Trainers' Training

Open Dialogue – Trainers’ Training Programme

Commencing in May 2020
Helsinki, Finland
Organised by
Dialogic Partners in co-operation with the
Department of Psychology at the University of Jyväskylä


There is growing interest in Open Dialogue throughout the world and requests for organising training for clinicians and peers have radically increased. When it comes to organising longer-term systematic Open Dialogue training programmes, it is necessary that this is led by qualified trainers who have first qualified in a psychotherapy training in Open Dialogue or related approaches. This criterion is important to follow, especially in situations where research is organised, in order to guarantee that the new practice really follows the key elements of dialogical practice in Open Dialogue.

Our response has been to organise this two year training programme for therapists to become trainers in Open Dialogue programmes. The first such programme was organised with success by Open Dialogue UK, and we have since organised two programmes in Helsinki and one in Sydney, Australia. We are pleased to now announce this third programme in Helsinki.

This programme 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 Family Therapy Training) follows these criteria. Our aim is that during the training the participants will be supported to start their own programmes of Open Dialogue and Dialogical Practice in their home countries, and thus we could have an international network of training of Open Dialogue certificates.

The emphasis in this programme will be on developing practices that mobilize the resources of clients and professionals in a collaborative way. The specific aims are:

  • To develop further the dialogical psychotherapeutic skills of the participants, in particular in challenging clinical (and supervision) situations
  • To develop skills for acting as supervisor, trainer and consultant
  • To enhance skills for developing social and health care towards more democratic and human practices

We invite all those interested to apply to the programme. The closing date is 15 March 2020.

See below for further information on the training programme, and for full details of the training faculty please click here.

Apply for Training

To apply for the training please click here.

Deadline for applications: 15 March 2020

 Dates for Training

25-29 May 2020

7-11 Sept 2020

16-20 Nov 2020

Remaining 5 blocks in 2021/22 to be confirmed

Training Fees

9300 € per person

in 4 installments of 2325 €


Please telephone
+358 50 44 32361
or contact us by clicking here

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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 (8×5 days) which include eight theory seminars (duration two or three days each). In addition 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. These include origins of the Need-adapted approach and open dialogues; origins of social network orientation both in private and professional networks; treatment of psychosis; 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 the seventh 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. 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, live supervision will also 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 the 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. The specific approach will be conducted together with the therapists.
There will be some 3000 pages of relevant literature to read during the training. Participants have to conduct psychotherapeutic work – preferably family therapy – altogether 300 x 45 mins, 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 candidate should have family therapy training or equivalent psychotherapy training plus documented working experience of dialogical family and network practices. The criteria have to meet or be equivalent to those in the Finnish legislation (decree 1120/2012), which require a minimum of 60 ECTS training in psychotherapy.

In all 18 participants will be selected for the training program through an admission interview. The training will take place mainly in Espoo, Finland.

Training program fee

The overall price for the training is 7 500 + 1 800 (VAT 24%) = 9 300 €, to be paid in four even instalments (1875 + VAT). The price includes the selection interview, theory training, as well as supervision and own therapy in small groups. The trainees will cover their own travel expenses and lodging as well as purchase the literature.

To support possibilities therapists from low economic countries the organizers announce two grants of 5000 € to be applied at the time of application period.

Application procedure and admission

To be appointed the applicant will meet the criteria of psychotherapist according to Finnish legislations (decree 1012/2012) and – if not having systemic family therapy training – has relevant experience in working with families in dialogical practice. During the training program the participant has to be able to conduct psychotherapy with families and/or single clients. To be admitted the applicant has to pass the admission interview, in which his/her suitability for psychotherapy work will be evaluated.

The deadline for written applications is 15.03.2020. Please click here to submit your application online.

All the candidates that pass the criteria for training will be interviewed individually before the first week of April 2020. The information of acceptance will be sent to the participants before 26th of April 2020.

Ethical board

The members of the board of the psychotherapy training in the Psychotherapy Research and Training centre at the University of Jyväskylä will act as the ethical board.

Training Team

The board of trainers, chaired by Jaakko Seikkula, Ph.D. psychologist and advanced level family therapist, will decide on trainee admission and the content of the training program. The other members of the board are:

  • Jorma Ahonen, MsC, social psychologist, family therapist advanced level
  • Tiina Ahonen, MA, social worker, family therapy trainer
  • Birgitta Alakare, MedLic, psychiatrist family therapist advanced level
  • Tom Erik Arnkil, Ph.D., research professor emeritus, social policy
  • Pekka Borchers, Ph.D, psychiatrist family therapist advanced level
  • Tanja Pihlaja, MsC, social worker, family therapy trainer
  • Eija-Liisa Rautiainen, Ph.D. psychologist family therapist advanced level
  • Tapio Salo, MA, psychologist, psychotherapist advanced level
  • Sirpa Lindroos, MD. psychotherapist advanced level
  • Kari Valtanen, MedLic, child psychiatrist, family therapist advanced level

In addition guest lecturers may be invited.