Foundation Training – Online 2024

Open Dialogue – Foundation Training


for mental health professionals/teams, independent practitioners and peer workers

PLEASE NOTE: This training is also being run in person in London in 2024. For further details and to apply, please see this page.
The training can also be run on an in-house basis in the NHS and other mental health services nationally and internationally. For further details and enquiries please visit this page.

This foundation training is an internationally recognised programme for professionals working in public mental health services (including peer workers) and independent practitioners. It is the most widely used Open Dialogue training programme internationally, and has now been run by Open Dialogue UK on 17 occasions, in five different countries, including five times on an in-house basis in the NHS in the UK. Many of the materials in the training are based on those originally developed by Volkmar Aderhold and Petra Hohn, who began running Open Dialogue foundation trainings over 15 years ago, continually revising their materials based on what proved to be most effective in training professionals in public mental health care services across Germany and Switzerland. This programme was also one of the two main trainings used in the Parachute Project in New York.

The programme provides a thorough grounding in the practice of facilitating Open Dialogue network meetings, and participants are encouraged to start practicing before the end of the training, if they are able to (though such practice is not a required part of Open Dialogue training at foundation level). The emphasis in the training is on practice, and understanding the approach through engaging both personally and professionally in the training process. In other words, though a good deal of theory and specific skills are taught on the programme, the heart of the process is the dialogue between the participants (and trainers) and the ways in which they reflect on the approach and each other’s contributions. Open Dialogue is an embodied practice and so it is important for participants to engage emotionally as well as intellectually in the training process.

Training days typically consist of a mixture of exercises, role plays, presentations, handouts and discussions, and there is also a family of origin process, where participants explore their own family background. Reading is given after each block, rather than in advance, as practice comes before theory. The reading given will tend to follow the particular topics introduced on each block, and largely comes in the form of journal articles, which can be accessed online in PDF form, via the Open Dialogue international website. Because most of the theory is shared in the form of handouts and presentations during the training, and explored through dialogue in small and large groups, participants can access the theory that they need in order to practice through these means. For more detail on the content of the programme, please see below.

In mid 2020, due to the pandemic, we had to move our training programmes online, in order to maintain the training processes that were already underway. Initially there was some hesitancy in doing so, but we were very pleased to see how well the training worked online, with only minor adaptations needed for the online format. So we decided to run the training online again in 2021, 2022 and 2023 and have continued to have a positive experience of doing so. We plan to offer the training online annually from now onwards. We use Zoom as the software for our online trainings.

We are very pleased to have such an experienced training team for this programme. Anni Haase and Kari Valtanen from Lapland and Petra Hohn from Sweden will be joining Nick Putman as trainers. Further details on the trainers can be found below.

If you are interested in participating in this programme please submit your application as soon as possible.

Please note that this training is also being run in London in 2024. For further details, see this page.

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.

 Dates for Training

29 Feb – 1 Mar 2024

4-5 April 2024

2-3 May 2024

20-21 June 2024

23-24 Jul 2024

18-20 Sept 2024

23-25 Oct 2024

14-15 Nov 2024

17-18 Dec 2024

Each training day will start at 09.00 and finish at 17.00 UK time (GMT/BST).

Training Fees

£2950 per person
(inc VAT)

or 4 installments of £810

Testimonials on our Foundation Training


Please contact us by clicking here.

The training programme will take place online and will consist of 20 days over the course of 2024, divided into 9 blocks. Among the topics covered will be the following:

  • The Western Lapland service
  • The 7 principles of Open Dialogue
  • Reflecting and reflecting teams
  • The facilitation of network meetings
  • The key elements of dialogic practice
  • Circular and anticipatory questions
  • Meta-communication
  • Family of origin work
  • Positive/logical connotation and communicating difficult feelings
  • Working in crisis situations
  • Working with people experiencing psychosis
  • Working with risk

If you require more detail on the curriculum of this training programme, please contact us.

Training Team

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. Petra has participated in most of the Open Dialogue foundation trainings run by Open Dialogue UK, across 5 different countries.

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.