The Hearing Voices or “MAD” experience is complex, confusing and debilitating for many. 

MADSense offers a way to make sense of both the phenomenon and experience with simple, elegant theoretical models that help us break through the complexity and confusion. The general principle adopted is to use the natural mind in a state of wellness as the benchmark or control against which the MAD phenomenon/experience is compared to bring new insights. 

By being made aware of the natural processes at work in our minds (much of which is automated in the unaware mind), it becomes easier to understand the MAD experience as one in which people who experience voices and other forms of anomalous perception are dealing with different information. Knowing more about the characteristics of the anomalous inputs and how the mind logically responds will better equip you to decipher what’s going on and apply it in your field – whether that is research, education, clinical support, family support or life coaching.

I hope to Make A Difference by partnering with those already in the fields of the mind/brain and mental wellness to scale up – this is way bigger than me. In person services are offered in the following formats:
  • MADConsulting on any project – at a daily rate plus expenses.
  • MADSense Research Partnering - on a daily rate, project or retainer basis. Let’s build a long term relationship together.
  • Prepared MADWorkshops of 1 to 3 days at quoted rates with an audience size limit
    • For voice hearers and those who live with and support them
    • For clinical wellness professionals, therapists and life coaches
  • MADSeminars for interest groups tailored to your topic/interest. We will do a little research into your field and agree the outline with you beforehand.
  • MADSpeaking – educational and fun talks. Choose your theme – we have a few suggestions below.
Rates for non-profits and government agencies can be negotiated to fit your purchasing process.


I have about 30 000 hours of lived “MAD” experience. What people don’t realize is that living with voices is like living with real characters— it plays out in the mind intertwined with real life incidents, events and people. These experiences are lived, just as if they took place in the real world. I am an engineer (analytical) and a business consultant (emphasis on behavior, culture, strategy and systems). I paid attention to my voices. I made it my business to understand what was going on. 

Whatever your project in the field of psychosis and MADness I can help Make A Difference through a better return on your investment. Let us help you make #MADSense!

MADSense Research - let's make #MADSense together

In spite of a large body of research, the jury is out – we have yet to find a model that makes sense of the complexity of the hearing voices/anomalous perception phenomenon and how it translates to lived experience. 

We give lip service to the idea that ‘evidence based models’ are the basis of diagnosis and treatment. Which evidence? More importantly, who is exploring which evidence is best and updating our thinking? Which evidence is being ignored?

The biomedical model is quite rightly being challenged. Scandinavian countries achieve the best clinical outcomes in mental wellness by a large margin - evidence from Scandinavia and Europe is being ignored in USA policy making.

I live in an aware mind with a strong psyche-vigilance system that assures my happiness. I have training in neurolinguistics and have applied these techniques to changing my relationship with my voices and making them irrelevant. I trained and worked as an engineer which taught me first principles thinking. I studied business economics and operations research. I work as a business strategist with an emphasis on organizational behavior and leadership coaching. I have applied my models to existing research and can show you how it will help you gain value from existing and ensure a better return on new research.

I have a particular interest in and can offer new insights in the following areas:
  • Phenomenology of anomalous perception – I am optimistic that this may offer our greatest opportunity to make a difference on a global scale. 
  • The hearing voices experience and how a new paradigm of understanding will shape clinical interventions in support of those who hear voices and/or other forms of anomalous perception
  • Diagnosis and measurement of clinical outcomes. With a new understanding of the phenomenon and experience we need new methods of assessment and measurement of progress.

MADWorkshops for voice hearers and those who live with, support and treat them

We know that voices react to how we (both hearer and those surrounding them) respond to them. We know that many use the interaction with voices to change the relationship and move forward. There is a good deal of evidence showing better outcomes from dialogue based approaches such as those found in the Open Dialogue Approach from Finland (Focus is on the relationship between voice hearer and those who live with/support them) and the Maastricht Interview and the Hearing Voices Network (Focus is on the relationship between voice hearer and their voices).

Logic dictates that these successes point to a reliable, optimum way for voice hearer’s to take control of the interaction with voices, to communicate effectively with those who support them and thus feel empowered to do new things. LoveLife.LOL is a structured approach based on life coaching and leadership coaching principles.  

LoveLife.LOL asserts natural humanistic principles of love and respect, of human rights and the right to pursue happiness in the way we choose. When we accept and give meaning to voices, we give power to them and we give them a role in our life. Instead, we should acknowledge voices, not accept. This gives the hearer a position from which to decide against ‘unusual beliefs’, to reset the high significance decision making parameters in the mind. Fear associations are eradicated by practicing simple interrupt, replace mind techniques. Work with natural mind processes, not against. Restrain your voices—they are abusive! 

