Birgitta Alakare: A Spirit for Open Dialogue for Human Practice and Less Medication

  • When
    April, 09 2021
    6:00 pm CEST - 6:30 pm CEST
  • Where
    Online Townhall conversation
    Zoom - Webinar
  • Need registration
Exploring Dialogical Responses in a Time of Crisis – Birgitta Alakare: A Spirit for Open Dialogue for Human Practice and Less Medication

About this Event


The HOPEnDialogue project, Open Excellence and Mad in America invite you to explore the challenges and opportunities of responding to crisis ‘dialogically’.

Birgitta Alakare was the chief psychiatrist on the team that created Open Dialogue in Tornio, Finland. The promising results of treatment of psychotic problems, in which the role of neuroleptic medication was minimized, were based in large part on her contributions and her emphasis on team work. In our next town hall, we will discuss what we might learn from her inspiration and how we can aspire to keep her quiet, powerful spirit alive in the wider world — and in ourselves.

Please register for this 90-minute panel (with Q&A). Friday, April 9 at: 9 AM PDT, Noon EDT, 5 PM BST. We will email you a Zoom link on the day.

Registration for the live Zoom is limited but we will also live-stream on Mad in America’s Facebook page and post to YouTube afterwards. Supported, in part, by a grant from the Open Society Foundations.


Jaakko Seikkula teaches dialogical practice to the many people around the world who have been inspired by Open Dialogue, the response to mental health crises in Tornio, Finland that Jaakko’s team created.

Mia Kurtti is a nurse, MSc, Family Therapy and Open Dialogue trainer and supervisor. She has been working in mental health services as a nurse in Western Lapland, Finland since 2002 with individuals and their networks.

Robert Whitaker first wrote about Open Dialogue Therapy in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic. He is the publisher of

Dirk Corstens currently works as a social psychiatrist and psychotherapist in Den Helder/ Texel for GGZ Noord-Holland Noord, a mental health care center in The Netherlands. He is a member of the team that delivers the Peer- supported Open Dialogue training.

Kari Valtanen is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and a trainer in Open Dialogue and family therapy. He works with the Western Lapland Adolescent Psychiatry Team and has been a trainer in Open Dialogue in several training programs in Finland and abroad.

Dr. Sandra Steingard is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont. She worked for over 25 years in community mental health, where her clinical practice primarily included patients who experienced psychotic states. She serves as Board Chair of Open Excellence.


Kermit Cole and Louisa Putnam are inspired by Open Dialogue to respond as a team to individuals, couples and families in crisis. They have hosted symposia in Santa Fe, New Mexico, exploring intersections between Open Dialogue, Hearing Voices, and other dialogical approaches, and studied under Jaakko Seikkula to be OD trainers.

Chat moderator

Rai Waddingham is an Open Dialogue Practitioner, international trainer, and has created, established and managed innovative Hearing Voices Network projects in youth, prison, forensic, inpatient and community settings.