Open Dialogue Seminars and Training

Group news

Open Dialogue Seminars and Training

The Open Dialogue approach to psychiatric crises (psychosis and suicide) emerged as part of a national Finnish research project more than 30 years ago. The starting point of the new programme was to build a community-based care system that would avoid hospitalization as much as possible and focus on going into homes instead.

This approach, in which the family and others close to the person in crisis are gathered together to help find new understandings of the crisis situation, seems to reliably lead to reduced anxiety, distressing symptoms and social breakdown.

Results over the 30 years show that in most cases of first psychosis, duration of untreated psychosis was greatly reduced and outcomes were consistently improving.

In conjunction with our partner organisations across the country, ISPS Australia has invited Jaakko and Markku to visit and lead a series of introductory seminars and an introductory training programme.

The Need Adapted Approach to psychiatric care, with interactions structured along Open Dialogical principles has already been adopted by New York City, and rolled out across all five Boroughs, under the title of Parachute NYC, with local trainers, Jaakko, Markku and others contributing.

There are also many groups working in the UK and across Europe, offering training and practical support to services there.


Markku Sutela

Markku Sutela MA, is the Chief Psychologist at Keropudas Hospital in Western Lapland, Finland. He has been a part of the Open Dialogue team since 1983. In addition to his training as clinical psychologist he is also an advanced specialist level family therapist and a family therapy trainer. Markku’s interest is in the practical, every day meetings with people according to Open Dialogue guidelines.



Jaakko Seikkula


Jaakko Seikkula PhD, is Professor of Psychotherapy at the University of Jyväskylä, in Finland. He has been mainly involved in developing family and social network based practices with psychosis and other psychiatric crises. He was a member of the team in Tornio from the early 80’s until 1998 developing the Open Dialogue approach. His research has focused on outcome and process studies on family therapy for psychosis or depression and social network interventions in naturalistic settings.


Date Claimer

Seminar locations

  • Perth on 16-17 Feb at RFWA (Jaakko)
  • Sydney on 19 Feb at TheMHS (Jaakko)
  • Blue Mountains on 20 Feb at MCRN (Jaakko)
  • Brisbane on 20-21 Feb at QUT (Markku)
  • Townsville on 20-21 Feb at Townsville MHS (Jaakko)
  • Melbourne on 23-24 Feb at St Vincent’s Hospital (Markku)
  • And possibly more…

Open Dialogue training workshop

  • Sydney 25-28 Feb at ARAFMI (Jaakko & Markku)

To receive more information as new details, locations and registration costs are finalised, please email

There will be substantial registration discounts at all these events for existing ISPS members, and all non-member participants registering will also receive full ISPS membership for 2014.

Membership benefits in-clude online access to the all issues of the ISPS journal Psychosis and printed copies of all issues in the current year—publication will increase from three to four issue per year in 2014.

Details of recent outcomes data from the Open Dialogue project are available in the sample issue of Psychosis, at

OD Tour Flyer

Donation to ISPS

Your donation will help support the objectives of ISPS in advancing education, training and knowledge of mental health professionals in the treatment and prevention of psychotic mental disorders for the public benefit.