Open Dialogue: a documentary on a Finnish alternative approach to healing psychosis

Daniel Mackler has just completed yet another inspiring film that shows people heal and transform psychosis routinely when they are given the opportunity. This is the third of what is becoming the best documented collection of programs and people that defy what American and Western psychiatry tell us.

Daniel emailed this little note about how “OPEN DIALOGUE,” the documentary came to be. He shares the wonderful Finnish alternative to healing psychosis:

I first heard of the Finnish Open Dialogue Approach four or five years ago, and I remember searching all over the web for articles about it. It wasn’t so hard to find information about their data, but what I was really after was a better sense of what the people there were like, and how they did their work. What I would have loved to see was a film about them — to hear the people who did Open Dialogue explain their approach in their own words. Ultimately, I never found what I was looking for on the web — or anywhere, really — so, I decided to create it myself. I spent two weeks filming in northern Finland, and about two months editing, and the film ‘Open Dialogue’ is the result!

this is a taste of the film:


And now the full film is available too go to youtube to view it.

Also by Daniel Mackler, an article about his experience in Finland: Finnish Open Dialogue: High recovery rates leave many psychiatric beds empty

His other recent film is “Healing Homes” is written about in this post here.

I’ve now watched it. Marian at Different Thoughts gives it a much more thorough and deserving review.

His first film Take These Broken Wings also remains a favorite of mine.

All of Daniel’s documentary films can be purchased here. And all can now be viewed on youtube. 

These films need to be watched by everyone with any interest in the people who get labeled mentally ill in America. Instead of healing people we are creating sick people for life. That’s simply not the way it has to be. Every one of these films demonstrates that the vast majority of those labeled with mental illness are capable of…healing and transformation…and in most instances without the need of life-long medication that harms body/mind and spirit.

For more information about Open Dialogue there are a few posts on this blog: Open Dialogue: Alternative Care for Psychosis

And more recovery and transformation here:  Psychosis recovery: stories, information and resources


*it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care.  Really all doctors should always be willing to do this as we are all individuals and need to be treated as such. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

It’s become clear to me that whenever it’s possible that it’s helpful for folks who’ve not begun withdrawal and have the time to consider a carefully thought out plan to attempt to bring greater well-being to your body before starting the withdrawal. That means learning how to profoundly nourish your body/mind and spirit prior to beginning a withdrawal. For suggestions on how to go about doing that check the drop-down menus on this blog for ideas. Anything that helps you learn how to live well can be part of your plan. That plan will look different for everyone as we learn to follow our hearts and find our own unique paths in the world. Things to begin considering are diet, exercise and movement, meditation/contemplation etc. Paying attention to all these things as you do them helps too. The body will start letting us know what it needs as we learn to pay attention. 

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

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