Foundation Training – London 2019

Open Dialogue – Foundation Training


London, UK
for NHS and other mental health teams, independent practitioners and peers

PLEASE NOTE: This training can also be run on an in-house basis in the NHS and other mental health services nationally and internationally. For further details, please contact us.

As is the case in Western Lapland, Open Dialogue foundation trainings are integral to any Open Dialogue service, helping staff to become familiar enough with the philosophy and practice of Open Dialogue, such that they can start to facilitate network meetings in their service.

The Open Dialogue UK foundation programme is largely based on a programme developed over the past 10 years by Volkmar Aderhold and others, and is now the most widely used Open Dialogue foundation training internationally. It is based on extensive clinical experience and several visits to study the Open Dialogue service in Western Lapland, and has been refined over the years, based on the experience of what has seemed most effective, having been run extensively in Germany, and also in Switzerland, the US, the UK and Australia. It provides a thorough grounding in the practice of facilitating Open Dialogue network meetings.

This programme was at the heart of the development of the Parachute Project in New York City, along with Intentional Peer Support training programmes. Clinicians and peers working in mobile crisis teams and respite centres across four of New York’s boroughs undertook the training, led by Volkmar and Petra Hohn, as part of a systematic redevelopment of community mental health services in the city. It has been run four times in the UK, including teams from several NHS Trusts, as well as those working in public services internationally, independent practitioners and peers. In 2019 it was run on an in-house basis for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. It was also the training chosen for the Queensland Peer Supported Open Dialogue project.

We are delighted to welcome back Volkmar Aderhold and Petra Hohn to lead this foundation training in London with Nick Putman. Volkmar and Petra are very experienced practitioners and trainers, and have now participated in several trainings with us. Further information about them can be found below.

The deadline for applications to this training programme is 31 October 2020.

Apply for Training

To apply for the training as a group please click here.

To apply for the training as an individual please click here.

31 October 2020

 Dates for Training

24-27 Feb 2021

21-24 Apr 2021

23-26 June 2021

22-25 Sept 2021

1-4 Dec 2021

Training Fees

£3250 per person

or 4 installments of £895


Please telephone
+44 20 8133 3441
or contact us by clicking here.

Training Venue

The training will take place at Toynbee Hall in London:

Toynbee Hall
28 Commercial St
E1 6LS
United Kingdom

The training programme will take place in London and will consist of 20 days over the course of 2019, divided into 5 blocks of 4 days. The training days will consist of a mixture of presentations on theory and practice, large group discussions, and role plays, where trainees will gain considerable experience of practicing the keys elements of dialogical work. Theory and practice are well integrated such that learning is embodied as well as conceptual. Reading will be provided to complement the training days. Among the topics covered are the following:
  • The 7 principles of Open Dialogue practice
  • Reflecting and reflecting teams
  • The facilitation of network meetings
  • The elements of dialogic practice
  • Circular and anticipatory questions
  • Family of origin work
  • Working in crisis situations
  • Working with people experiencing psychosis
  • Peers in network meetings
  • Dealing with fears about network meetings
  • Working with risk

Details of who will be considered for the training can be found below. We are particularly interested to hear from NHS Trusts that would like to take part in a pilot project to evaluate the implementation of the Open Dialogue approach. This research would be undertaken in collaboration with Jaakko Seikkula.

Applications for the training will be considered in the following order of priority:

  • Mental health teams (including peers) from NHS Trusts involved in the full 3 year Open Dialogue training programme
  • Mental health teams (including peers) from NHS Trusts interested in taking part in a pilot project
  • Other NHS mental health teams (including peers)
  • Independent therapists/practitioners/peers interested in working at a centre for dialogic practice in London.
  • International teams working in public services
  • Other mental health professionals working in teams
  • Additional support for organisations/services

There will be a members area for trainees on the Open Dialogue UK website, which will include a forum for shared learning and for communication between training blocks.

