History of the Society

The Balint Society of Australia and New Zealand was founded in 2005. It was named in acknowledgement of the Hungarian born psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Michael Balint and his  wife Enid Balint, who developed a unique method for studying the clinician-patient relationship in  London in the 1960′s.

The Society was founded by a group of doctors, including general practitioners and psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and psychoanalytic psychotherapists. The Society has grown rapidly over the last 12 years. It supports more than fifity Balint groups which are being run in Australia and New Zealand, acts as a liaison organisation for information about these groups, runs a four day Intensive  Workshop in Australia or New Zealand each year, which has a leadership training focus, and publishes a regular online newsletter.

It is working with University medical school staff in Australian Universities to establish Balint work in medical student curriculums. Pilot projects are running at Woolongong and Sydney Universities, and there is an international group conducting research in collaboration with clinicians in the United Kingdom.

Since the 2010 the Auckland University Medical school has successfully run Balint groups for final year medical students in the context of their general practice training internship programme, and Otago Medical School has been running reflective practice groups for medical students.

There are Balint groups running in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Auckland, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin. A list of current groups and leaders’ contact details can be accessed from the link on the Balint Groups page.

Attendance at workshops and membership of Balint groups is recognised for accreditation points in the Continuing Professional Development and the Continuing Medical Education programmes in Australia and New Zealand, by the respective Colleges of General Practice and Medical Councils. See the link on the Balint Groups page.