Eleanor Longden started hearing voices in her second semester of university. She sought treatment and was eventually told she had schizophrenia. She was also told that it would be better if she had cancer as the chance of a cure was better. After a “lost decade” of treatment and a realization that she may never lose the voices, but she could treat them as a coping mechanism, she has taken the treatment of other voice hearers in a new direction. Listen for how she achieved this.

Why you should listen:

Despite what traditional medicine may opine, Eleanor Longden isn’t crazy — and neither are many other people who hear voices in their heads. In fact, the psychic phenomenon is a “creative and ingenious survival strategy” that should be seen “not as an abstract symptom of illness to be endured, but as complex, significant, and meaningful experience to be explored,” the British psychology researcher says.

Who is she:

Longden spent many years in the psychiatric system before earning a BSc and an MSc in psychology, the highest classifications ever granted by the University of Leeds, England. Today she is studying for her PhD, and lectures and writes about recovery-oriented approaches to psychosis, dissociation and complex trauma.


  1. Longden’s voices were different than the voice we here as we mentally step through something like a new recipe, because they were in _______ person.
  1. When Longden first went to university, externally she seemed happy, confident, and looking forward to the experience. She tells us that inside she felt ________ .
  1. What act did longden’s voices tell her to do with one of her university lecturers?
  1. What worldwide helping organization for “voice hearers” does Longden belong to?
  1. Carl Rogers indicated that we all have our own solutions to our problems. Does Longden’s talk help to confirm or disconfirm this idea?
  1. As a psychologist what does Elanore’s story tell you that might influence your treatment of future patients.

The Voices In My Head with Eleanor Longden


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