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Digital Seminar

OPEN DIALOGUE: An Innovative and Inclusive Way to Emphasise Humanity - Understanding and working with people in personal, family and social contexts.

Renata Porzig-Drummond PhD, PhD, BSc Psychology (Hon), Grad Dip Psychology, BA, Cert Holistic Couns
One day
Aug 05, 2020
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Digital Seminar
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Most people enjoy being heard. If they engage in therapy, they need to be heard. Regretfully, the experiences of individuals are often unintentionally minimised and their realities denied, not only by family and friends but also by professionals. Not being heard, in turn, can increase a person’s feelings of aloneness and create a roadblock to their recovery.

Open Dialogue bridges this gap by aiming to understand an individual’s experience in the context of their family and social network, and by activating the person’s psychosocial resources.

Open Dialogue is a person-oriented approach, originally developed in Finland to help respond to and provide ongoing care for people experiencing psychosis and other mental health crises. Given its evidenced effectiveness in improving clinical and functional outcomes, Open Dialogue has since been used in a variety of mental health and social recovery settings in Scandinavia, the UK, and the US. In Australia, adaptations of Open Dialogue are being implemented at Alfred Health in Victoria and, in NSW, at Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD, Nepean Blue Mountain LHD, and St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney.

Open Dialogue uses a dialogue-centred approach in network meetings that include the individual and mental health practitioners, as well as members from the person’s family and social circle, and sometimes peer workers. In network meetings, the decision-making process is transparent (open) and emerges from all voices being listened to, being valued, and being responded to (dialogue).

Dialogical Practice is a key element of Open Dialogue and requires therapists to be present, mindful, sensitive in facilitating collaboration, able to sit with uncertainty, and skilled in responding and reflecting in a transparent manner. Dialogical Practice allows the individual, as well as members of their family and social network to be heard, to be empowered, and to be actively involved in the individual’s recovery process.

Watch this video to learn more about Open Dialogue: 

The training will provide an understanding of the Open Dialogue approach on a theoretical and practical level, including: (1) a brief overview of the approach and its application; (2) the seven underlying principles of Open Dialogue; (3) the twelve key elements of Dialogical Practice; (4) skills training in appreciative listening; and (5) skills training in dialogical practice.

The morning session of the training day will focus on theoretical aspects. The presentation style will be interactive and will include case studies and audio-visual material. The afternoon session will focus on participants practicing key elements of appreciative listening and Dialogical Practice. The afternoon will conclude with time for questions and for reflections on how these skills can be incorporated into participants’ clinical practice.

Watch and learn more HERE


Buus, N., Bikic, A., Jacobsen, E. K., Muller-Nielsen, K., Aagaard, J., & Rossen, C. B. (2017). Adapting and          implementing Open Dialogue in the Scandinavian countries: A scoping review. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 38(5), 391-401.

Olson, M, Seikkula, J. & Ziedonis, D. (2014). The key elements of dialogic practice in Open Dialogue. The University of Massachusetts Medical School. Worcester, MA.

Seikkula, J., Alakare, B., Aaltonen, J., Holma, J., Rasinkangas, A., & Lehtinen, K. (2003). Open Dialogue approach: Treatment principles and preliminary results of a two-year follow-up on first episode schizophrenia. Ethical Human Sciences and Services, 5(53), 163-182..



Renata Porzig-Drummond PhD, PhD, BSc Psychology (Hon), Grad Dip Psychology, BA, Cert Holistic Couns's Profile

Renata Porzig-Drummond PhD, PhD, BSc Psychology (Hon), Grad Dip Psychology, BA, Cert Holistic Couns Related seminars and products

Renata Porzig-Drummond PhD teaches at the University of Adelaide. She uses an interactive presenting style that is engaging and emphasises practical application in a clinical context. Renata holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology and a BSc Psychology (Hon) from Macquarie University; a GradDip in Psychology and a BA from the University of Sydney; and a Certificate of Holistic Counselling from Nature Care College. Renata’s research has focused on behaviour change, particularly on the use of emotion-focused and cognitive-behavioural strategies in effecting behaviour change.

Her research has been published in leading academic journals, including Behaviour Research and Therapy, Australian Social Work and Social Science & Medicine. Renata’s clinical experience includes crisis counselling, psychological assessment, and working with clients with a variety of mental health issues. Renata is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and the International Coaching Federation.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Renata Porzig-Drummond has employment relationships with the University of Adelaide, the Professional Development People, and the Australian College of Applied Psychology. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Renata Porzig-Drummond is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, the International Coaching Federation, and the Anxiety Practitioners Network.


  1. Understanding clients’ experiences in the context of their family and social network
  2. Exploring the principles of Open Dialogue and Dialogical Practice
  3. Skills training in appreciative listening
  4. Skills training in Dialogical Practice

“I never met with a patient - I always met with a human being”
Jaako Seikkula, co-founder of the Open Dialogue approach in Finland


How will you benefit from attending this training?

  • Understand the principles of Open Dialogue and Dialogical Practice.
  • Become skilled at appreciative listening.
  • Become skilled in using key elements of Dialogical Practice.


Morning Session (includes a short break)

Key concepts

  • brief overview of the approach and its application
  • the seven underlying principles of Open Dialogue
  •  the twelve key elements of Dialogical Practice practical​

Afternoon Session (includes a short break)

Skills training in

  • appreciative listening
  • dialogical practice
  • integration of skills into clinical practice

Evaluation and quiz - your payment includes a quiz which when completed with a minimum of 80% correct answers, will enable you to download your Attendance Certificate.
To complete the quiz, please log into your account at and click the orange "Certificate" button under the program's title. 

For live webcasts, post-tests must be completed within one month of viewing the program.

Target Audience

Originally designed for mental health settings, most components of open dialogue are also highly relevant in other settings. Hence, anyone without, with some, or with substantial prior training or experience in mental health would benefit from this training, including coaches; HR professionals; counsellors, psychotherapists and social workers; volunteers; community workers; and allied health professionals.

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