Scientific Symposium – participants

BirgittaBirgitta Alakare
Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist, Finland

In charge for more than 30 years at the Keropudas Hospital, Western Lapland, where Open Dialogue developed in close collaboration with patients, their families and network. She lectures and work as a family therapy trainer.


CarinaHakanssonCarina Håkansson
PhD, Lic. Psychotherapist

Founded the Family Care Foundation in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1987 and managed it until 2015 when she founded the Extended Therapy Room Foundation. One of her missions is how to make sense of ordinary life knowledge in professional contexts, and to use an ordinary language when describing human beings and human life dilemmas.


jaakkok02106Jaakko Seikkula
Professor of Psychotherapy, Clinical Psychologist, Finland

Has been mainly involved in developing family and social network based practices, Open Dialogue, in psychiatry with psychoses and other severe crises. His research has focused on outcome and process studies on family therapy of psychosis and depression and social network interventions.


John-READJohn Read
Professor of Clinical Psychology, Researcher, UK

Papers primarily on the relationship between adversity and so called psychoses. Researches the effects of bio-genetics casual explanations on stigmatizations and the connections of these models to the pharmaceutical industry.


Olga copyOlga Runciman
Psychologist, Denmark

Specializing in working with youth and adults typically described as psychotic. She is also chair of the Danish Hearing Voices Network and sees the hearing voices movement as post-psychiatric, working towards the recognition of human rights while offering hope, empowerment and access to making sense of one’s experiences on both an individual but also collective level.


rwhitakerRobert Whitaker
Science Journalist, Author, USA

Whitaker´s books on psychiatry investigate the failures of modern psychiatric care. He is the president of Mad in America Foundation, a website devoted to “rethinking” psychiatry and the use of psychiatric drugs.


Samipic2Sami Timimi 
Professor, Child Psychiatrist, UK

Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Director of Medical Education in the National Health Service in Lincolnshire, UK. Writes articles and books from a critical psychiatry perspective on topics relating to mental health and childhood.


willWill Hall
Counselor, Researcher, USA

Teaches and consults internationally on medication withdrawal and psychiatric diagnosis recovery. He is the author of the Harm Reduction Guide To Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs, published in 15 languages and used by patients, clinicians, and family members all over the world.


volkmar-aderholdVolkmar Aderhold
Psychiatrist, Lic. Psychotherapist, Germany

Worked as a senior consultant in the University for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in Hamburg for 10 years. Is now a trainer for the Open Dialogue approach and lectures about the need for minimal use of neuroleptics.