Year: 2013 Source: Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy.(2013).20(3):199Ð205. DOI: 10.1002/cpp.798 SIEC No: 20130688

Considerable focus has been given to the interpersonal nature of the voice-hearing relationship and how appraisals about voices may be linked with distress and depression (the Ôcognitive modelÕ). Research hitherto has focused on appraisals of voice power, but the supportive and affiliative quality of voices, which may act to mitigate distress, is not understood. We explored appraisals of voices’ power and emotional support to determine their significance in predicting depression and suicidal thought. We adapted the concept of expressed emotion (EE) and applied it to measure voice hearers’ perception of the relationship with their voice(s). In a sample of 74 voice hearers, 55.4% were moderately depressed. Seventy-eight who rated their voices as high in both power and EE had a large and significant elevation in depression, suggesting that co-occurrence of these appraisals impacts on depression. Analysis of the relationship between power and EE revealed that many voices perceived as low in power were, nevertheless, perceived as high in EE. Those rating their voices as emotionally supportive showed the lowest levels of depression and suicidal thinking. These findings highlight the protective role that the supportive dimension of the voice/voice-hearer relationship may have.