Open Dialogue Foundation Training

Open Dialogue Foundation Training

Commencing in Spring 2019
London, UK
for mental health teams, independent practitioners and peers
Organised by


This foundation programme will draw on both the programme run by Open Dialogue UK in London and internationally and the foundation programme run in Western Lapland, and will be co-led by Nick Putman and certified international Open Dialogue trainers.

The Open Dialogue UK foundation programme is largely based on a programme developed over the past 8 years by Volkmar Aderhold and others, and is now the most widely used Open Dialogue foundation training internationally. It is based on extensive clinical experience and several visits to study the Open Dialogue service in Western Lapland, and has been refined over the years, based on the experience of what has seemed most effective, having been run extensively in Germany, and also in Switzerland, the US, the UK and Australia. It provides a thorough grounding in the practice of facilitating Open Dialogue network meetings.

This programme was at the heart of the development of the Parachute Project in New York City, along with Intentional Peer Support training programmes. Clinicians and peers working in mobile crisis teams and respite centres across four of New York’s boroughs undertook the training, led by Volkmar and Petra Hohn, as part of a systematic redevelopment of community mental health services in the city. It has been run twice in the UK, including teams from several NHS Trusts, as well as those working in public services internationally, independent practitioners and peers. It was also the training chosen for the Queensland Peer Supported Open Dialogue project.

The foundation training in Western Lapland is integral to the Open Dialogue service that has developed there over the last thirty years, along with the full 3/4 year training programme. It is a programme 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, the programme allows for reflective space to help participants to embody the practice.

Deadline for applications: 28 February 2018

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


Training Fees

£3250 per person

or 4 installments of £895


Please telephone
+44 20 8133 3441
or contact us by clicking here

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The training programme will take place in London and will consist of 20 days over the course of 2019, divided into 5 blocks of 4 days. The training days will consist of a mixture of presentations on theory and practice, large group discussions, and role plays, where trainees will gain considerable experience of practicing the keys elements of dialogical work. Theory and practice are well integrated such that learning is embodied as well as conceptual. Reading will be provided to complement the training days. Among the topics covered are the following:
  • The 7 principles of Open Dialogue practice
  • Reflecting and reflecting teams
  • The facilitation of network meetings
  • The elements of dialogic practice
  • Circular and anticipatory questions
  • Family of origin work
  • Working in crisis situations
  • Working with people experiencing psychosis
  • Peers in network meetings
  • Dealing with fears about network meetings
  • Working with risk

Details of who will be considered for the training can be found below. We are particularly interested to hear from NHS Trusts that would like to take part in a pilot project to evaluate the implementation of the Open Dialogue approach. This research would be undertaken in collaboration with Jaakko Seikkula.

Applications for the training will be considered in the following order of priority:

  • Mental health teams (including peers) from NHS Trusts involved in the full 3 year Open Dialogue training programme
  • Mental health teams (including peers) from NHS Trusts interested in taking part in a pilot project
  • Other NHS mental health teams (including peers)
  • Independent therapists/practitioners/peers interested in working at a centre for dialogic practice in London.
  • International teams working in public services
  • Other mental health professionals working in teams
  • Additional support for organisations/services

There will be a members area for trainees on the Open Dialogue UK website, which will include a forum for shared learning and for communication between training blocks.

This members area will also include resources for learning such as reading lists, articles, videos, etc. Books relating to the training will be offered at discount prices.

Support for development within your organisation
Nick Putman is available on a part-time basis to support the development of the Open Dialogue approach in your organisation/service, including working with teams on a clinical basis. See below for Nick’s biography.

Training Team


Nick Putman is a registered psychotherapist and a certified Open Dialogue practitioner, having completed a two year training in the Open Dialogue approach with Mary Olson and others in the US and a three year trainer’s training programme in London with Jaakko Seikkula and others. He is the founder of Open Dialogue UK, which established the first full training in the Open Dialogue approach outside of Western Lapland. Nick has visited the Open Dialogue service in Western Lapland on a number of occasions to study the approach and the structure of the service. He has more than 20 years experience working in a variety of mental health settings, and considerable experience working with people experiencing psychosis and their families. Nick is currently working with families in London, along with colleagues, both at the Open Dialogue UK premises and at home visits.

The additional trainers for this programme will be announced soon.