Open Dialogue Training

Support During COVID-19

Our loved ones are quarantined from their beloved, even nearing the end of their lives. With recent COVID-19 events, the conversations needed nearing end-of-life often aren’t happening. I am a trained dialogical family therapist with specialized end-of-life doula/midwifery training. Most nurses and physicians are overloaded these days with the requirements caring for this pandemic. I am available to provide a space for you and your family/friends/loved ones via video conference, and I am offering training modules for practitioners to learn what is necessary to provide an open therapeutic space for patients and their social networks to gather online to say what they need to say to one another, in their own time.

For inquries please contact:

Foundation Open Dialogue Course

The curriculum for the year-long Open Dialogue Foundation course was developed by Volkmar Aderhold, Petra Hohn, Aino-Maija Rautkallio, and others and has been offered and adapted worldwide

Currently Accepting Applicants
Tacoma, WA  Cost: $4000

April 28 - May 2, 2021
July 7-11, 2021
October 13-17, 2021
January 26-30, 2022
(CEUs/CMEs pending)

More Information

The Open Dialogue foundation training course, originally developed by Volkmar Aderhold and Petra Hohn as an in-house hospital training, was developed and delivered in Germany for over 16 years. Since then, it has been adapted in the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, and the U.S.. Foundational courses in Finland preceded the delivery of this course, all inspired by the incredible results over the past 35 years found time and again in Western Lapland. It is a program that all staff participate in soon after joining the service, helping to ensure that teams are well integrated, working from the same philosophical/value base.

As well as introducing new staff to the key principles of Open Dialogue and dialogical practice, this Foundation course allows for reflective space to encouragement trainees to embody the practice. It provides a thorough grounding in the practice of facilitating Open Dialogue network meetings and was at the heart of the development of the Parachute Project in New York City, along with Intentional Peer Support training programs. Clinicians and peers working in mobile crisis teams and respite centers across four of New York’s boroughs undertook the training, as part of a systematic redevelopment of community mental health services in the city. It has been delivered multiple times in the United Kingdom, as well as in public services internationally. It was the training chosen for the Queensland Peer-Supported Open Dialogue project.

The emphasis in the training is on practice, engaging both personally and professionally in the training process. The heart of the process is the dialogue between the trainees and the ways in which they experience the approach themselves while learning to reflect on one another’s contributions. Open Dialogue is an embodied practice, so trainees engage in many ways, intellectually, experientially, while relating to their counterparts in their cohort and bringing in the present-moment and their awarenesses of their own history and clinical or patient experiences. Taking the time to make the time is essential in the helping professions.

Most training days start with some dialogue about where trainees are now and end with reflections on the day. They typically consist of a mixture of exercises, role plays, presentations, handouts and discussions, and a family-of-origin small group process a third of the way through the course where participants explore their own families of origin. 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 after registering. Among the topics covered are the following:

• The 7 principles of Open Dialogue practice
• Reflecting and reflecting teams
• The facilitation of network meetings
• The 12 elements of dialogical practice
• Circular and anticipatory questions
• Family of origin work
• Working in crisis situations
• Working with people experiencing psychosis
• Peers in network meetings

The training is designed to enable trainees to start to practice Open Dialogue during the course of the training. The program runs over the course of 10-12 months consisting of 20 days, currently organized in four 5-day blocks.*

*(Organizations interested in a different format delivery of the 20-day material may inquire. It can be tailored and organized in blocks of 2-3 days instead, depending on the preference of the service organizing the training.)

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Advanced Family Therapy Training: Dialogical Approaches in Couple and Family Therapy
Psychotherapy trainers training 2021–2023

Organizers: Open Dialogue Pacific, Dialogical Therapy, with ancillary support from University of Washington faculty member Fletcher B. Taylor, MD.

Tacoma, WA
Includes: Supervision, Family of Origin work, Theory & Practicum -
Cost $8000

April 21-25 2021
July 14-18 2021
October 20-24 2021
January 19-23 2022
April 2022
July 2022
October 2022
January-February 2023

More Information

The aim is to develop dialogical practices in family therapy. The participants will be qualified to act as responsible trainers in education programs for psychotherapists. The emphasis will be on developing practices that mobilize in a collaborative way the resources of clients and professionals. The specific aims are:
1) to further develop the dialogical psychotherapeutic skills of the participants,
2) to develop the skills for acting as supervisor, trainer and consultant, and
3) to enhance skills for developing social and health care towards more democratic and human practices.

This program will follow the criteria of Finnish legislation, and the official title for the training is therefore “Psychotherapy Trainers’ Training – Dialogical approaches for couples and family therapy”. This is because Open Dialogue training in Finland (named as Advanced Family Therapy Training) follows these criteria. The aim is that during the training the participants will be supported to start their own programs of Open Dialogue and Dialogical Practice.

