Exploring depth connections in therapy: understanding practitioners’ experiences of Open Dialogue training

DClinPsych Thesis

Wates, A. 2019. Exploring depth connections in therapy: understanding practitioners’ experiences of Open Dialogue training. DClinPsych Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
AuthorsWates, A.
TypeDClinPsych Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Clinical Psychology

Open Dialogue (OD) is a social network approach to mental healthcare, originating from Finland. With the approach growing in popularity internationally, a wide range of healthcare professionals are being trained in the method. At the time of writing, the NHS is also piloting the approach across five Trust sites for individuals with severe mental health difficulties. Transformational Learning theory has been used here to understand the process of change which individuals may undergo in adult education. This study used interpretative phenomenological analysis of focus group data to explore the experiences of thirteen individuals who had undertaken a three-year OD UK private training programme. Four superordinate themes emerged: (1) A powerful experiential process (2) Personal therapeutic change, (3) Experiencing deeper and more open relationships, (4) Changing relationships with power in working practice. Findings suggest that practitioners feel more deeply connected to their clients’ distress as a result of training. This may have important implications for the role of clinical psychologists in supporting staff in OD teams who may be at greater risk of burnout as a result. The findings also contribute to the TL literature regarding how dialogue-based teaching methods can help learners alter their relationship to power in working practices.

KeywordsExploring depth connections in therapy; Practitioners experiences; Open Dialogue traning
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Deposited28 Feb 2020
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