For years I didn’t question hearing voices. I felt powerless. I was just at their mercy. I think recovery is about reconnecting with who we are.
Berta Britz works as a certified peer specialist at Creating Increased Connections through Education and Support (CIC) in Montgomery County, Pa., part of Resources for Human Development (RHD). She is strongly committed to promoting acceptance of the experience of hearing voices; and her ministry, “Hearing Voices and Healing,” is supported by Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Her commitment to developing different responses to early anomalous, or “psychotic” experiences, stems from her lived experience of psychiatric treatment since 1967, when she left her senior year of high school for many hospitalizations, two of which were lengthy. Berta earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980, and worked primarily with young children, adolescents, and families. After many years on disability Berta reclaimed her power and connection by accepting and making sense of her voices by using a World Hearing Voices Network approach. She helped develop and now coordinates the Montgomery County Hearing Voices Network which offers systems and community education and Taking Back Our Power Hearing Voices self-help/peer support groups, two designed specifically for young people. She started a Voices Learning Community Group and offers training and consultation. She envisions a trauma-informed, transformed human service system that listens to and values every person and every voice and promotes more equitable distribution of knowledge and resources. She experiences much joy with her dog, Sheba, and her partner, Mona. Mona and Berta recently married after over 36 years together.
Berta Britz shares her perspectives on mental health, hearing voices, relationships, recovery, and friendship in this two-part interview.