Welcome to the Open Dialogue UK website. Open Dialogue UK provides a variety of services relating to the Open Dialogue approach from Western Lapland, within the UK and internationally, including the following:

We co-ordinate the first full Open Dialogue training programme to be run outside of Finland. The first of these three year programmes commenced in London in April 2015 and included teams from four NHS Trusts, as well as teams working in public services in several international countries. We also welcomed independent practitioners and peers onto this programme. The next programme will be commencing in 2017 and we will be announcing details of this soon. This training is led by senior Finnish trainers as well as other leading international practitioners/trainers. You can find more details of this here.
In addition to the above, we have also organised a one year foundation training, which will be starting in London in June 2016. This is being led by Volkmar Aderhold and Petra Hohn, who have run many such programmes in a variety of countries internationally, including the Parachute Project in New York City, along with Mia Kurtti from the Western Lapland team, and Nick Putman (Open Dialogue UK). For further details on this training programme, please see here.
We have recently taken over premises in Dalston, London, where we arrange meetings with families/networks, using many of the principles of the Open Dialogue approach. We are also able to arrange home visits in the London area, and can arrange for meetings via Skype, or for family members who are geographically distant to join meetings via Skype, where necessary. For further information on family/network meetings, please see this page.
We regularly run seminars in our premises in Dalston, London on the Open Dialogue approach, and are also able to travel around the UK and internationally to deliver seminars. These seminars are run in English, but can be adapted to include translators where necessary. For further information on our seminars, and to express interest in our running a seminar in your area/country please see this page for further information.
We organise conferences and other events in the UK to share information about Open Dialogue and related approaches, and to engage with mental health professionals working in a variety of ways with a variety of client groups. Our 2016 Conference attracted 600 people and was a very stimulating event, and we will be announcing plans for our 2017 Conference soon.
We work to promote the development of the Open Dialogue approach through a variety of other means, producing written and digital material for professionals, carers, service users and others who are interested in learning more. We aim to have more resources available on this website soon.

What is 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. In the 1980s psychiatric services in Western Lapland were in a poor state, in fact they had one of the worst incidences of the diagnosis of schizophrenia’ in Europe. Now they have the best documented outcomes in the Western World. For example, around 75% of those experiencing psychosis have returned to work or study within 2 years and only around 20% are still taking antipsychotic medication at 2 year follow-up.

Remarkably, Open Dialogue is not an alternative to standard psychiatric services, it is the psychiatric service in Western Lapland. This has afforded a unique opportunity to develop a comprehensive approach with well-integrated inpatient and outpatient services. Working with families and social networks, as much as possible in their own homes, Open Dialogue teams work to help those involved in a crisis situation to be together and to engage in dialogue. It has been their experience that if the family/team can bear the extreme emotion in a crisis situation, and tolerate the uncertainty, in time shared meaning usually emerges and healing/recovery is possible. Open Dialogue has drawn on a number of theoretical models, including systemic family therapy, dialogical theory and social constructionism.


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Upcoming Events

Trainers’ Training

Details of a two year Open Dialogue Trainers' Training programme being run in Helsinki, starting in December 2016, can be found on the Open Dialogue International website here.

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Books available
Open Dialogues & Anticipations – Respecting Otherness in the Present Moment
Open Dialogues and Anticipations

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Getting it – Witness-Thinking and the Dialogical… In Practice
Getting It

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