Open Dialogue

Open Dialogue is a comprehensive way of organizing mental health care that involves psychotherapeutic work with people experiencing an acute psychosocial crisis and their social networking.
"Open Dialogues" is a model that is close to us, so we try to use it in practice with our clients and develop them in practice as a concept of community care based on the open cooperation of all actors.

The method is known primarily because of the work of Jaako Seikkula, who worked in Finnish Tornio as a clinical psychologist since 1981. The primary idea was to engage clients' families in the treatment of serious mental disorders. The Open Dialogue, in the sense of an honest, open conversation, showed the importance of taking into account each voice within the network. It is about listening to the other person and taking him seriously so that step by step he can better and better articulate his experience, even though it seems "psychotic".

A team of workers in northern Lapland has discovered that if the space to work with emotional dilemmas opens, the symptoms may gradually disappear.

In the concept of Open Dialogue, psychosis results from difficulties in relationships where individual voices could not be heard. The aim is therefore to prevent alienation and to re-establish relationships in families and the close network.

In West Lapland, Finland, thanks to the Open Dialogue it has been greatly reduced the incidence of new cases of schizophrenia diagnosis. However, Open Dialogue is applied today in many different contexts (not only) in mental health care, for example in the treatment of depression or eating disorders. In general, it can be used in all cases of severe mental illness, including the prevention of these diseases through so-called early intervention.

A nice illustration video to OD (with Czech subtitles) can be seen here.