When the Therapist Makes a House Call: The Remarkable Success of Open Dialogue

The following interview is part of a cutting-edge series of video interviews called Parenting Today: Raising Strong, Resilient Kids being aired exclusively on Mad in America.

This series has as its aim educating parents about the current mental disorder paradigm as it relates to children. It also offers many useful tips about how to raise more resilient children and how to become a more skilful parent. In this series of more than thirty interviews, we share information about the diverse resources available to parents, including alternative ones.

We hope that you’ll follow this important series. Mental health advocate Heather Juergensen hosts the interviews, each of which introduces you to an interesting guest speaking on a subject of importance to parents. We hope that you enjoy this series, benefit from it, and decide to alert other parents to its existence!

Today’s guest is Yana Jacobs. Yana holds a Master’s degree in psychology and counselling from UC San Francisco and is trained as a licensed marriage and family therapist. She is currently the Chief Program Officer at the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care, a Non-Profit community foundation with a mission to bring alternatives into the mainstream public and private sectors.

She began her work in the 1970s at Soteria House, a facility that provides care for people experiencing mental distress and crisis. She was mentored there by Dr. Loren Mosher. Yana spent over 30 years working both in private practice as a therapist and in the public sector at Santa Cruz County Mental Health in California, where she became chief of Adult outpatient recovery services. Yana believes we must work both as an activist on the outside and with our allies on the inside if we are going to bring about real change.

Links of Interest

Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care

Parenting Today is produced by Heather Juergensen and Eric Maisel. To learn more about our individual work, please visit Eric Maisel at http://www.ericmaisel.com and Heather Juergensen at www.thestrongwoman.net. If you’re enjoying this series and find it useful, please tell other parents about it. To learn more about the series please visit https://parentingtoday.me/ and join our community!

Click here for more Parenting Today videos.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. I haven’t listened yet but two thoughts. I am glad there are folks who have the memory of the past with Dr Mosher and Soteria House.
    Second thought Selma Fraiberg MSW did this type of work with mother’s- the father’s in my Program fee and far between. Home visits in some ways can be helpful but ah looking from the psych survivor viewpoint maybe not.
    Third party/ neutral sites were always an option.
    Folks need help and parents in today society just are not given the best tools and stress is all around and kids have that most excellent radar and sonor to detect when parents are especially vulnerable.
    Families need support from nuclear through and including the community and nation where they abide.
    There was the beginnings and then they got smashed down but good. I saw it happen and then became ensnared myself.
    Some day I hope Open Dialogue and memories of good help which were thrown out in the bath water can be gathered together and rise through the yuck.Look forward to listening. Thanks for this I will be interested to see how home visits fare after the travesty of ACT.

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