Connecting People and Ideas in the Hearing Voices Movement

An Alternative Finnish Approach to Healing Psychosis

In the 1980s, the psychiatric services in Finland were struggling to support people who were diagnosed with ‘schizophrenia’. 25 years later, their published outcomes for people who experience ‘psychosis’ are the best in the western world, with remarkably few people going on to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. In fact, schizophrenia itself seems to be disappearing. In one historical comparison study they found that 82% of first episoder in psychosis clients had no ‘symptoms’ after 5 years and 86% had returned to their studies or full time employment. Only 14% remained an disability allowance. These outcomes were achieved despite only 29% of clients using neuroleptic medication during this time.

What makes this approach even more remarkable is that this is not an alternative to mainstream psychiatric provision – it IS the mainstream. The Open Dialogue Approach is holistic and integrated approach where services work alongside families and social networks to support the person who experiencing a crisis.

Find out More about Open Dialogue

Five-year experience of first-episode nonaffective psychosis in open-dialogue approach: Treatment principles, follow-up outcomes, and two case studies
Psychotherapy Research, March 2006; 16(2): 214_/228

Open Dialogue in Psychosis II: A Comparison of Good and Poor Outcome Cases
Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 14:267-284, 2001

Inner and outer voices in the present moment of family and network therapy
Journal of Family Therapy (2008) 30: 478–491

Madness Radio: Open Dialog Alternative, interview with Mary Olson

Intervoice was set up to support the International Hearing Voices Movement, celebrating the diversity and creativity within it. We do what we can to share information and connect people with groups, networks and resources.

Congress poster
World Hearing Voices Day Postcard