Services are offered in the following formats—please feel free to contact us about other formats.
  • Introductory summary (60 to 180 minutes). The idea is to help you assess the value you will get from longer workshops and how your own people can participate and adopt ideas in your own work.
  • Participatory workshops ( 1 to 3 days)
    • For voice hearers, family and friends and wellness professionals
    • The workshop can be geared toward a group of clinical professionals only
  • Train the trainer—let’s work together to help you introduce LoveLife.LOL as a framework in your mental wellness services. The theoretical model helps predict progress and outcomes.
  • Planned future development: An online equivalent offering coaching, the ability to create profiles and connect with others in supportive ‘pods’ and a helpline system. (Investor and partnering enquiries welcome).

MADSeminars - talks on topics for particular interest groups

The Hearing Voices or “MAD” experience is debilitating for many. Relationships suffer through lack of understanding and difficulty in talking about it in a helpful way. Progress in life becomes difficult and independence is lost, impacting the voice hearer as well as family and friends in many ways.

Two significantly large groups are in the trenches with voice hearers and get little support and appreciation. 

Family and friends: Family struggle and make compromises in their own lives which easily become overwhelming. You have to take care of yourselves in order to take care of others.

Seminar: Someone you know hears voices – for parents and friends
See downloadable flyer for an outline and Events page for available public seminars. If you can organize a group, we will do our best to fit it into our schedule. 

Mental Wellness Professionals: Mental wellness professionals often feel helpless and see less progress than they would like to.

A better understanding of the linkage between anomalous perception, beliefs and how these flow through the mind will help you work with your customer to interrupt the negative effects as early as possible and replace them with life affirming inputs and experiences.

Seminar:The hearing voices experience for clinical professionals
See downloadable flyer for an outline and Events page for available public seminars. If you can organize a group, we will do our best to fit it into our schedule.


We are available to speak about the hearing voices phenomenon and experience and about what this means for the voice hearer and those that live with and support them. Hearing voices is about what happens in the MIND — our framework for talking about it uses ideas about how our incredible natural minds work and how the hearing voices/perceptual distortion phenomenon impacts that. 

The phenomenon and how we respond is relevant to behavior/psychology, social and mental wellness policy, neuroscience, philosophy and belief systems, particularly the major revealed religions, which are a product of the voice hearing experience. My own voices encouraged a religious quest—a fairly common experience amongst voice hearers— and I speak to religion and philosophy from this perspective.
Invite me to your seminar, event or classroom with an emphasis of your choosing.

Which ‘character’ might show up? Here are some suggestions to get you thinking:

(No, I don’t have multiple personality disorder – just a sense of humor!)

Audiences: The curious, fascinated and interested

MADGreg speaks as greggieboy, which is what my voices call me. I will speak to the hearing voices “lived experience”.

The experience plays out in the MIND – we respond and react to a different set of information than everyone around us. It is unusual, there is a constant presence/awareness and our minds have difficulty resolving the information we are exposed to in the context of the ordinary world we live in.

This mismatch of information, context and experience leads to many of the visible behaviors we refer to as madness. Discover what’s going on underneath and how to relate to the experience in your workplace, community or wherever you find us (everywhere, lol!).

Audiences: The business world and our formal structures of society

Greg, the MADProfessional.  The real me, or at least the one I feel I have always been.
Twenty five years of international business strategy and improvement with much of that in healthcare and pharmaceuticals (research, pharmacovigilance and compliance). An engineer before that. Currently at the forefront of aligning culture and strategy – the people stuff that makes a difference. I look at behavior of both individuals and groups of people from the perspective of creating the contexts and environments in which people can function at their highest level.

I use my improvement consulting experience to talk about healthcare systems and the delivery of mental wellness services. I am trained to look for ways to achieve better outcomes for all concerned. I will also show you that MADPeople can be extremely valuable in the workplace. Our minds are creative, we have skills, lol. Forget stigma – we are valuable assets.

You can view my business profile on LinkedIn here:

Audiences: Researchers, academics and those in the fields of neuroscience, the mind and the phenomenology and experience of anomalous perception

The MADScientist Eimstein talks MADSense, mostly the now rare common sense or good sense. 

I am going to make some smart ass comments so I thought it best to do so tongue in cheek as Eimstein. Right or wrong, my objective is to stimulate thinking from new perspectives. Gregory means ‘the vigilant one’ and I know that evidence is essential to progress. I see a need to be more specific about aspects of both the experience and the phenomenon to make our research more relevant,  valuable and visible to policy makers and planners.

The scientist in me comes from my engineering and operations research background. With 30 000 hours worth of thought experiments – observing the natural mind and the phenomenology and experience of MADness, I have something to say about our incredible natural minds when working well and when disrupted by anomalous inputs/perceptions. I try to compare the two to offer insight in a way that we all can understand.

I believe we can engineer happiness. I have theoretical models that help us understand how, even when we hear voices. We need good science to back it up and to share the benefits.

