Dialogical Meetings in Social Networks

Dialogical Meetings in Social Networks – Jaakko Seikkula & Tom Erik Arnkil (Paperback)


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Dialogic practices have been described and analysed, to a certain extent, in the fields of therapy and other psycho-social work, and so have approaches based on network encounters and multi-professional work. Networks and dialogues have seldom been placed in the same framework, yet dialogic encounters between private and professional networks have great potential in dissolving problems.

Dialogical Meetings in Social Networks describes and analyses two dialogic network practices, Open Dialogues and Anticipation Dialogues. Both are the result of development and research for almost two decades, and bring professional and private networks into dialogue and strive to combine resources. Open Dialogues were developed for psychiatric crisis situations, whereas Anticipation Dialogues are at home in less acute situations, in multi-agency confusions where the helper systems are stuck.

The book gives an account detailed enough for practitioners who want to apply the approaches and also delves into theory. The authors analyse Open and Anticipation Dialogues and enter paradigmatic discussion about encounters in therapy and psycho-social work in general. The book is meant for professionals in the fields of psycho-social work -from therapists to day care personnel, from social worker to school teachers-as well as researchers and academics. A message is conveyed to policy makers on organising services. As the book touches upon dialogues with and within private networks, it also reaches out to clients.

“The book carefully explains the theoretical basis for dialogical communication, drawing heavily on the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, but its great strength is the way these principles have been transformed into a practice of community meetings. Because the authors are drawing on years of experience as well as outcome research studies, they present a framework for a model that is proven and they describe the techniques that make it work. For example, there are helpful sections that spell out what questions to ask a psychotic patient, how to respond to delusions and how to approach other professionals when the network is becoming stuck in its task. Although the book describes their model in detail, many practitioners find that their ideas about dialogic communication can be applied across a wide range of clinical settings, such as family therapy, but they are particularly useful when multidisciplinary or multi-agency teams meet to devise treatment for patients…This Finnish team is widely recognized for the work they are doing, as shown by their writings and presentations at conferences, and this book gives them the space to explain their thinking and practice in greater detail than ever before. It is a major step in bringing their work to the attention of the English speaking community.” – David Campbell and Ros Draper, from the Editors’ Foreword

“What I particularly appreciated in reading this work is that we are introduced in both Open Dialogues and Anticipation Dialogues to important elements of Bakhtin’s dialogical theory, together with fresh ideas about networks talking with networks… On a smaller scale, this book feels to me like a trumpet blast, not just in announcing the achievement of a more contextualized approach to human dilemmas, but in offering some solid proof of its efficacy.” – Lynn Hoffman, from the Foreword


Foreword by Lynn Hoffman

Part I
1. Dialogues and the boundaries between and within professional and personal networks
2. Frustrating network meetings

Part II
3. Open Dialogues as crisis intervention
4. Anticipation Dialogues for lessening worries
5. Alike but different
6. Healing elements in dialogues

Part III
7. Dialogue and the art of responding
8. Effectiveness of dialogical network meetings
9. Research and generalising practices

Epilogue: on power and empowerment

Additional Information

Weight 0.390 kg





Karnac Books




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