Open Dialogue International Community Forum

Online Open Dialogue Foundation Training 2021

Hello to all,

I hope you are keeping well. Having had positive experiences of running training programmes online over the last six months, we have decided to run our 2021 foundation training programme online this year, from April to December. Further details can be found below and on the Open Dialogue UK website here. Please share this information with anyone who you think would be interested.



Nick Putman,
Open Dialogue UK


We will be running our Foundation Training programme online in 2021 from April to December (see dates below) in shorter blocks of 2/3 days (Friday to Saturday/Thursday to Saturday). Our experience of running trainings online in 2020 has shown us that this training can be run online effectively. The training will be led by Kari Valtanen, Petra Hohn and Nick Putman (trainer biographies can be found below). As a result of the online format, we have been able to reduce the cost of this programme to £2750. Further details can be found below and on our website here, where you can also find a link to the application form if you would like to apply. As the training is due to start on 23 April 2021, any applications should be submitted as soon as possible.

About the Programme

The Open Dialogue UK foundation training is an internationally recognised programme for professionals working in public mental health services, peer workers, and independent practitioners. It is designed to enable participants to start to practice Open Dialogue during the course of the training. The emphasis in the training is on practice, and understanding the approach through engaging both personally and professionally in the training process. In other words, though a good deal of theory and specific skills are taught on the programme, the heart of the process is the dialogue between the students and the ways in which they reflect on the approach and each other’s contributions.

Most training days start with some dialogue about where (members of) the group are now and end with reflections on the day. They typically consist of a mixture of exercises, role plays, presentations, handouts and discussions, and there is also a family of origin process, where participants explore their own family of origin. Reading is given after each block, rather than in advance, as practice comes before theory. The reading given will tend to follow the particular topics introduced on each block, and largely comes in the form of journal articles, which can be accessed online via the Open Dialogue international website.


23-24 Apr 2021
21-22 May 2021
25-26 Jun 2021
30-31 Jul 2021
9-11 Sept 2021
30 Sept – 2 Oct 2021
29-30 Oct 2021
26-27 Nov 2021
17-18 Dec 2021

Each training day will start at 09.00 and finish at 17.00 UK time (GMT/BST).

Trainer Biographies

Kari Valtanen is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Family Therapist, living in Rovaniemi, Finland, at the Arctic Circle. He currently works in the mental health service in Western Lapland. He has been teaching family and narrative therapy and collaborative/dialogical practice for several years and has been a trainer on many Open Dialogue trainings run internationally, including trainings run in Finland, the UK, Italy, Australia, France and Japan.

Petra Hohn is a registered nurse and network therapist, and has a masters for teaching in health services. She has been working since 1993 in different psychiatric services for outpatient and inpatient care and is currently working at Psychiatry South Stockholm as the head of an outpatient unit. Petra has been developing and running training programmes in the Need Adapted Treatment Model and Open Dialogue since 2008 - including trainings run in the Parachute Project in New York City and by Open Dialogue UK.

Nick Putman is a registered psychotherapist and a certified Open Dialogue practitioner and trainer, having completed a two year training in the Open Dialogue approach with Mary Olson and others in the US and a three year trainers’ training programme in London with Jaakko Seikkula and others. He is the founder of Open Dialogue UK, which established the first full training in the Open Dialogue approach outside of Western Lapland. Nick has more than 20 years experience working in a variety of mental health settings, and considerable experience working with people experiencing psychosis and their families. He has been a trainer on either full or foundation level Open Dialogue trainings run in the UK, Australia and France.