The present study is part of a large-scale original action-research project aiming to 2 assess the introduction and implementation of the Open Dialogue approach within the 3 clinical practice of an established multidisciplinary team in a Day Centre in Athens, 4 Greece. More specifically, it aimed to explore the experiences of professionals within 5 the process of implementation both in relation to their clinical practice and their 6 professional identity. Data collection employed a focus group, which was set up to 7 explore professional reflections of the implementation and research processes since 8 the introduction of the model. Thematic Analysis of transcripts revealed two main 9 themes that correspond to the impact of Open Dialogue on professionals’ clinical 10 practice and on team dynamics respectively. Professionals identify several challenges 11 in implementing OD, such as difficulties in linking theory to practice, containing 12 uncertainty, and addressing cultural barriers to dialogical ways of working. 13 Professionals further reflect on their own internal journey stemming from the 14 implementation of Open Dialogue that has led them to greater openness and growth, 15 personally and as a team. The role of mental health professionals is being 16 acknowledged as being at the frontline of any meaningful psychiatric reform through 17 the assimilation and promotion of humanistic paradigms aiming towards a change of 18 culture in psychiatric care across different contexts. Despite variations in 19 implementation across different contexts, the importance of consolidating and 20 embracing Open Dialogue as a philosophical framework underpinning mental health 21 care is being discussed.
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