Developing Open Dialogue (DoD) grew from a large seed planted in 2003 in Harrogate, Yorkshire when Jaakko Seikkula, a Finnish psychologist presented a workshop on the Open Dialogue approach used in Tornio, Western Lapland, Finland. For a while the seed was dormant, but always ready and willing to grow. Early Intervention in Psychosis services in England were new. As these services developed some started to question the medicalised approach that is still the bedrock of ‘treatment’ for psychotic experiences.
On 1st November 2012, I invited Jaakko to present a 2 day seminar in Sheffield, Yorkshire on Open Dialogue, sponsored by South Yorkshire Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice. This was attended by several EI services and was a catalyst for change. Now many services and individuals are very interested in developing a different approach to mental health difficulties. DoD is based in Yorkshire, but currently has followers across the world. I am a family therapist who worked for the early intervention in psychosis service in Leeds. Russell Razzaque, Mark Hopfenbeck and I developed the Peer supported open dialogue training course for which I am a tutor, and I have also completed the trainer in training 3 year course with Open Dialogue UK. Developing Opening Dialogue aims to keep interested people up to date with developments in Open Dialogue approaches across the UK and elsewhere, from service implementations, to research projects and training opportunities.
It is a not for profit organisation and is driven only by the passion to spread the word about different ways of understanding mental health difficulties.