Dr John Cheetham, Dr Nina Melunsky

People with Learning Disabilities Hear Voices Too


Understanding and adapting best practice to support people with learning disabilities who hear voices that others cannot hear A self-study guide



People with Learning Disabilities Hear Voices Too is a unique publication that aims to address a gap in understanding the experiences of people with learning disabilities who hear voices, and how best to offer support in practical, person-centred ways. It draws on best practice guidance on psychosis and also learning disability from NICE and from the British Psychological Society.

The self-study guide covers current knowledge on evidence-based theories of understanding voice-hearing, as well as common ways of understanding these experiences as described by voice-hearers, included in supportive video footage.

Contents include:

  • Myth and jargon busting
  • How people with learning disabilities are affected by voice-hearing
  • Theories of voice-hearing
  • Role of trauma
  • Evidence-based interventions
  • Common triggers and coping skills
  • Communication skills
  • How do we use this knowledge in practice?
  • How and when to seek help from services

A complementary resource pack and training pack are in development.


More titles on Learning Disabilities


This material is designed for anybody who supports someone with a learning disability who also hears voices, including support workers, family carers and mental health practitioners.


ISBN: 9781912755509

Publication Date: September 2019


Section 1: What is ‘voice-hearing’?
Chapter 1. What do we mean when we talk about ‘hearing voices’?
Chapter 2. Why do people hear voices?
Chapter 3. Is all voice-hearing the same?
Chapter 4. Can you have a mental health problem and hear voices?

Section 2: What’s it like to live with voices?
Chapter 5. What’s it really like to hear voices?
Chapter 6. What triggers a voice-hearing experience?

Section 3: What helps?
Chapter 7. What do we know helps people who hear voices?
Chapter 8. What skills can people learn to help them cope with distressing voices?
Chapter 9. Why is it important to have good communication skills?
Chapter 10. How and when should I seek help from mental health services?



Dr John Cheetham

Dr John Cheetham is a clinical psychologist in a Mental Health in Learning Disabilities Team in South London. He has worked in the team since 2014, since qualifying in his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Salomons, Canterbury Christ Church University. Before working in the learning disabilities team, John worked on psychiatric inpatient units, Community Mental Health Teams and as a support worker in both learning disability supported living homes and in psychiatric rehabilitation hostels. John has a particular interest in working with people with learning disabilities who are experiencing psychosis, and bringing community psychology and social justice approaches to psychological interventions.


Dr Nina Melunsky


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