Balint Weaving: Exploring Balint Group Work and Leadership

Written by Hilary Ash

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No fee for current BSANZ members l $40 per seminar for non-members

ARTWORK: Heather Shawe (Wiradjuri) ‘The Beauty of Being’ 2019, Raffia
This artwork was created through The Torch, a not for profit organisation, that provides art, cultural and arts industry support to Indigenous offenders and ex- offenders in Victoria.

 A series of five monthly interactive seminars on Zoom. Presented by BSANZ, July to November 2020

Seminar 1

Saturday 25th July, 10-11.30 am AEST

History and culture in the mix – Balint groups with doctors and Aboriginal cultural educators in Australia’s Northern Territory: Presented by Frank Meumann, Richard Fejo, & Bambi Ward
Presentation and discussion

Seminar 2

Saturday 29th August, 10-11.30 am AEST
Learning to lead: A Balint river journey: Presented by Renske van den Brink
Presentation and discussion

Seminar 3

Saturday 19th September, 10-11.30 am AEST
Balint approach to Ethics and Enactment: Presented by Leonie Sullivan
Interactive Session

Seminar 4

Saturday 24th October, 6 -7.30 pm AEST
Eight years of Balint at Bristol Medical School: Presented by Judy Malone & Colleagues
Presentation and discussion

Seminar 5

Saturday 28th November, 10-11.30 am AEST
What makes a Balint Leader? (Working title): Presented by Frank Meumann & Chel Quinn
Presentation and discussion

DETAILS

Seminar 1

Saturday 25th July, 10 – 11:30 am AEST

History and culture in the mix – Balint groups with doctors and Aboriginal cultural educators in Australia’s Northern Territory

This presentation will describe a unique Balint group initiative, involving Aboriginal cultural educators working in partnership with medical educators to facilitate Balint groups by telephone in the Northern Territory. There will be description of the pivotal roles played by Aboriginal cultural educators in the planning and delivery of this Balint group project. The history of First Nation people in Australia and its impact on their participation in Balint groups will be explored. There will be reference to vicarious trauma experienced by the Balint group participants.

Presenters

Frank Meumann is a BSANZ Leader Trainer, and is the immediate past president of the BSANZ. He is a general practitioner and Senior Medical Educator with General Practice Training Tasmania. He has done presentations and workshops at IBF congresses, and currently leads three Balint groups.
Richard Fejo, a Larraika Man from his father, and Wurumungu from his mother, has over 25 years’ experience in remote communities, in legal aid, family violence, drug and alcohol programs, and as a Senior Cultural Educator with Northern Territory general practice education in Darwin. In 2020 he became the Flinders University Elder on Campus in Darwin.
Bambi Ward is a Senior Medical Education consultant with a background in general practice, oral history and creative writing. She initiated the unique Balint group teleconferences, which partnered with Aboriginal cultural educators, for junior doctors based in the Northern Territory.

Seminar 2

Saturday 29th August, 10 – 11:30 am AEST

Learning to lead: A Balint river journey

This paper will explore the metaphor of my Leader Trainer experience as a river journey – rowing with the two oars of analytical thinking and mindful awareness of what is emerging in our embodied experience. The common tendency to privilege analytical thinking over other ways of knowing will be examined, and I will offer mindful awareness as a powerful tool to expand our receptive capacity as Balint leaders.

Presenter

Renske van den Brink brings her medical and counselling training and practice to her work as a Balint group leader in Auckland. Renske has been leading Balint groups for 8 years, and is an Accredited Leader Trainer.

Seminar 3

Saturday 19th September, 10 – 11:30 am AEST

Balint Approach to Ethics & Enactment

This seminar describes how an ordinary Balint group can assist in promoting ethical thinking in everyday clinical work. A small pilot study was done across different cultures and professional groupings.

Presenter

Leonie Sullivan is an Accredited Balint Leader, educator and supervisor, and is a foundation member of the BSANZ. She has organised, led and collaborated on many Balint workshops and Balint leadership trainings in Australia and internationally. Leonie has been an invited Balint presenter at the IPA Asian Pacific conferences, (China, Japan, Taiwan) where she recently presented the paper and workshop on Ethics and Enactment.

Seminar 4 – UK Presenters

Saturday 24th October 6-7:30 pm AEST

Eight years of Balint at Bristol Medical School

Since the Bristol medical student Balint group scheme was developed in 2012, each year trainee psychiatrists have offered Balint groups to all medical students in their first clinical year at the University of Bristol. Following that experience, some of the psychiatrists involved with the scheme have gone on to develop their Balint interest and expertise, with many becoming accredited leaders. We have grown to accommodate the resulting surge of interest in Balint groups in Bristol, as the scheme has gained renown locally, as well as nationally and internationally.

Presenters

Judy Malone trained first as a GP, then as a cognitive analytic therapist, then a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She worked in NHS mental health services in Bristol for 25 years before retiring from the NHS in 2014. She now works as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice. Judy is an accredited Balint leader, founder of the Bristol medical student Balint groups scheme, and offers Balint training and supervision.
Scarlett Tankard is a Foundation Year 1 doctor at Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh NHS Foundation Trust UK. She graduated from Bristol Medical School in April, 2020. Whilst at medical school she participated in a Balint group during her first clinical attachment in 2016. After this experience, she went on to co-lead four different medical student groups, as part of the Bristol Scheme. She is now involved in promoting medical student and junior doctor Balint groups for the UK Balint Society.
Elsa Brew Girard is a core psychiatry trainee currently working in Somerset, UK. She has been leading medical student Balint groups for 3 years, and hopes that Balint will continue to form part of her working practice throughout her career.
Stephanie Upton – Steph is a core trainee in psychiatry currently working in Bristol. Prior to training as a doctorshe worked as a psychologist specializing in supporting individuals with learning disabilities and their families. She has led Balint groups for medical students and is currently co-leading a group for CAMHS higher trainees. Steph is working towards accreditation with the Balint Society and hopes to specialize in medical psychotherapy in the future.
Jonathan Olds is a psychiatrist working in older adult liaison psychiatry in the UK. He has an interest in psychoanalytic theory and its applications to the practice of psychiatry. Jonathan is an accredited Balint leader and a member of the UK Balint Society. He has published material relating to his development, and how it has been influenced by his Balint leadership training and experience. Jonathan currently runs a Balint group in the UK for internal medicine trainees.

Seminar 5

Saturday 28th November, 10 – 11:30 am AEST

What makes a Balint Leader? (Working title)

Presenters

Frank Meumann is a BSANZ Leader Trainer, and is the immediate past president of the BSANZ. He is a general practitioner and Senior Medical Educator with General Practice Training Tasmania. He has done presentations and workshops at IBF congresses, and currently leads three Balint groups.
Chel Quinn, a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and Mental Health Social Worker in private practice for over 30 years, has worked in child protection in both government and non-government sectors, and in psychiatry. She is the President of the Balint Society, is currently leading both face-to-face and online Balint groups, and is an Accredited Leader Trainer.

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