Our Workshop this year offered an immersive Balint Group experience to GPs , psychiatrists, psychotherapists, nurses, medical educators, psychologists, social workers and other health professionals.

Background

The BSANZ was founded in 2005. It is named to acknowledge Michael Balint, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, and his wife Enid Balint, a social worker and psychoanalyst, who developed this groundbreaking method for studying the clinical relationship. A Balint group is a form of reflective practice, an experiential, small group educational activity in which clinicians discuss cases from their own work with a focus on the practitioner-patient relationship. We work to develop an atmosphere of trust and acceptance in the group where clinicians are supported to present their challenging or troubling encounters. Questioning, the giving of advice, interruptions and criticism are discouraged in Balint groups.

The benefits to practising GPs and other clinicians in a variety of professions are well recognised. I

Workshop Goals

Participants experienced Balint groups, learned new ways of thinking about and managing difficult encounters in clinical practice, learned about Balint group leadership skills and build relationships with colleagues who are interested in this work. 

Workshop Description

One group was available to attendees who wanted to have a Balint group experience and did not wish to practise leadership. This group worked entirely with clinical cases. The other groups offered participants the opportunity to co-lead the group. Reflection and discussion of leadership followed case presentations. These groups were suited to people who have some Balint group experience and who are currently leading groups including those who are on the BSANZ Balint group leadership accreditation pathway. The workshop programme also included large group discussions and social activities. Most of the work took place in small ongoing groups with experienced group leaders. The membership of each group remained constant throughout the workshop.

Workshop Fee

For New Zealand attendees – $NZ1,282 For Australian attendees – $A1,200 The fee covered attendance at the workshop, lunches, morning and afternoon teas and two evening meals. The fee did not include accommodation.

The Balint Society Bursaries

For the second time, the BSANZ offered bursaries for two medical students to attend the workshop. 

Continuing Education Credits

Approved for Australian General Practitioners for 21 hours of CDP points with the RACGP and for New Zealand General Practitioners  for 15 hours of CME points with the RNZCGP.

Workshop Leaders

Chair

  • Ruth Dunn, Psychologist and Psychotherapist, Melbourne

Leaders

  • Frank Meumann – General Practitioner and Medical Educator, Hobart
  • Joy Humphreys – Psychoanalytic Organisational Consultant, Melbourne
  • Judy Griffiths – Psychotherapist, Perth Renske van den Brink – General Practitioner, Counselor and Medical Educator, Auckland
  • Di Nash – General Practitioner, Auckland
  • Laurie Lovell-Simons – Social Worker and Psychotherapist, Sydney

Organising Committee

  • Di Nash (chair), John Barton, Prue Bonifant, Amanda Garland, Claudia Gross, Jennifer Howarth, Ruth Dunn