Finland Open Dialogue

A Finnish alternative to the traditional mental health system for people diagnosed with “psychoses” such as “schizophrenia” is “Open Dialogue.” This approach aims to support the individual’s network of family and friends, as well as respect the decision-making of the individual. Here are two follow-up studies: One is a two-year follow-up and the other, which is the recommended study, is a five-year follow-up.

Page Film About Open Dialogue by Daniel Mackler
Filmmaker Daniel Mackler visited the innovative Open Dialogue model in Finland, and made a film available via DVD. Here’s his brief description of Open Dialogue and the film, and how to obtain it.
Link A Visit to the Finnish Open Dialogue Model
Filmmaker Daniel Mackler visited Finland to look at the Open Dialogue process himself. Here’s a brief article about his visit.
File Study on Five-Year Outcomes from Open Dialogue Approach in Finland for “Schizophrenia.”
Thisis a pdf study showing good results from the famous “Open Dialogue” mental health system in rural Finalnd, in which help for people diagnosed with schizophrenia and other “psychoses,” received help that tended to minimize psychiatric drugs. Journalist Robert Whitaker visited the Open Dialogue community and describes the experience in his book, “Anatomy of an Edidemic.” The title of this study is, “Five-year experience of first-episode nonaffective psychosis in open-dialogue approach: Treatment principles, follow-up outcomes, and two case studies.” Numbers about prescriptions of neuroleptics (also known as antipsychotics) can be found on page 222. The authors are Jaako Seikkula of University of Jyvaskyla, and others, published in Psychotherapy Research, March 2006; 16(2): 214 228.
File Two Year Outcomes: Finnish Open Dialogue Alternative to Traditional Psychiatry
This is a study published in 2000 about two-year outcomes from the “Open Dialogue” alternative in Finland. From “Spiritual Recoveries”: Jaakko Seikkula, Ph.D. is a professor at the Institute of Social Medicine at the University of Tromso in Norway and senior assistant at the Department of Psychology in the University of Jyvskyl in Finland. Between 1981-1998, he worked as a clinical psychologist at the Keropudas hospital in Finland where he and colleagues developed a highly successful approach for working with psychosis known as Open Dialogue Treatment (OPT). The approach de-emphasizes the use of drugs and focuses instead on developing a social network of family and helpers and involving the patient in all treatment decisions. Ongoing research shows that over 80% of those treated with the approach return to work and over 75% show no residual signs of psychosis. Official government statistics comparing 22 health districts in Finland found that Dr. Seikulla’s district was the only one not to have any new chronic hospital patients in a two year period and led the National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health to award a prize for “over ten years ongoing development of psychiatric care.” You may download an RTF article on Open Dialogue here.
Link Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker
Journalist Robert Whitaker describes the Finnish “Open Dialogue” process in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic. He visits the program, and gives his impression of why this program is helping people diagnosed ‘schizophrenic’ and other ‘psychoses,’ while minimizing prescriptions of psychiatric medications.

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