Dialogical Meetings in Social Networks

Author(s) : Jaakko Seikkula, Author(s) : Tom Erik Arnkil

Part of The Systemic Thinking and Practice Series - more in this series

Dialogical Meetings in Social Networks

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This book describes and analyses two dialogic network practices: 'Open Dialogues' - developed for use in psychiatric crisis situations - and 'Anticipation Dialogues' - used in less acute situations such as multi-agency muddles where the helper systems are stuck. The book is both theoretical and detailed enough for practitioners who wish to apply the approaches to their work. It is meant for professionals in the fields of psycho-social work - including therapists to day care personnel, social workers to school teachers, - researchers, and academics. As the book touches upon dialogues with and within private networks, the book reaches out to clients, too.

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'...The book carefully explains the theoretical basis for dialogical communication, drawing heavily on the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, but its great strength is the way these principles have been transformed into a practice of community meetings. Because the authors are drawing on years of experience as well as outcome research studies, they present a framework for a model that is proven and they describe the techniques that make it work. For example, there are helpful sections that spell out what questions to ask a psychotic patient, how to respond to delusions and how to approach other professionals when the network is becoming stuck in its task.

'Although the book describes their model in detail, many practitioners find that their ideas about dialogic communication can be applied across a wide range of clinical settings, such as family therapy, but they are particularly useful when multi-disciplinary or multi-agency teams meet to devise treatment for patients...

'This Finnish team is widely recognized for the work they are doing, as shown by their writings and presentations at conferences, and this book gives them the space to explain their thinking and practice in greater detail than ever before. It is a major step in bringing their work to the attention of the English speaking community.'
- David Campbell and Ros Draper, from the Editorsʼ Foreword

'What I particularly appreciated in reading this work is that we are introduced in both Open Dialogues and Anticipation Dialogues to important elements of Bakhtinʼs dialogical theory, together with fresh ideas about networks talking with networks... On a smaller scale, this book feels to me like a trumpet blast, not just in announcing the achievement of a more contextualized approach to human dilemmas, but in offering some solid proof of its efficacy.'
- Lynn Hoffman, from the Foreword

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