The lived experience of our founding funder
The Open Dialogue forum has allowed our family to speak freely and without fear of judgment about events and emotions running 5+ years. It has been a catalyst for our collective healing process and has brought us together in a very short period of time after years of fragmentation.
My older brother exhibited a range of symptoms including unusual thoughts or ‘delusions’, disorganised speech and behaviour, and emotional disturbances such as flatness and withdrawal from friends and family. Although he was in need of medical assistance, he was emotionally unreachable and in denial of his symptoms. In the last two years, I actively withdrew contact on the condition that I would only re-engage if he sought professional help.
Medication has significantly improved his general state, but what has been even more significant is the reconnection kindled through our family Open Dialogue sessions. The Open Dialogue forum has allowed our family to speak freely and without fear of judgment about events and emotions running 5+ years. It has been a catalyst for our collective healing process and has brought us together in a very short period of time after years of fragmentation.
The sessions have encouraged us to meet frequently and in a space, which is tailored for what we want to discuss: what is important to us. As people speak individually and listen to each other without interruption the forum is transparent and we are able to think through and articulate our emotions without judgment or fear of judgment. Each session is individualised and unscripted and addresses the changing needs of David and our family. The team is empathetic and warm and non-invasively draw out thoughts, feelings and dialogue which would unlikely be as forthcoming in an un-mediated setting. The reflections of the team intra session allow us to get further insight as to how our discussions are perceived by neutrals which allows another level of clarity for the participants.
The sessions allow a release of emotion and we often remark after a session how much lighter and at ease we feel and more connected. Medication was essential for the first phase of recovery, but the Open Dialogue sessions are crucial for both David and our family as we collectively heal and together rebuild and strengthen the immediate support network he needs to remain strong to fight off the dangers of potential relapse.