A Balint group is an experiential, small group educational activity in which health care professionals discuss cases from their practices with a focus on the clinician-patient relationship or health professional – client relationship.
Most Balint groups have a set membership of 8-12 participants who meet monthly for 1-2 hours. Participating in a Balint group on regular basis will provide considerable benefit to doctors and other health care workers and clinicians.
Balint groups help GPs and other clinicians and health care professionals to:
- Recognize they are not alone in having challenging interactions with patients/clients
- Develop increased understanding and empathy for patients
- Explore how feelings and thoughts affect the doctor-patient (or clinician-client) relationship
- Expand their capacity and repertoire for handling ‘difficult’ situations.
There are more specific learning outcomes of Balint group work on the ‘About Balint groups’ page.
The Balint Society of Australia and New Zealand
The Society was affiliated to the International Balint Federation in 2007. The aims of our Society are to:
- focus on clinical practice in medicine and psychological disciplines, with special reference to the clinician-patient relationship
- disseminate this knowledge beyond the Society for the improvement of health care of the public at large.
- promote and advance research, studies and training in the psychological aspects of health care
Our activities include:
- Supporting health professionals and Balint group leaders to start and maintain Balint groups;
- Balint workshops;
- Scientific meetings;
- Maintenance of strong links with the International Balint Federation and Balint Societies in other countries
- Email newsletter and the Balint Bulletin (please send possible contributions to Anne Malecki: email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Council of the Balint Society awards a prize of £500 each year for the best essay on the Balint Group and the clinician-patient relationship.
Entry is open to all except for members of the Balint Society Council. The judges are members of the Balint Society Council and their decision is final. Entries will be considered for publication in the Journal of the Balint Society. The prizewinner will be announced at the Annual General Meeting.
Essays should be based on the writer’s personal experience and should not have been published previously. Length of essay is not critical. Where clinical histories are included the identity of the patients should be suitably concealed. All references should conform to the usual practice in medical journals.
Options for submission:
- By post: 3 copies are required signed with a nom de plume and accompanied by a sealed envelope containing the writer’s identity and contact details. Please type on one side of A4 paper using size 12 font and double spacing.
- By email: entries will be printed and anonymised before going to the judges. Please type using size 12 font and double spacing.
Entries must be received by 1st May 2018 and sent to: Helen Lycett, Balint Society Administrator, 22 Kingsmead Road, London SW2 3JD or email@example.com