Richard Bentall Hallucinations


Richard Bentall

Are the voices in our heads more than just mental disorders? Clinical psychologist Richard Bentall uncovers the origin of hallucinations and argues they have been radically misguided.

  • Richard Bentall Cropped
    Richard Bentall

    Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Sheffield. Books include Madness Explained and Doctoring the Mind.


About the Course

Despite vast and growing research, we know hardly anything about hallucinations. Commonly viewed as symptoms of mental illness, popular prejudice treats them as delusions needing treatment. But could they be commonplace among ordinary people? And must hallucinations always be dangerous?

In this course, Richard Bentall unravels the reality behind hallucinations. Rather than searching for a cure, he argues that we should seek to liberate people who experience hallucinations from the stigma attached to them.

In this course you will learn:

  • What hallucinations are
  • The relationship between hallucinations and schizophrenia
  • How trauma influences hallucination
  • The relationship between speech, internal thought and hallucinations


Through video lectures, questions and suggested reading discover the truth about hallucinations.  Share your ideas and support your learning through our discussion boards and test your knowledge with questions throughout the course.


This course is open to anyone with an interest in psychology, philosophy or mental health and requires no prior knowledge. We recommend this course to anyone from undergraduates to clinical psychologists.

About the Instructor

  • Richard Bentall

    Richard Bentall is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Sheffield, a Fellow of the British Academy and a leading researcher on schizophrenia, psychosis and public mental health. He is the author of Madness Explained and Doctoring the Mind.

Course Syllabus

  • Part One: The New Normal
    Are hallucinations more than symptoms of mental illness? Why do they occur and what do they mean?
  • Part Two: The Illusion of Reality
    Where does the illusion of reality arise? How can we tell the voices in our head from those in the world?
  • Part Three: Test