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Episode Info:

Antony Froggett interviews Dr Ceri Dornan about Balint Groups in episode 5 of the Work and How to Survive it podcast.

Dr Ceri Dornan talks about the history of Balint Groups, describes how a Balint Group works and why they can be so enlivening and stimulating for those who get involved. She mentions the research that suggests Balint Groups can prevent "burn out" for professionals, but also explains why Balint Groups may not be for everyone.

Balint Groups are named after Michael Balint (a Hungarian psychoanalyst), who together with his wife Enid, set training groups for GPs at the Tavistock Clinic in London in the 1950s.

Traditionally a Balint group is a group of GPs (doctors in general practice) who meet on a regular basis with two facilitators (a psychotherapist and a GP) to explore in depth their experience of the doctor - patient relationship. They do this to become more aware of the complexities of the dynamics in their consultations and to be more effective in their engagements with patients. 

Since these beginnings Balint Groups have been organised for other medical specialities (such as psychiatrists in training in the UK) and also for other professional groups who work closely with clients - such as social workers, academic tutors, counsellors and even lawyers.

If you would like to find out more about Balint Groups you can join one of the Balint Group weekends which take place in Oxford, Lancashire and Northumberland each year (see the weblink below). People within the Greater Manchester area can explore the possibility of joining one of the Balint Groups organised by Thinking Space Consultancy by telephoning 0161 820 7899 or using our contact form.


Useful Weblinks:

The Balint Society (in the UK )

The International Balint Federation

Amazon affiliate links: 

Michael Balint  The Doctor, His Patient and The Illness

Andrew Elder and Oliver Samuel (eds)  While I'm Here Doctor: Study of Doctor-patient Relationships


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