Michael and Enid Balint

The Balint Society of Australia and New Zealand (BSANZ) was founded in 2005. It was named in acknowledgement of the Hungarian born psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Michael Balint and his wife Enid Balint. In London during the 1960’s, they developed a unique method for studying the clinician-patient/client relationship. There are now Balint groups around the world for doctors and health professionals.

Membership of the Society is open to health professionals working with patients in health care settings.

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 admin.bsanz@bigpond.com