Open Dialogue: Can old dogs be taught new ways of being?

By September 1, 2017 No Comments

Now, this blogger is very keen on music (particularly 1970 – 1990) so bear with me whilst I draw this long bow…..George Michael and Aretha Franklin recorded “I knew you were waiting” in 1986. Great artists; lyrics are simple, compassionate and about battling adversity; it wasn’t a new song but a tried and tested old classic. And much to my astonishment they had never met each other when they recorded this.

What is the connection….. well I doubt whether there is one for anyone else but me.

  1. First thing is the date: also in 1986 a group of clinicians in Finland decided to treat psychosis differently. Their approach is known as Open Dialogue.

Still a long bow eh?

  1. Flick Grey and Carolyn Durrant are clearly very talented people – engaging and committed to their craft.

  2. Open dialogue has compassion and the principles are indisputably admirable, simple and determined to battle adversity.

  3. The model seems great and if delivered by the right people will work.

  4. Its tried and tested and yes the results are convincing.

Still a long bow,…..drum roll…..

  1. Flick and Michelle had never met each other before the presentation. (That was the clincher for me!)

If you nothing about open dialogue google it. You’ll love the principles “all voices matter” is the message I took home. There are the 7 principles:

The first 5 are about the system

  1. Immediate help.

  2. Social network perspective

  3. Flexibility and mobility

  4. Responsibility – first person contacted is responsible for arranging the first meeting  

  5. Psychological continuity

  6. Tolerance of uncertainty

  7. Dialogism – the primary goal is to generate dialogue.

So I left enlightened but also singing quietly

“When the river was deep I didn’t falter
When the mountain was high I still believed
When the valley was low it didn’t stop me”