Participants will gain personal tools for generating dialogical and reflective processes in challenging client and supervision situations. The focus will also be on developing dialogical ways for collaboration within clients’ social networks – including both the private and the professional parts of the networks.

The training program provides a full learning process that prepares for taking charge of training and supervision in family therapy. The special aim is to increase competence to conduct education programs in dialogical practices - as Open Dialogue - for the most severe mental health crises.

Criteria to become trainee: The candidate should have family therapy training or equivalent psychotherapy training plus documented working experience of dialogical family and network practices. The criteria must meet or be equivalent to a minimum of 60 ECTS training in psychotherapy. In all, 18 participants will be selected for the training program through an admission interview.

The volume and content of the training:

The training includes altogether 40 training days in the course of two study years (4 terms). The entire volume of the training is 40 ECTS.

The content will be covered in eight (8) five-day seminar blocks (8 x 5 days) which each time include eight theory seminars (duration two or three days each). Each block of the training includes either supervision or Family of Origin seminars. The format is planned to minimize the expenses and inconveniences of trainees traveling long distances.

Theory, 152 hours - 27 ECT The theory program will take place mainly in sets of two or three seminar days included in the eight five-day training blocks. Each seminar will have a specific topic focusing on collaborative dialogical skills and specific subjects of dialogical practice. For example: treatment of psychosis, origins of social network orientation both in private and professional networks, children and adolescents as specific clients, dialogical skills in supervision and organization consultation, research in family therapy and social networks practices.

Each participant will conduct their own research of relevant topic within their working context and write a thesis report (10 ECT). For preparing the thesis two seminar days will be conducted and in addition in seven theory seminar block two hours will be focused on the guidance of the process of preparing thesis (16 +14 h).

Supervision 96 hours - 10 ECT Supervision will take place in three small groups during the training program. Video recordings of the participants’ family therapy practice will be the main data in the supervision. As far as the international participation and long distances allow, also live supervision will be supported. Participants will act as supervisors to each other during the later phase of the training - thus improving supervision skills. As a part of the supervision participants will take an examination in which they describe one psychotherapy process thus presenting their maturity in using dialogical orientation in psychotherapy work with families and social networks. In order to pass examination the participants will describe the content of the specific contact, the methods of approach fitting to this specific case and critically analyse their own clinical work.

Family of Origin seminars, 72 hours - 3 ECT Family of Origin seminars are the form of the participants’ own psychotherapy specific to this training. They will be conducted in three small groups working together during the entire program. Specific approach will be conducted together with the therapists.

There will be some 3000 pages of relevant literature for outside reading required.

Participants have to conduct psychotherapeutic work – preferably family therapy - altogether 300 x 45 minutes, all of this documented.

To support their learning process, participants will be divided in peer groups, in which they study literature, prepare seminar work, prepare their own teaching practice, participate in each other’s’ clinical work and support joint learning in other ways.

The trainees will cover their own travel expenses and lodging as well as purchase the literature.

To be admitted, the applicant has to pass the admission interview. The dead line for written applications is December 1, 2020. The application should be submitted by email. In the application the following aspects shall be clarified and should comprise about 1-2 pages of written text.

• Contact information of the applicant (name, title, mail address, email, telephone)
• The education, profession, working place of the applicant;
• Description of how psychotherapy and family therapy (or related topics of work) is carried out in the daily work of the candidate;
• All the psychotherapy training that the candidate has;
• The amount of received supervision and potential own psychotherapy;
• Description of motivations for and the meaning of the Trainers training for the candidate. Of special interest are descriptions of the ways in which dialogical practice is important to the candidate concerning developing social and health care and in which ways the candidate is motivated to act as supervisor and trainer and description of the current, relevant, life situation of the applicant.

The application should be submitted on the website here The deadline for the application is December 1, 2020. All the candidates that pass the criteria for potential trainees will be sent options for interview slots and should complete a phone interview individually before December 15, 2020. The information of acceptance will be sent to the participants before January 1, 2021.

Tailored Training Programs at your Organization:



Inter-vision/Supervision Sessions:

Alita Kathryn Taylor, MA, LMFT facilitates group supervision monthly in her Seattle office. These sessions are open to those wanting to improve their dialogical skills. Space is limited and priority is given to participants in the Open Dialogue training courses.


Mental Health Donation

With your help, the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care is reforming mental health. They are writing a new narrative of hope, freedom, informed choice, and healing care. They are funding research and supporting new discoveries of healing practices and programs that save lives.

Donating toward Open Dialogue training is one way you can choose to fund these world-changers. To ensure funds go toward scholarships for practitioners applying for Open Dialogue Pacific courses, please select in “Open Dialogue Pacific” under the “Apply My Donation To”  drop box.

Download our latest flyer about Open Dialogue and Training.