Whilst hallucinations, particularly in the forms of voices and visions, have the potential to be benign or even highly valued experiences, they can often be devastating experiences associated with distress, impaired social and occupational functioning, self-harm and suicide. Those who experience hallucinations in this latter manner, may do so within the context of a wide range of psychiatric diagnoses, including schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, dementia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Since the introduction of chlorpromazine in the 1950s, and manualized cognitive behavioral therapy in the 1990s, progress in biological and cognitive interventions for hallucinations has generally been incremental, involving quantitative refinements rather than qualitative leaps. Today both of these interventions remain only partially effective, and in the case of antipsychotic medication, come with notable side-effects. This has led to the search for new interventions to support people distressed by voices and/or visions.
The goal of this Frontiers Research Topic is to present a collection of papers on new developments in clinical interventions for those distressed by hallucinations. This will look to include both papers directly addressing new interventions, as well as papers which elaborate recent theoretical developments and examine the implications of these for the potential development of new interventions. The topic is not limited by traditional disciplinary boundaries, and indeed, will look to overcome these. As such, contributions will be welcomed from a wide range of perspectives and frameworks including, but not limited to, phenomenology, attachment, mindfulness, social-relational approaches, cognitive-behavioural therapy, the Hearing Voices Movement Approach, trauma-informed approaches, new psychopharmacological approaches (particularly those not primarily targeting the traditional mechanism of altered dopaminergic function), as well as brain stimulation and other neurally-based interventions. Although the focus of the collection is anticipated to be on auditory verbal hallucinations (voices), it is also open developments pertaining to other forms of hallucinations, particularly those in the visual modality.
This collection should result in an interdisciplinary collection of papers which will appeal to a wide readership, spanning all with an interest in this area.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.
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