This members area will also include resources for learning such as reading lists, articles, videos, etc. Books relating to the training will be offered at discount prices.

Support for development within your organisation
Nick Putman is available on a part-time basis to support the development of the Open Dialogue approach in your organisation/service, including working with teams on a clinical basis. See below for Nick’s biography.

Training Team

Volkmar is a Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist with a Doctorate in Human Medicine, and is internationally recognised for his contributions to the field of psychiatry. His expertise has been developed through lengthy experience as a clinical director, active researcher, lecturer and publisher. He worked as a senior consultant in the University Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in Hamburg for 10 years. There his accomplishments included working on a new project for people with difficult to treat psychosis including individual and group therapy practices. He was among the first to be involved with voice hearers in Germany. Together with engaged teams he also started to implement more and more elements of the Need Adapted Treatment Model and Open Dialogue practices on an acute ward for people with psychotic experiences.

Volkmar led the first project in Germany to implement the Need Adapted Treatment Model and Open Dialogue practices. Over the past 8 years he has developed a variety of in-house training programmes for the practice of Open Dialogue for multi-professional teams, often including peers (in total more than 30 training programmes). He has run these trainings along with many other senior therapists across 17 districts in Germany, and variations on the programme have been run in the USA (The Parachute Project), Switzerland and Poland.

Volkmar is inspired to develop humane approaches to people experiencing severe distress, following the principles of the peer and recovery movement, within an integrated practice. He writes:

“I love to run these trainings, to see the impact on professionals, and their capacity to create a frame for a process in which clients can overcome their sense of alienation, as well as find their individuality and their own meaning for extreme experiences. The mutual process of reconciliation and individualisation can be astounding while the actual dialogical practice is so subtle. I greatly appreciate the values that are at the heart of this approach, such as respect, growth, and a more socially inclusive way of life.”

Petra is a registered nurse and network therapist, and has a masters for teaching in health services. She has been working since 1993 in different psychiatric services for outpatient and inpatient care, first at Kriscenter Soteria (1993-1997), an integrated model of care for people experiencing first break psychosis. Kriscenter Soteria was part of the Swedish Parachute Study. From 1997 to 2001 Petra worked as the head of outpatient centres, first in Södertälje Psychiatric Sector with integrated NIP (Newly Identified Psychosis) teams and integrated teams for social work and psychiatric treatment according to need adapted principles. Petra is presently working at Psychiatry South Stockholm as the head of an outpatient unit, and is also running training programmes for the organisation’s employees, e.g. “Psychiatry in a historical, social and political context”, as well as seminars on personality disorders and supervision. She has been developing and running training programmes in Need Adapted Treatment Model and Open Dialogue since 2008. Since 2013 these trainings have been delivered for the Parachute Project in New York City and also as a Foundation Training for Open Dialogue UK Petra’s interest in working dialogically in healthcare settings started with her job at Kriscenter Soteria. Cornerstones of practice were the implicit attention given to clients and their family’s words and language, the acknowledgement that every human being is born into relationships, embedded in them, and that we as human beings are and need to be dependent on fellow humans. To be human and to become who we are, we need the answer of others. Others need to see, hear and respond to our being in the world. Dialogue as such is the foundation of our lives and we as species can’t survive without being a part of the social web of our relational and intersubjective existence.

NickNick Putman is a registered psychotherapist and a certified Open Dialogue practitioner and trainer, having completed a two year training in the Open Dialogue approach with Mary Olson and others in the US and a three year trainer’s training programme in London with Jaakko Seikkula and others. He is the founder of Open Dialogue UK, which established the first full training in the Open Dialogue approach outside of Western Lapland. Nick has visited the Open Dialogue service in Western Lapland on a number of occasions to study the approach and the structure of the service. He has more than 20 years experience working in a variety of mental health settings, and considerable experience working with people experiencing psychosis and their families. Nick is currently working with families in London, along with colleagues, both at the Open Dialogue UK premises and at home visits.