How it works



Who are we and what do we do?

Sussex Voices Clinic aims to improve understandings of voice-hearing experiences and enhance the effectiveness of therapy. It crosses diagnostic and service boundaries to improve access to innovative evidence-based therapies for patients distressed by hearing voices.

The clinic is available to patients within some of the clinical services offered by Sussex Partnership Trust: four Assessment & Treatment Services (Adur, Arun & Worthing; Eastbourne;  Western and High Weald, Lewes & Havens) and a Children & Young People Service (East Sussex). All patients who come to the clinic are offered assessment and access to brief forms of psychological therapy informed by the evidence-base and the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). 

Patients receiving therapy will continue to receive their usual care and will also be given the opportunity to find out about and take part in research studies to help improve the quality of service we offer.

Hear from people who have used Sussex Voices Clinic:

  • It was nice to speak to someone who listened and understood'       
  • "I started to build a bit more confidence and found voices don't make commands. it was invaluable. Made me see things in a different light. It just made me think an awful lot."
  • "[Therapist] was brilliant, really good, patient, explained well (I don't always understand)…It was like he gave me the Olympic torch and just run with it and see where you go. I'm very grateful to him for that.
  • "I am stronger than I was. It made me a lot stronger towards [the voices]."
  • "They were challenging my ways of thinking and the routine with the voices that I had…what I liked about it was that we looked at it from a different angle".


Who works in the clinic? 

The clinic was established by Mark Hayward – an experienced therapist who works in the Research Department at Sussex Partnership Trust. Interventions are delivered by therapists working in our clinical teams who we train and supervise. The clinic is supported by dedicated clinic assistants; Hazel Frost, Hazel Ashment and Gila Ehrenstein.

Professor Mark Hayward

"I qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 2001 and have practiced clinically within NHS services for people with severe and enduring mental health problems over the past 20 years. My current interest in education and research has two outlets: teaching on undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the University of Sussex where I am an Honorary Professor; and developing the strategy for research within Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust where I am the Director of Research.  

My research activities have focussed primarily on the exploration of voice hearing within relational frameworks – acknowledging the voice as an interpersonal ‘other’ and developing new forms of individual and group therapy that seek to facilitate acceptance of self and voices through the use of assertiveness and mindfulness training. I am passionate about increasing access to evidence-based therapies for patients distressed by hearing voices and created the Sussex Voices Clinic to make a real difference in this respect."

Hazel Frost and Hazel Ashment are clinic assistants. They are responsible for assisting the running of the clinic day to day, liaising with our therapists and clinical teams, and conduct the initial and feedback meetings.

Gila Ehrenstein is a Psychology Undergraduate Placement Student working with us until Summer 2022. Gila's work in the Clinic will involve a wide variety of things, ranging from admin to involvement in research projects, as well as gaining clinical experience through shadowing initial and feedback meetings.

Sussex Voices Clinic interventions are delivered by clinicians working in their clinical services who are trained and supervised by Mark.