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Open Dialogue Weekend Seminars in Spring 2014

Sat, March 15, 2014

An Extended Introduction to the Open Dialogue Approach with Members of the Open Dialogue Team and Jaakko Seikkula*

Location: London, England
Dates: March 15-16, May 3-4 & May 31-June 1 2014 from 10am-5pm
Sponsored and hosted by: Open Dialogue UK

Over the course of three weekends in the Spring of 2014, members of the Open Dialogue team from Western Lapland will be visiting the UK to introduce the Open Dialogue approach in some depth at the Round Chapel in Hackney. These weekend seminars will be a mixture of presentations and small and large group discussions. The presentations will cover topics such as the history of the Open Dialogue approach, the structure of the service in Western Lapland and the principles that underlie it, the practice of meeting with (family) networks, the use of medication, working with people experiencing psychosis, the evidence base for the approach, and the roots of the approach (Gregory Bateson, Milan Systemic Therapy, Need-Adapted Treatment, the work of Tom Andersen, social constructionism, and Bakhtin and dialogical theory).

These seminars are likely to be of interest to those who are currently working in psychiatric services, family therapists, psychotherapists and counsellors, NHS managers and policy makers, people with lived experience of psychosis/mental distress, carers/family members, and those who are interested in the application of philosophical principles in mental health services.
*Markku Sutela (Chief Psychologist) and Mia Kurtti (Family Therapist) from the Open Dialogue team in Western Lapland will be attending all three weekends along with Nick Putman, and Jaakko Seikkula (Professor of Psychotherapy) will be attending one weekend. We also hope to have other speakers as well. Please check our website for the latest details.

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 over the last 30 years. Psychiatric services using Open Dialogue have the best documented outcomes in the Western World. 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.

Open Dialogue teams work to help those involved in a crisis, as much as possible in their own homes, to be together and to engage in dialogue. It has been their experience that if the family/team can bear the high emotion in a crisis situation, and tolerate the uncertainty, in time, shared meaning usually emerges and healing is possible. Open Dialogue has drawn on a number of theoretical models, including systemic family therapy, dialogical theory and social constructionism.


Jaakko Seikkula
 Markku Sutela
   Mia Kurtti
           Nick Putman

Jaakko Seikkula is a Professor of Psychotherapy at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. From 1981 to 1998 he was Chief Psychologist at Keropudas hospital in Tornio, Finland, and was instrumental in the development of the Open Dialogue approach there. He has played a leading role in research into Open Dialogue and related approaches, and has published numerous papers on the outcome of these studies. He is co-author of the book 'Dialogical Meetings in Social Networks'.

Markku Sutela has been working in the Western Lapland area since 1979, first at the Child Guidance Clinic in Kemi and since 1983 at Keropudas hospital in Tornio. At the present he is working as the Chief Psychologist in the Open Dialogue service in Western Lapland, and coordinates the Open Dialogue training program.

Mia Kurtti has been working in the Open Dialogue service in Western Lapland since 2002. Her original training was as a psychiatrist nurse, but she has since gone on to complete a family therapy training (run within the Open Dialogue service). For Mia, it is important to embrace Open Dialogue prinicples in life generally. She is inspired to share these principles with others around the world, and to learn about practices elsewhere.

Nick Putman is a psychotherapist based in Brighton and London who specialises in working with people experiencing 'psychosis', and is actively involved in the development of Open Dialogue and the Soteria model in the UK. He has been visiting Finland to spend time with the Open Dialogue teams and to study their progressive approach. He believes strongly in the need for better services in the UK for people experiencing psychosis and their families.

The pricing for 6 full days is as follows:

Very Early Bird (until 15 Jan 2014): £350
Early Bird (until 15 Feb 2014): £400
Standard Rate: £450

A 10% discount will be automatically applied for groups of 5 or more people booking at the same time. In addition to this a limited number of lower-cost places will be made available to full-time students and those in receipt of benefits. Please see our website for further details.

For more detail on these weekend seminars and to book a place please visiting the following page on the Open Dialogue UK website: http://opendialogueapproach.co.uk/weekend-seminars-in-spring-2014/

Contact for more information:

Open Dialogue UK
Email: [email protected]

Phone number +44 20 3290 6333.