Audiences: Those interested in philosophy and theology. Publishers. Documentarists. Film makers.

I have fun speaking as pope greggieboy xvii.  I liked the idea of virtual infallibility as a way to spar with my voices.

Like many voice hearers I have had religious content in my voice experience. I am not claiming to be the second coming – only showing you what happens when voices claim to be god, the devil and/or other spirit beings and encourage the voice hearer in beliefs that s/he is a ‘messenger’ or the returning messiah. It’s not a job you want. I have an amusing take which says “I am the second coming and I am not the second coming” since you have to believe in the first in order to believe in a second. 

Of course many voice hearers have had this experience – I simply made an effort and had the cheek and craziness to compare my experience to that of some voice hearers prominent in our history. I show how the revealed religions are a product of the hearing voices phenomenon and experience. I will show you how love, respect and generosity are principles that gear us for happiness, using principles of evolution. Also, that it is these innate principles that have eroded the worst of religious dogma over millennia.

This story will make for good documentaries and a book or two. Publishers and documentarists please inquire!

Summary: The hearing voices experience affects all of us

Someone you know hears voices—and may not be telling you because of the stigma attached. The phenomenon and the experience are visible through our history—from cave art, to prophets, to demon possession to witches and various ‘spirit’ entities; to Socrates to Joan of Arc to the major revealed religions; to mediums and shamans, to John Nash and mental illness. Societies have found many ways to describe this unusual phenomenon. Individuals who hear voices adopt these community beliefs, feel and experience them in stronger ways—and develop what we rather unfairly call unusual beliefs. We don’t yet understand the mechanism by which it happens. We can see the impact on society, with hundreds of millions living with voices and many examples in history where society has been shaped by and tragically acted on what voices say.  It is my objective to shine a light on OUR hearing voices experience, as individuals and as society—it affects all of us.


Professor Dana Miller, Department of Philosophy 04/21/2016

Greg Shankland taught a class on hearing voices in my course on Philosophy of Perception along with Debra Lampshire from New Zealand. My class was composed of undergraduate majors in Philosophy, Neuroscience, Psychology, Economics. Greg’s presentation was riveting and extremely articulate. He answered difficult questions raised by the students with thoughtful clarity. My students found this class more inspiring than anything I have managed to present. Personal experience makes an impact.

I strongly recommend Greg as a presenter in courses in Philosophy of Mind, Psychology, Neuroscience and Theology.
Greg and Debra having fun before presenting at Fordham University, Bronx, New York <br>(Photo by Danielle Chu of Sub-Linea Films)

Greg and Debra having fun before presenting at Fordham University, Bronx, New York
(Photo by Danielle Chu of Sub-Linea Films)

Stephanie Lehmann HVN Meeting facilitator and author, New York City 05/19/2016

Over the past year, Greg Shankland has been a valued participant in the Hearing Voices Group that I facilitate in Manhattan. His lived experience combined with a knack for self-reflection make Greg’s insights especially valuable. His ability to describe, organize and explain the nature of hearing voices has been enlightening and instructive - not only for group members, but also for me and my co-facilitator. Greg always arrives ready to share his own personal experiences; he demonstrates compassion and interest in other people’s stories as well. 

I have also observed Greg’s natural talent for teaching. He is able to present his ideas with fresh vigor and enthusiasm when new people came to our group. Greg demonstrates a rare sense of clarity and insight into how his mind works, and how to work with his mind. His observations will be of great benefit to consumers, family members and professionals.
A client of my life coaching service  04/21/2016

Thank you so much for all the time that you spent with me yesterday.  I hope that somehow I can help you as much as you have ALREADY helped me!  

After you left yesterday, the voices remained very quiet.  They were there, but hardly audible.  I could trigger a louder event by “listening” for them, and learned to stay away from that curiosity.  My sleep was only mildly disturbed, and it may have been the wine that woke me up rather than any near-silent voices.

This morning when I opened my eyes, they were conciliatory, and tried to hook me into joining their new and “enlightened” community.  I went along with their “positive (negative) energy” until my shower.  I confronted “God” to show me love and respect.  That didn’t happen, and I gave it a new name (Twinkles, the spoiled baby brat!).  The whole mini-drama ended before the shower did. Thereafter, every time Twinkles started to say something, I called it it’s new name.  That quieted every voice down, and I’ve been nearly voice free to this point. 

What an amazing development, and all thanks to you.  You’ve given me something that no therapist has been able to, and I look forward to getting off my antipsychotic sometime soon.

I look forward to more of an exchange with you next week!  May silence rein them in!!!
Important note from Greg: Optimism is a good thing – one or two conversations are not enough, voices will come back and you need to be vigilant and know how to use your incredible natural mind to keep voices at bay. Coming off antipsychotics should only be done in consultation with your clinical professionals and those who support you. Ideas will be offered soon in the video insights.


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