How it works

What happens at the initial assessment? 

You will meet for an initial assessment within six weeks of referral to the Voices Clinic. The assessment will be conducted by one of our clinic assistants. They will discuss your voice hearing experience with you to find out whether the clinic is right for you. They will also help you to complete a few questionnaires about your experiences. If the clinic is right for you, one of the clinic assistants will contact you to arrange a course of therapy. If the clinic is not right for you at the present time, you will continue to receive your usual care within the Assessment and Treatment Service. 

Level 1 therapy 


You will meet with a therapist for one hour each week over the course of four weeks. The therapy will help you to identify and use your coping strategies as consistently as possible. 

At the end of the four weeks you will meet again with a Voices Clinic assistant to carry out the next assessment. They will discuss with you how things have gone and whether you need to carry on with therapy. If you are still distressed by your voices you will be offered Level 2 therapy. 

Level 2 therapy 

At this stage you will be offered one of the following therapies, dependent upon your particular  Assessment and Treatment Service and some practical consideratons:

Group mindfulness-based therapy

12 sessions of group therapy to explore and challenge the patient’s beliefs about themselves and the voices they hear, using cognitive behaviour therapy with a mindfulness-based approach. 

Individual relating therapy

Eight sessions of individual therapy that teach the skills of assertiveness and how to stand up for oneself within difficult relationships, both with voices and other people.

Guided Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for voices

Four to eight sessions of individual therapy that helps patients to re-evaluate the beliefs they have about themselves and their voices. This therapy is linked to the self-help book using CBT techniques, 'Overcoming Distressing Voices' (Mark Hayward, Clara Strauss and David Kingdon).

Who works in the clinic? 

The clinic is was established by Mark Hayward and Clara Strauss – experienced therapists who work in the Research and Development Department at Sussex Partnership. Mark supervises the delivery of therapy, which is provided by therapists who work in the Assessment and Treatment Services. 

Is the clinic suitable for me? 


Sussex Voices Clinic is available to all Assessment and Treatment Services patients that are distressed by their voice hearing experiences, irrespective of their diagnosis.