Category Archives: Open Dialogue

Suspicious minds: The Truman Show delusion – All In The Mind – ABC Radio National (suitable for children)

In the past, people suffering from delusional beliefs might have thought that they were Napoleon or that the KGB was tapping their phone. These days, many believe that they’re the star of a movie or a reality television show, even when they’re not.

Joel Werner reports from New York on the under-recognised influence of culture on mental health. The Truman Show Delusion.

The episode recreates the creation of delusion in easy top understand form – even suitable for children.

Source: Suspicious minds: The Truman Show delusion – All In The Mind – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Mad studies brings a voice of sanity to psychiatry | Peter Beresford | Society | The Guardian

“Recovery” was meant to be the bright new idea of mental health policy. For many service users, however, it has become code for cutting support and trying to push people off benefits and into employment. The rhetoric of “user involvement” carries less conviction as the sector is reshaped more by a push to privatisation than by the appeal for parity of esteem with physical health policy….

Mad studies brings a voice of sanity to psychiatry | Peter Beresford | Society | The Guardian.

19th ISPS International Congress in New York City | ISPS NY 2015

Abstract submission now open

March 18 – 22, 2015 at The Cooper Union in New York City

19th ISPS International Congress in New York City | ISPS NY 2015.

Publishing stings find predatory journals, shoddy peer review | Ars Technica

Science??? Who knew? I hope the sham articles published submitted to these journals will not be replicated.

Publishing stings find predatory journals, shoddy peer review | Ars Technica.

Open Dialogue adopted in Vermont, USA

Leading the project is Dr. Sandra Steingard, the Howard Center’s medical director of mental health and substance abuse services. For much of her 30-year career, Steingard largely accepted the mainstream thinking of the American psychiatric community — that antipsychotic medications are a critical tool in treating people who are delusional or hearing voices.

Last summer, Steingard traveled to Finland for preliminary training in Open Dialogue. Patient outcomes in that country are almost exactly opposite of those in the United States: After five years, about 80 percent of patients are fully recovered from their first-episode psychoses and are back at work. In Finland, where antipsychotic drugs aren’t prescribed as much as in the U.S., only one in five patients require any maintenance meds — or those taken continuously — at all.“They’re not really seeing schizophrenia in Finland. They’re seeing the same number of people coming in with acute psychosis,” Steingard says, “but people are getting better.”

Jaakko Seikkula explains Open Dailogue as a way of organising a psychiatric service

I was able to spend a little time with Jaakko to record this 12 minute interview, a the Dialogical Practices Conference in Leuven, Belgium, in March 2013:

Open Dialogue as a “Need Adapted” Approach to Psychiatric Intervention

More detail about this conference, including video and on-line presentations is available at

Treating Psychosis by Means of Open Dialogue

The publishers of “The Reflecting Team in Action” edited by Steven Friedman (1995, The Guilford Press, New York) and courtesy of Google Books we have free access to the chapter on Open Dialogue

Additional Studies of Alternatives to Hospitalization

Fabulous work by the US based National Empowerment Center:

Lots of links to work on the Open Dialogue  and Soteria projects

Social Isolation Kills, But How and Why?

This editorial in the Journal Psychosomatic Medicine is freely available at, as is the Brummett et al article he is editorialising (

While Professor House supposes that we do not really know why social isolation leads to more severe disease (in biomechanical terms), the Dialogical Practices approach takes the absence of social engagement as the pathogenic state for the human being.

Open Dialogue has proceeded from the work of Russian literary theorist, whose study of the great Russian novels, especially Dostoevsky, led to to assert that:

“For a human being there is nothing more terrible than a lack of response” – Mikhail Bakhthin

This is approach is important as it has provided a framework for an experiment in early intervention in psychosis with outstanding success, although this was in the unique environment of sub-Arctic Finland.

Psychosis as a Personal Crisis

A new book has been added to the the ISPS book series (published by Routledge) late in 2012

Edited by Professor Marius Romme and Dr Sandra Escher, “Psychosis as a Personal Crisis” describes an approach which is fundamentally about the person, and finding traditional medical approaches at best providing band-aid treatment for these crises, this book seems to provide a framework for this personalised response to  distressing symptoms, like voices (auditory hallucinations) and beliefs (delusions).

A sample chapter, “Psychiatry at the crossroads: The limitations of contemporary psychiatry in validating subjective experiences “, by Dr Brain Martindale, is available for download here.

Dr Martindale has written extensively on psychosis – two of his freely available papers are here:

Psychodynamic contributions to early intervention in psychosis

The rehabilitation of psychanalysis and the family in psychosis: Recovering from blaming