Are you a newcomer to the field of dialogical practices?
Learn about the basic principles of this approach
and its use in practice.
Dialogical approach is a humane and uninvasive way of helping people in difficult situations.
As human beings, we need to feel that we are connected with other people.
We need to be heard, to be understood, and to be reacted to.
We need to be part of a dialog.
Working in a dialogical way means developing and enhancing a genuine interpersonal connection without expertise or directivity.
The core objectives of the dialogical approach stem from humanistic and systemic approaches to psychotherapy:
- We appreciate our clients as complete human beings, not just bearers of patological symptoms.
We care about their lives, relationships, and needs.
We understand their difficulties as meaningful reactions to their individual living situations.
- We acknowledge their uniqueness and individuality.
We avoid using diagnostic labels and categories.
We strive to find a suitable and unique solution for each individual person, family, or team of professionals.
- We react to our clients with sensitivity and genuineness.
It is the dialogue itself that we hold as the essential healing factor in our work.
It means that we are attentive to what the clients share with us and we react as actual human beings.
It is not the therapist who provides the change.
The change emerges from interpersonal contact.
- We attune to our clients and make use of how people mirror each other.
We strive to be in tune with our clients on various levels, both in mind and body.
When we work with teams of specialists, we often find that the same interpersonal patterns are the same as the ones in the families they work with. We work to highlight such mirrorings and help develop an understanding of them.
- We hold the dialogue open to everyone who has something to say.
We believe that every perspective brings new possibilities. All voices present in the dialogue are equally important, be it the voice of the psychiatrist, the therapist, the nurse, or the client, their families, and acquaintances.
Owing to this, the dialogical approach proves useful in complex situations in which more people have something to say. We invite them to participate in a constructive dialogue. And our effort is to ensure that every voice is heard.
The dialogical approach has proven useful in numerous countries and contexts:
- In the system of mental health care in Finland. For instance, in treatment of people diagnosed with psychosis.
- With families in the Netherlands, when we help them to get through high conflict divorces.
- When trying to find common ground between communities in Mexico.
- When we work with addicted and otherwise socially excluded groups.
- In the education system, when working with children and young adults in schools.
- In relationship and communication enhancement in companies and organizations.