To read this content please select one of the options below:

Research Watch: inclusion of people’s social networks can help when they experience psychosis

Sue Holttum (Salomons Institute for Applied Psychology, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK)

Mental Health and Social Inclusion

ISSN: 2042-8308

Article publication date: 19 July 2019

Issue publication date: 19 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to examine two recent papers on Open Dialogue, an approach for people experiencing psychosis that involves people’s social networks from the beginning, and aims to empower the service user and their network to develop a shared view of what is happening and what to do.


A search was carried out for recent papers on Open Dialogue.


One paper reported on outcomes after an average of 20 years for people treated with Open Dialogue approach compared with usual treatment in Finland. Outcome was statistically significantly better for people who received Open Dialogue. A second paper reported on interviews with 20 people who had received Open Dialogue approach 20 years earlier. Participants told stories of life events and circumstances that caused accumulating stress leading to the mental health crisis. They gradually came through by their own actions and support from others. This may reflect how Open Dialogue emphasises personal agency and social support.


These are the first two papers to report on longer-term follow-up after Open Dialogue treatment. They continue to support the suggestion that Open Dialogue can be more beneficial than usual treatment. By including and working with people’s social networks, Open Dialogue may be particularly efficient at mobilising people’s social resources and empowering their personal agency.



Holttum, S. (2019), "Research Watch: inclusion of people’s social networks can help when they experience psychosis", Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 129-135.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles