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The Open Dialogue approach

"The Open Dialogue approach is both a philosophical/theoretical approach to people experiencing a mental health crisis and their families/networks, and a system of care, developed in Western Lapland in Finland over the last 25-30 years".

The emphasis is on setting up a dialogue with not just the person in crisis, but also that person's social network, and all within 24 hours. As a result of this approach, it has been shown that there is often a reduced need for both medication and hospitalisation.

You can find out more by clicking on the following links to websites and documents:

Open Dialogue UK

Open Dialogue - an international community

Institute for Dialogic Practice - the United States based Institute is a training facility for Open Dialogue with useful information on the website.

Articles & videos on Open Dialogue

Dr Jaakko Seikkula is a Professor of Psychotherapy at Jyväskylä University in Finland.

He has written extensively on the Open Dialogue approach, having been closely involved with its practice in Western Finland for over twenty years. You can link to some of his articles here - some are co-authored.

April 2014 OPEN DIALOGUE: the complete film now online for viewing (alternative healing for psychosis).

Becoming Dialogical: Psychotherapy or a Way of Life? by Jaakko Seikkula

Healing Elements of Therapeutic Conversation: Dialogue as an Embodiment of Love by Jaakko Seikkula and David Trimble

Making sense of multi-actor dialogues in family therapy and network meetings by Jaakko Seikkula, Aarno Laitila and Peter Rober

The Open Dialogue approach to Acute Psychosis: it's Poetics & Micropolitics by Jaakko Seikkula and Mary E Olson

You can watch a video of Jaakko Seikkula speaking about the Open Dialogue approach here.

Daniel Mackler is a filmmaker and former New York City psychotherapist who has made several videos on the Open Dialogue approach.

You can watch some of his interviews, and trailers for the longer films, on his YouTube channel here. The full Open Dialogue film is now available here. Daniel has also written a 5 year follow up essay on the Finnish Open Dialogue which you can read here.

Developing Open Dialogue
DOD is a not-for-profit organisation based in Yorkshire, England, which aims to keep interested people up to date with developments in Open Dialogue approaches across the UK and elsewhere, from service implementations, to research projects and training opportunities. Read about other Open Dialogue resources on the organisation's website.

Open Dialogue - now being introduced to the UK

A group of dedicated mental health professionals is now introducing Open Dialogue to the UK. Clinicians and local peer volunteers from four NHS mental health trusts have commenced training, and a trial to compare it to current practice started in 2016.

The first Foundation Training in the Open Dialogue approach commenced in the UK in 2016. It is for NHS teams, peers and independent practitioners, and takes place in London over a period of 20 days, spaced in blocks throughout a year. One of the trainers is Mia Kurtti, who also trains on the Foundation Programme in West Lapland.

Find out more about training on the Open Dialogue UK website.

There are videos of the March 2016 Open Dialogue UK Conference on the Mad in America blog.

You can find out more on a Guardian webpage here about the first national Peer-Supported Open Dialogue conference which took place in London in March 2015.

Tom Stockmann, a psychiatrist working in London, attended training in Peer-Supported Open Dialogue in 2015. You can read his blog about his experiences here and a separate post he wrote for the Mad in America website here.

You can read issues of the UK Peer Supported Open Dialogue bulletin here.


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