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The American Balint Society
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What is a Balint Group? 

  

A Balint group is a group of physicians who meet regularly and present clinical cases in order to better understand the physician-patient relationship.  

 

Whereas physicians are usually trained to seek the “right” answer to medical problems, in a Balint group, the focus is on enhancing the physician’s ability to connect with and care for the patient.  A Balint group session begins with a physician presenting a case for the group to discuss. The group learns about the patient through the presenting physician’s story.   During the facilitated discussion, the group members uncover different and new perceptions about the patient and physician’s feelings.  

 

A Balint group usually has two leaders (often a physician and a psychologist, psychiatrist, clinical social worker or counselor) who facilitate the process.  The success of a group depends on group members to be honest, respectful, and supportive of divergent opinions.  The content of the group is confidential.  A Balint group may meet over the course of months or years, and group cohesion and trust develops over time.  


 

 
After the 2014 spring Balint Leadership Training Intensive in Seattle the faculty talked about Balint groups and their effects to make the video above.

 

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