearing, and relate to the need for belongingness and self-identity. Acknowledging the sense making process and engaging in conversations about spirituality are implicated when providing clinical interventions for distressing voice hearing. Future research could explore further the differences between voices associated with spiritual experiences and “psychosis.”

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health
Print ISSN 1934-9637
Electronic ISSN 1934-9645
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-16
APA6 Citation Lewis, S. H., Sanderson, C., Gupta, A., & Klein, C. (in press). “Maybe it’s kind of normal to hear voices”: The role of spirituality in making sense of voice hearing. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, 1-16. doi:10.1080/19349637.2018.1520183
Keywords Applied Psychology; Religious studies; Social Sciences (miscellaneous); Social Psychology
Publisher URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope: http://www.tandfonline....cope&journalCode=wspi20


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