Open Dialogue International Community Forum

Long-term fieldwork abroad to study open dialogue and other alternatives to coercive practices

Dear all,

I am a medical anthropologist, currently doctoral candidate and university professor in training with a contract by the Spanish ministry of Universities from 2020 to 2026 covering my PhD and a year of post-doctoral research. My thesis director has recently encouraged me to do a long (2-3 years) fieldwork stay in Scandinavia to explore best practices in non-coercive mental healthcare.

My first three years of research have mainly focused on the implementation of non-coercive practices in Spain, while also studying which practices are available Worldwide and the EU in particular. I recently co-authored a report on the situation of Open Dialogue in Spain ( The aim of the last leg of my doctoral research is to gain in-depth experience abroad, and study best practices in another healthcare system by undertaking ethnographic work, thus being able to compare the Spanish situation with that of a different region in forthcoming papers.

The choice of doing my fieldwork abroad in the Scandinavia region is to be able to explore in person the Finish Open Dialogue approach and the Norwegian medication-free wards, and any other practice worth studying. I have funds granted to cover expenses for the next three years abroad, and my home-base would be Sweden where I already have an apartment in ownership. Since my aim is to explore different cities and practices across Scandinavia, that seemed a sensible location to enable easier access to both countries, even Denmark and Sweden itself if there are persons to visit in any of these locations.

Language-wise I have full command of English, and got experience adapting quickly and observing through non-verbal communication from past work abroad including several years in the United Kingdom and the People’s Republic of China while still undergraduate (by then working as contractor for Stanford Law School and Geneva Graduate Institute). Despite any initial language-barrier, we are confident the ethnographic work will be much worth the stay.

Now only searching for an institution / research group to reach an academic agreement with my Spanish institution with a clear research plan laid down, and kick-start my stay. I have also been proposed to find a co-director for my thesis in the host country, if that opportunity arises and will make coordination with my Spanish research center easier ( Massively appreciating any opportunity that could arise from this. Thanks for reading, looking forward to any opportunity to collaborate together!

Kindest regards,

Enric Garcia Torrents