Research notes

November 9, 2006

Name : Aylish Campbell.

Position : Trainee clinical psychologist.

Age : .

What is the nature of your research?

My research is about the experience of hearing voices, which has often been viewed as negative and a sign of mental illness. But research has shown that hearing voices is very common, and people have widely differing responses to the phenomenon. For some people it can be distressing and lead to the need for mental healthcare; others, however, value their voices, feel comforted or inspired by them and never turn to mental health services. I am investigating some of the factors that might influence why people respond in different ways, and I hope to interview about 60 people.

How did you get into your area of research?

I am studying clinical psychology, and this research project was part of my training. I became interested in the subject after reading previous research. I found the idea that hearing voices might be part of normal human experience really interesting, and I wanted to find out more.

How is your research funded?

Manchester University funds it as part of my course.

What kind of support have you received?

I get support from my supervisor, who is a qualified clinical psychologist. She helped plan the research, and we meet regularly to discuss how it is going.

What has been the high point of your research so far?

Some articles about my research were printed in the press and on the web. After that publicity, I received e-mails from people all over the world sharing their experiences of hearing voices. Some people wrote to say how glad they were that people were doing research on this topic. It was great to know that my study had struck a chord with people.

What has been the low point?

I think the time pressure of doing research as part of a university qualification is hard. My study has to be finished and written up by next July, and a big worry is that I won't be able to recruit enough volunteers in the time I have. I'm still in the early stages of the project, so I think the low point is probably yet to come. I'm not looking forward to writing it all up.

For more information, contact Aylish Campbell at or ring 0161 306 0405.

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