Berta Britz, Author at OC87 Recovery Diaries googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(true);

Berta Britz

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.

Hearing Voices With Berta Britz

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Recently we featured part one of an interview with Peer Specialist and Advocate Berta Britz about her views on listening, trauma, and being human. The interview continues here, beginning with a question about Berta’s relationship to her voices.

 

Relating to One’s Voices

Gabriel Nathan: Can you talk a little bit how your relationship to your voices, or with your voices, has evolved over time?

Berta Britz: I totally felt like I was a victim for many, many years. I felt powerless. I didn’t question it, so that both the messages from the voices, and the truth of the messages in the voices was so powerful, and I was so much just at their mercy. In my teenage years the medical profession told me, “Take this medicine and try to fight your voices.” I took the medicine and, whenever I had any energy, I fought. The harder I fought, the louder and meaner the voices would be.  (more…)

Berta Britz On Creating Increased Connections

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Back in September, I had the opportunity to sit down with Berta Britz. Berta is a peer specialist at Creating Increased Connections, an organization devoted to expanding recovery supports and mutual aid groups in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. She is a facilitator of Hearing Voices groups and is one of the founders of the Montgomery County Hearing Voices Network, which she will discuss later in this interview.

I could rattle off an impressive list of Berta’s titles, credentials, achievements, awards, and honors, but I know that would only embarrass her — and besides, I’m reasonably sure the designation that matters most to her is “Friend.” I am honored to be able to call Berta Britz my friend, and it was in the spirit of that friendship that we enjoyed a wide-ranging, honest conversation over take-out and tea. Berta’s perspectives on mental health, hearing voices, relationships, recovery, and, yes, friendship are all explored in this two-part interview that I was proud to conduct, and that I hope you will enjoy.

Follow this link to read part two of the interview.

Warmly,
Gabriel Nathan, Editor

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