Mary Olson, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at the University of
Massachusetts Medical School and Associate Adjunct Professor at the Smith College School
of Social Work. She is the US expert on Open Dialogue, a network-based approach to severe
psychiatric crises developed and evaluated at Keropudas Hospital in Tornio, Finland.
Since 2001, she has collaborated with Jaakko Seikkula, Ph.D., one of the main developers
of Open Dialogue, on developing training and research programs that will help bring this
approach to the US. She is Co-Principal Investigator (Douglas Ziedonis, M.D.: PI) of the
Open Dialogue adaptation study at UMMS. Her other research and scholarship examine
dialogical transformation in psychotherapy, the effects of managed care on relational
therapies, anorexia as communication, and the use of writing in therapy. Mary was a
Senior Fulbright Scholar (2001-2002) to Finland in the Department of Psychology at the
University of Jyvaskyla. From 1990-1995, she was Director of the Clinical Externship in
Systemic Family Therapy at Berkshire Medical Center during the chairmanship of Carlos
Sluzki, M.D., one of the founder’s of the family therapy field. 



Preparing the Open Dialogue Approach for Implementation in the United States (with Douglas M. Ziedonis), Psychiatry Information in Brief (2012)


Practice innovations in mental health services to children and families: New directions for Massachusetts (with Anita Lightburn, Phebe Sessions, and Ellen Pulleyblank Coffey), Smith Studies in Social Work (2002)


The heart of the matter: an essay about the effects of managed care on family therapy with children (with Ellen Pulleyblank Coffey and Phebe Sessions), Family process (2001)

Contributions to Books


Family and Network Therapy Training for a System of Care: “A Pedagogy of Hope”, The handbook of community-based clinical practice (2005)