Beyond the Coke and Smoke Syndrome

By Patricia Deegan, PhD

"How does one work with people who are unmotivated"

This curriculum, organized into eight modules, will help consumer/survivors/ex-patients, staff, families and friends to provide more effective support and compassionate understanding for those diagnosed with mental illness who appear unmotivated.

Roy Starks, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Mental Health Corp. of Denver, Inc. wrote: “Both staff and members found the training materials invaluable. I have worked in the field of Psychiatric Rehabilitation for thirty years and found this training tape to be the most helpful I have ever seen...I recommend this training to anyone working in mental health."

Staff of the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare comments:

  • "Pat is a powerful myth-buster!"
  • "These tapes really challenge and overturn conventional ways of thinking about 'unmotivated' or 'low-functioning' consumers."
  • "Pat makes it so clear that their are no cookie cutter approaches, and her emphasis on relationship is so important."
  • "These training materials will really be useful in working with staff who are resistant to the role changes that are needed to move the system toward a recovery orientation."
  • “There is so much authenticity in this material. It is a grounded and thoughtful presentation of the life experience of real people."

Included in this package are:

  • Two videotaped lectures (available in DVD)
  • Training guide
  • Supplemental material of suggested readings, and discussion questions
  • Organized into eight modules
  Quantity in Basket: None
Price: $69.00

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Recovery Through Peer Support Curriculum

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Hearing Voices Curriculum: Complete training and curriculum package

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Hearing Voices That Are Distressing is a complete training/curriculum package in which participants use headphones for listening to a specially designed recording.  During this simulated experience of hearing voices, participants undertake a series of tasks including social interaction in the community, a psychiatric interview, cognitive testing, and an activities group in a mock day treatment program.  The simulation experience is followed by a debriefing and discussion period.  The curriculum also includes a one hour recorded lecture.

"...The first graduate students who experienced 'Hearing Voices' said it changed their lives. We now require it for all our graduate students in sites across the country."
     ~ Paul J. Carling, Ph.D. Executive Director The Center for Community Change, Trinity College, Vermont

“The voices simulation gave me a good overview of what people who do hear voices go through on a day to day basis.”
“...Incredible experience which gave a great insight.”
“Every Officer should have this experience so they can understand what people who hear voices are going through.”
     ~ Law Enforcement Officers from Utah CIT Academies


This curriculum has been developed and piloted for a wide range of mental health professionals including: Inpatient/outpatient psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, social workers; psychologists; direct care workers in residential, day treatment and psychosocial rehabilitation programs; mental health administrators, policy makers; and police officers, academic faculty and students.

"...I recently participated in the 'Hearing Voices' training. I must confess, I was disturbed by the sudden realization that I have been treating schizophrenia for four years, yet I have never known what it really was. I may have had the knowledge, but not the wisdom or true empathy -­ until now."
     ~ Jim Willow, M.D. Psychiatric Resident, PsycHealth Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Sample a sound byte from the CD that simulates
the voice hearing experience (mp3, 1843 KB)
Please be advised: Contains mild profanities


Patricia E. Deegan, Ph.D., holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and developed this curriculum as part of her work with the National Empowerment Center. She also publishes and lectures internationally on the topics of recovery and empowerment. Pat is a person with a psychiatric disability, who also has experience hearing voices that are distressing.


This comprehensive package includes:

  • A one hour video lecture featuring Dr. Patricia Deegan, exploring the literature and the experience of hearing distressing voices.

  • Recorded simulation of what "voices" sound like available as an MP3 download or 40 CDs; to be used in the simulation activities portion of the curriculum.

  • Instructor's Guide.

  • Instructors Manual for Police Training - An adaptation of the simulation activities adapted by the Salt Lake City Police Department to be relevant to law enforcement officers who may encounter people who "hear voices" or who may be experiencing an altered state. 

  • Bibliography.

Up to 40 participants per training and it can be used over and over again!

An invaluable resource for staff and students!

Amy Long conducts trainings in this curriculum by request. Call the National Empowerment Center at 800-769-3728 or 978-685-1494.