Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China

The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis UK (ISPS) 

Los Angeles County, Department of Mental Health

Superior Court, Los Angeles County, Public Defender's Office

Kaiser Permanente Medical Center

University of Southern California, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

University of Evansville (Indiana), Alcohol and Drug Institute

Tri-City Mental Health Services, Claremont, CA

NASW - National Association of Social Workers

Pasadena Department of Public Health

California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Long Beach Asian Pacific Islander Family Mental Health Center

Opportunity Knocks, Orange, CA

Pacific Clinics Treatment Centers

California State University - Long Beach - Counseling & Psychological Services

Project Return:Peer Support Network: Mental Health America - Los Angeles - (Peer) Training and Workforce Development


UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica - Rape Treatment Center, Santa Monica, CA

Los Angeles Times - Festival of Books

Artist - Barbara Suckfüll - 1910


"Dr. Shannon Dunn’s “Healing the Distress of Psychosis: Listening with Psychotic Ears,” is a thought provoking critique of our current approach to psychosis and its treatment. She makes a compelling case that psychotherapy can be helpful for patients with psychosis, and that psychotic symptoms are meaningful—they tell the truth about one’s psychic reality.  A must read for anyone—clinicians, consumers, and their families—interested in attaining a deeper and richer understanding of the world of psychosis.“An engaging and historically thorough inquiry into the nature of psychosis, and a clarion call for dramatically changing how our mental health system responds to those experiencing it.”

Elyn Saks, Author of The Center Cannot Hold, USC Gould School of Law Professor, Founder of Saks Institute of Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics. 

"An engaging and historically through inquiry into the nature of psychosis, and a clarion call for dramatically changing how our mental health system responds to those experiencing it. 

—Robert Whitaker, Journalist and Author, Anatomy of an Epidemic; President, Mad in America Foundation


Healing the Distress of Psychosis is a book every mental health worker and administrator should read. It is full of practical guidance that emphasizes listening, patience, and hopefulness. It recognizes the role played by alcohol and street drugs in a way that most mental health books skip over.”

—Robert Nikkel, MSW, Founding Board Member, Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care; President of the Board, Dual Diagnosis Anonymous of Oregon 


“The author illustrates the limitations of the medical model and provides useful strategies for practitioners to connect more personally and empathically with those who experience psychosis. She also does a fine job of comprehensively reviewing effective psychological and social interventions.”

—Joseph Walsh, PhD, Professor, School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University


“This book eloquently debunks myth after myth in a humanistic and compassionate manner. It is a must-read for everyone and will change the way professionals see their role.” 

—Guyton Colantuono, Executive Director, Project Return Peer Support Network


"Professor Dunn’s presentation on Listening with Psychotic Ears is both progressive and an invaluable clinical skill all clinicians working with individuals with persistent mental illness should have. She understands the need for clients who are experiencing psychosis to be heard, because within psychotic thoughts are underlying themes and messages the individual is trying to communicate. Learning how to Listen with Psychotic Ears provides clinicians with the ability to find meaning within psychosis, which greatly enhances the ability to provide services to these individuals, as well as provides the clients with a sense of connection with the clinician, because for many, this may be one of the few times they are being heard and not “redirected.” I’ve found Professor Mayeda’s methods very effective when working with individuals with severe mental illness, and I cannot recommend enough, learning how to Listen with Psychotic Ears!

~Mental Health Clinician


"Psychotic Ears impacted the way I perceive my psychotic experiences. Previously, I had written them off as the nonsensical creations of an insane mind. However, re-examining my experiences with Psychotic Ears allowed me to understand what my mind was trying to tell me, in its own way, through the use of feelings and metaphor.

 Psychotic Ears allowed me to translate my psychotic mind's metaphorical language into a language that I can understand. It showed me that my psychotic mind has valuable things it is trying to tell me, I just need to open my psychotic ears and listen.

~Person who has experienced psychotic symptoms and Mental Health Clinician


"Listening with Psychotic Ears is the only logical thing to do, in my opinion, when working with individuals with mental illness. When in psychosis, an individual with mental illness may say things that sound "crazy," but if we Listen with Psychotic Ears, we listen with metaphor. By listening with metaphor, we can try to decipher what someone is really trying to tell us. Sometimes the simple act of listening with open ears and an open mind can deescalate an individual who is experiencing symptoms of psychosis."

~Mental Health Clinician


"I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your presentation of Listening with Psychotic Ears. By far, it's the most riveting and interesting of your lectures, although all of them are engaging and full of touching stories. I love the stories you share and you're such an amazing story-teller. Sometimes, I sit there and feel like a little girl who is meserized by her mother's story-telling, eyes beaming with wonder and so many questions. You tell the stories with such care and sensitivity that my heart sometimes cries, sometimes laughs, and sometimes becomes lifted with inspiration.

 I especially loved your story about the lady standing in front of McDonald's and the lesson-learned of just how important it is for any human being to feel connected to another especially in times of troubling and frightening times. At the core, we all have a self inside who cries out to be, to be seen, to be heard, and to love and be loved. I appreciate how you open your heart and reach out to others, especially those who have become invisible in the eyes of society. Also, the story of the older woman, stricken by her grief and guilt over the death of her loved one, who believes she is unworthy of living and refuses to accept shelter in the face of an approaching fatal winter season. Oh, our capacity for love can be so beautiful and yet so frightening at the same time. And it is this duality that makes life and who we are so complex and unpredictable. 

I can't wait to purchase your book when it is published and hope to get it autographed. I'm so proud to know you and to be your student."


~MSW Student


"I really enjoyed your presentation.  Your experiences and passion in working with people with mental illness is refreshing!  As a professional and consumer, I have been exposed to both sides of this profession.  I find many of those in the field are burnt out, and when you are the consumer seeking treatment, it becomes disheartening.  I love the work I do with my clients, and the burn out I mostly feel is with administration.  So, I do try to take that into consideration. I loved the way you talked about your work with clients and your stories.  It reminded me why I got into this profession in the first place. Thank you so much for coming out to talk with us.  I really appreciated your experience and wonderful personality."
~Person who has experienced psychotic symptoms and Mental Health Clinician


Artist - August Natterer - 1919