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Open(ing) Dialogues: 2 Day Online Workshop

An invitation to explore dialogical ways of working in mental health and social crises.

Trainers: Iseult Twamley, Mia Kurtti & Rai Waddingham.

9am – 5pm BST (UK / Ireland) / 8am – 4pm UTC / 10am – 6pm CEST)

9 & 10 September 2021

“The great gift of being heard and received”

– Bettina, a recent trainee

The need to be heard and responded to is fundamental to us as human beings. Yet, in health and social care services we are often focused more on what we can do when someone in crisis as opposed to how we can truly ‘be with’ them and their loved ones. Whilst this approach has its merits, many of us can easily recall times where those we have wished to help have left feeling unheard, disconnected and/or harmed. 

Open Dialogue is an approach that originated Western Lapland where system, philosophy and practice have been developed to complement and support the nurturing of dialogue between people in crisis situations. It has gained an increasing following across the world, with proponents being excited by the outcomes (especially with those diagnosed with forms of psychosis) and the way in which this approach fits within an ethical, trauma informed and human rights-based way of working. The key principles and elements of Open Dialogue have been adapted in its various implementations – it is an approach that can be used in response to local contexts, rather than one that is imposed irrespective of this.

In a multi-cultural society where there is no single way of understanding the world and our experience of it, these dialogical ways of working provide a structure for both respecting our differences whilst fostering the connections and resources needed to survive and grow in challenging times.

This is an invitation to …

  • Explore what it means to be ‘in dialogue’ with others and what this might offer in our lives and work
  • An embodied experience of dialogic relating – listening and responding to self and others
  • Learn more about dialogic approaches to mental health and social crises, and some of the different ways these have been implemented around the world.
  • An opportunity to connect with others, creating collaborative communities that will last beyond the training
  • A learning space where lived and professional voices and experiences are welcomed and can be explored together.

This online workshop combines presentations, practice examples, experiential exercises and space for dialogue.

From the beginning, we got the chance to really connect with the other participants. It’s really that connectedness for me that made the whole experience so special and meaningful. Everybody was so respectful and open, which for me created a very warm and safe space. This is what made the learning opportunities so great, as we could really practice and experiment with open dialogue together

– Ciska, a recent trainee

We welcome …

This workshop is suitable for anyone interested in using these ideas and practices to support and connect with others, including those engaged in nursing, psychology, psychiatry, peer support, community development work, social care, occupational therapy, counselling and more.

Please note, this is an English-language workshop.

Dates & Times

Date: 9-10 September, 2021

Time: 09.00-17.00 BST (UK/Ireland)

This is equivalent to:

08.00-16.00 UTC, and 
10.00 – 18.00 CEST

You can use to find out what time this relates to in your local area.


€275 / £235 – Standard (attendees funded by statutory, commercial or large charities/NGOs)

€175 / £150 – Reduced (self-funding attendees, and those funded by smaller charities)

A limited number of scholarships are available on a first-come first served basis.

Please read our terms and conditions before booking your place.