People in conversation

Research Study Seeks Participants in Reflective Structured Dialogue

Photo of a white person in a blue business shirt writing on paper

Essential Partners and a team of researchers—Stacey McElroy-Heltzel (University of Iowa), Shauna Bowes (Emory University), and Alex Garinther (University of Oregon)—are studying the impact of Reflective Structured Dialogues on the people who participate. The hope is to better understand what makes social interactions function in a healthy, respectful way. 

We are now seeking partners across the country to invite the participants in their Reflective Structured Dialogues to contribute to this exciting study.

If you are interested in helping us learn more about the impact of dialogue, please invite the participants of your dialogue to complete an online survey before and after the dialogue. The participants may skip any questions that they prefer not to answer. The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, for a total of 40 minutes. The researchers will not collect your name or any identifying information about participants.

Any participant in a Reflective Structured Dialogue that is facilitated by someone who has taken a two-day facilitator training from Essential Partners is eligible to contribute to the study.

CLICK HERE if you are interested in contributing to this important research.

Since its founding in 1989 by a team of mental health researchers and practitioners, Essential Partners' approach and theory of change have been driven by research and real-world experience.

Browse a selected archive of academic publications to find studies about EP's Reflective Structured Dialogue approach (and related innovations such as the Dialogic Classroom) as well as studies conducted and articles written by EP's expert practitioners.

FAQ and Important Information

Are these surveys anonymous?

Yes, these surveys are 100% anonymous—there will be a question to help match pre/post survey responses, but no names or other identifying information will be asked.

Do participants need to complete the survey both before and after the dialogue?

Yes, in order to include the participant’s perspectives in the research findings, they are required to fill out BOTH the survey before AND after the dialogue.

Does the dialogue have to be about politics, or a political topic?

No, the survey questions are not connected to a particular topic or a particular dialogue—any community-based dialogue is eligible.

Do all the participants in a dialogue need to complete the surveys?

No, individual participation is optional—not everyone in a dialogue needs to participate in the study, only those who are willing.

Who do I go to with other questions about this?

Reach out to Nadiya Brock at


Nadiya Brock is an EP Associate as well as EP's Program Manager.