About the Institute
A Brief History
In 2002, family therapist and Fulbright Scholar Mary Olson, Ph.D. began a research program on Open Dialogue in the United States in collaboration with Open Dialogue developer and Finnish psychologist Jaakko Seikkula, Ph.D. In 2011, as interest in this approach grew, Mary founded the Institute for Dialogic Practice – a state-of-the-art training facility that provides training in Dialogic Practice. Joining the Institute were Jaakko Seikkula, Ph.D, Belgian family therapist Peter Rober, Ph.D. and the late Markku Sutela, M.A., a psychologist at Keropudas Hospital in Tornio, Finland. Since that time we have grown, added new faculty and trained hundreds of people in Dialogic Practice in both short introductory intensives and yearlong and multi-year trainings.
In 2019, Yale School of Medicine became the institutional sponsor of our training program.
In addition to our training programs, the Institute for Dialogic Practice provides clinical services to individuals, couples, families and groups online and in person.
Mary, together with Douglas Ziedonis, M.D., M.P.H., Chairman and Professor of Psychiatry, led the first Open Dialogue research program, which took place at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts. The document, “The Key Elements of Dialogic Practice in Open Dialogue: Fidelity Criteria” (Olson, Seikkula, & Ziedonis, 2014) can be downloaded here. It has been translated into 10 languages.
The Institute for Dialogic Practice is committed to maintaining a diverse community in an atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation of differences. The Institute for Dialogic Practice does not discriminate in its educational and employment policies on the bases of race, color, creed, religion, national/ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, size, age, or with regard to the bases outlined in the Veterans Readjustment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The two-year Open Dialogue training I went to in Northampton (or Haydenville) under the instruction of Mary Olson, Ph.D., was the best training I have had the privilege of attending. The realization that my job is the creation of context in which dialogue is generated, rather than “fixing” anyone or anything resulted in both increased confidence and lessened anxiety. In my work and in my life, I now relax as a listener and have developed a level of patience which I cherish. Still, there is more to do, but the doors to Open Dialogue remain open.
Andrea Moynagh, M.A.
Level II Graduate – IDP
Director of Family Services