The Institute for Dialogic Practice was founded in the U.S. by Dr. Mary Olson in collaboration with Dr. Jaakko Seikkula and the original Open Dialogue team at Keropudas Hospital in Tornio, Finland. The Institute is the only North American teaching facility that specializes in providing world-class training in Open Dialogue and Dialogic Practice delivered by the field’s leading experts and developers.
Mary Olson, Ph.D.
Mary Olson, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Institute for Dialogic Practice and associate adjunct professor at the Smith College School or Social Work.
She is the U.S. expert on Open Dialogue, a network-based approach to severe psychiatric crises developed and evaluated at Keropudas Hospital in Tornio, Finland. Since 2001, she has collaborated with Jaakko Seikkula, Ph.D., one of the main developers of Open Dialogue, on developing training and research programs that will help bring this approach to the United States.
Mary is co-principal investigator (with Douglas Ziedonis, M.D., M.P.H.) of the Open Dialogue adaptation study at University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her other research and scholarship activities examine dialogical transformation in psychotherapy, the effects of managed care on relational therapies, anorexia as communication, and the use of writing in therapy.
She was a senior Fulbright Scholar (2001-2002) to Finland in the Department of Psychology at the University of Jyvaskyla. From 1990-1995, she was director of the Clinical Externship in Systemic Family Therapy at Berkshire Medical Center, during the chairmanship of Carlos Sluzki, M.D., one of the founders of the family therapy field. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Therapists.
An honors graduate of Wellesley College, she has an M.A. in English and comparative literature, with high honors, from Columbia University and an M.S.W. from Smith College. She received her Ph.D. in communication from the University of Massachusetts.
Jaakko Seikkula, Ph.D.
Jaakko Seikkula, Ph.D. is Director of the Institute for Dialogic Practice. He is professor of psychotherapy at the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. From 1981-1998, he was chief psychologist at Keropudas Hospital in Tornio, Finland. As a member of a team there, he was one of the main developers of Open Dialogue.
His clinical and research interests combine the further development of dialogical approaches with the systematic research analysis of their outcome and process variables. He is co-principal investigator (with Douglas Ziedonis, M.D., M.P.H. and Mary Olson, Ph.D.) of the proposed Open Dialogue study at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
He leads the International Meeting for Treatment of Psychosis Network and is a board member of International Family Therapy Association (IFTA). He also is a member of American Family Therapy Academy; Society of Psychotherapy Research; and International Sociaty fo Psychological Treatment of Psychosis and Schizophrenia (ISPS).
He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Jyvaksyla, Finland.
Peter Rober, Ph.D.
Peter Rober, Ph.D. is Senior Faculty at the Institute for Dialogic Practice. He is professor of family therapy at the Institute for Family and Sexuality Studies (the medical school of K.U. Leuven, Belgium). He is a clinical psychologist, family therapist and family therapy trainer at Context: The Center for Marital and Family Therapy (UPC KU Leuven, Belgium).
Peter has made key contributions to the development of dialogical therapy. His research interest areas focus on the practice of family therapy and on the therapy process, including especially the use of self of the therapist and the therapist’s inner conversation. Every year in August he organizes the European Summer School in Family Therapy in Leuven (Belgium), together with Jaakko Seikkula, John Shotter, Justine van Lawick and Jim Wilson.
Markku Sutela, M.A.
Markku Sutela is Senior Faculty at the Institute for Dialogic Practice. He is the chief psychologist at Keropudas Hospital in Tornio, Finland where Open Dialogue was developed. In addition to his training as a clinical psychologist, he is an advanced specialist- level family therapist. From the early 1980s, since joining the psychiatric staff at Keropudas Hospital, he has been part of the original Open Dialogue team.