Jane Hetherington is an Integrative Psychotherapist who has been practising for 10 years after careers in law and business. She has managed services in the substance misuse field and primary care in both the statutory and third sector. She is currently principal psychotherapist in Early Intervention Services in Kent. She has a small private practice, supervises at Turning Point and is on the UKCP Professional Misconduct Committee.
Jane says this about her topic: “Open Dialogue is a model of mental health care pioneered in Finland that has since been taken up in a number of countries around the world, including much of the rest of Scandinavia, Germany and some US states. It involves a psychologically consistent family and social network approach, where all staff receive training in family therapy and related psychological skills, and all treatment is carried out via whole system/network meetings including the patient. It is a quite different approach to much of UK service provision, yet it is being discussed with interest by a number of Trusts around the country. Part of the reason is the striking data from non-randomised trials so far, e.g. 72% of those with first episode psychosis treated via an Open Dialogue approach returned to work or study within 2 years, despite significantly lower rates of medication and hospitalisation compared to Treatment As Usual (TAU).
A number of NHS Trusts within the UK are setting up pilot Peer-supported Open Dialogue (POD) services over the next couple of years, in order to evaluate them and deepen the evidence base. This will enable more wide scale take up, should the outcome improvement and cost reductions remain consistent.