Foundation Training – London 2020

Open Dialogue – Foundation Training


for NHS and other mental health teams, independent practitioners and peers
Organised by


PLEASE NOTE: This training can also be run on an in-house basis in the NHS and other mental health services nationally and internationally. For further details, please contact us.

As is the case in Western Lapland, Open Dialogue foundation trainings are integral to any Open Dialogue service, helping staff to become familiar enough with the philosophy and practice of Open Dialogue, such that they can start to facilitate network meetings in their service.

The Open Dialogue UK foundation programme is largely based on a programme developed over the past 10 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, Australia and France. 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 four times in the UK, including teams from several NHS Trusts, as well as those working in public services internationally, independent practitioners and peers. In 2019 it was run on an in-house basis for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. It was also the training chosen for the Queensland Peer Supported Open Dialogue project and is the first Open Dialogue foundation training to be run in France.

Given the current difficulties travelling to and gathering for training programmes, due to the ongoing covid pandemic, we have decided to run our 2021 foundation training online. In order to keep the continuity of our existing trainings intact, we decided, following the second wave of covid which started in August 2020, to move these trainings online, and were surprised at how well it went. We have been using the Zoom platform for this purpose since October 2020 to run three different trainings, and the feedback has been very positive. We are able to use the breakout rooms in Zoom for small group exercises, as well as screen sharing and other features, and, whilst most participants would have preferred to be able to continue these trainings in person, some have felt that certain elements of the online format are actually advantageous to training in person. We are therefore confident that we can offer a very good training experience online in 2021. One adaptation that we have made for online trainings is to run them in shorter blocks of two/three days, so as to make the online experience less demanding. We also tend to have shorter breaks more often when working online.

We are very pleased that Petra Hohn will once again be able to join us for this training and that Kari Valtanen, from Lapland, will also be on the training team, along with Nick Putman. These experienced practitioners and trainers have now participated as trainers on several Open Dialogue UK trainings as well as many other training programmes internationally. Further information about the trainers can be found below.

If you are interested in participating in this programme please submit your application as soon as possible in order to be considered.

 Dates for Training

23-24 Apr 2021

21-22 May 2021

25-26 Jun 2021

30-31 Jul 2021

9-11 Sept 2021

30 Sept – 2 Oct 2021

29-30 Oct 2021

26-27 Nov 2021

17-18 Dec 2021

All training days will start at 09.00 GMT/BST and will finish at 17.00 GMT/BST.

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.

Training Fees

£2750 per person

or 4 installments of £750


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


Training Team

The training programme will take place in London and will consist of 20 days over the course of 2019, divided into 9 blocks. 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

Kari Valtanen is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Family Therapist, living in Rovaniemi, Finland, at the Arctic Circle. He is working with the Open Dialogue team at the Adolescent Psychiatric Unit in Western Lapland. Kari has experience in consulting with child & adolescent mental health services and child protection in different municipalities in Lapland. He has been teaching family and narrative therapy, collaborative, and dialogical practice for several years. Kari has held three year Open Dialogue trainings with his colleagues locally in Lapland and has been a trainer on several Open Dialogue trainings internationally including those run in the UK, Italy, Australia, France, Japan, US and Canada.