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Reading: Open Dialogues in social networks: professional identity and transdisciplinary collaboration


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Research & theory

Open Dialogues in social networks: professional identity and transdisciplinary collaboration


Anne-Lise Holmesland ,

About Anne-Lise


PhD Student, 1. Soerlandet Hospital Trust, Unit for Research, Serviceboks 416, 4604 Kristiansand, Norway; 2. University of Oslo, Institute for Psychiatry, PO Box 26, Vindern, N-0319 Oslo, Norway

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Jaakko Seikkula,

About Jaakko


PhD, Professor of Psychotherapy, Department of Psychology, University of Jyväskylä, Box 35, FIN-40014 Jyväskylä, Finland

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Øystein Nilsen,

About Øystein


PhD (Sociology), The Confederation of Trade Unions in Norway, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Youngsgt. 11, 0130 Oslo, Norway

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Mark Hopfenbeck,

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Tom Erik Arnkil

About Tom


PhD, Research Professor, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Lintulahdenkuja 4, 00530 Helsinki, Finland

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Aim: The aim of this article is to explore the challenges connected to the transformation and emergence of professional identity in transdisciplinary multi-agency network meetings and the use of Open Dialogue.

Introduction: The empirical findings have been taken from a clinical project in southern Norway concerning multi-agency network meetings with persons between 14 and 25 years of age. The project explores how these meetings are perceived by professionals working in various sectors.

Methodology: Data was collected through three interviews conducted with two focus groups, the first comprising health care professionals and the second professionals from the social and educational sectors. Content analysis was used to create categories through condensation and interpretation. The two main categories that emerged were 'professional role' and 'teamwork'. These were analysed and compared according to the two first meeting in the two focus groups.

Results and discussion: The results indicate different levels of motivation and understanding regarding role transformation processes. The realization of transdisciplinary collaboration is dependent upon the professionals' mutual reliance. The professionals' participation is affected by stereotypes and differences in their sense of belonging to a certain network, and thus their identity transformation seems to be strongly affected. To encourage the use of integrated solutions in mental health care, the professionals' preference for teamwork, the importance of familiarity with each other and knowledge of cultural barriers should be addressed.

How to Cite: Holmesland A-L, Seikkula J, Nilsen Ø, Hopfenbeck M, Arnkil TE. Open Dialogues in social networks: professional identity and transdisciplinary collaboration. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2010;10(3):None. DOI:
Published on 16 Sep 2010.
Peer Reviewed


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