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Pittsburgh Balint Leadership Training Intensive

Thursday, October 12 - Sunday, October 15, 2017
Training Leaders in Relationship Centered Care


Sponsored by:

The American Balint Society



Balint Groups

Balint groups are a powerful experiential method of training clinicians in therapeutic communication and effective use of the doctor-patient relationship. They have been used to teach a wide range of professional and interpersonal competencies throughout the United States and internationally. The Balint group has traditionally been a group of physicians who meet regularly and present cases to better understand the doctor-patient relationship. The group focuses on enhancing the physician’s ability to connect with and care for the patient.


Target Audience

This post-graduate level training is designed for medical educators and practicing clinicians who teach or seek to develop the clinician-patient relationship. Those meant to attend include physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and mental health professionals. Particularly targeted to those who are currently leading or hope to lead Balint groups, it is also appropriate for residents, fellows, and community clinicians wanting to learn more about Balint work.


Conference Description
This training offers practical, experiential learning opportunities for those who are currently leading or hope to lead Balint groups. Small group sessions are led by two faculty members who are credentialed Balint leaders. Each session includes a Balint group followed by debriefing of group process and leader interventions. Participants have the opportunity to practice leading Balint groups and receive feedback on their leadership skills. Each group will record a Balint group and debrief the video recording. Critical issues of Balint work will be addressed during topic-focused discussions. During this Balint Leadership Training Intensive, a few experienced participants may be co-leading small group sessions as a part of an evaluation process by which they hope to become credentialed Balint group leaders. If we have credentialing candidates, we will ask all members of their small group to complete an assessment of the candidate’s effectiveness during one of the two sessions in which the candidate is acting as a co-leader. We believe this process furthers your learning of Balint leadership skills, in addition to offering the candidate helpful feedback.



Learning Objectives

At the end of the training, attendees will be able to:

1. Describe verbal and non-verbal leadership behaviors of Balint Group leaders.

2. Demonstrate the effectiveness of different leadership interventions.

3. Identify process and progression of a Balint Group, over multiple group sessions.

4. Define the new perspective of the presenter as a result of the Balint Group process.

Registration Deadline: September 11, 2017


Thursday, October 12th

12:00 - 1:30  


1:30 - 2:30

Large Group Welcome: Review of Balint group process & history, and Intensive logistics & conference overview

2:45 - 4:15

Small Group Session #1: introductions, first Balint group + debrief


Refreshment break

4:30 - 6:00

Small Group Session #2: Balint group + debrief


6:00 - 7:00  Topic Focused Discussion Groups #1
 Dinner at Hotel

Friday, October 13th

8:00 -9:30

Small Group Session #3: Balint group + debrief

(Videotaping for some groups)

9:45 - 11:15

Small Group Session #4: Balint group + debrief

(Videotaping for some groups)


Refreshment break

11:45 - 1:15 
Small Group Session #5: Balint group + debrief
(Videotaping for some groups)
 1:15 - 2:30
Lunch at Hotel 
 2:45 - 4:15   Small Group Session #6: Balint group + debrief
(Videotaping for some groups)
Evening  Free Time



Saturday, October 14th

8:00 - 9:30

Small Group Session #7: Balint group + debrief

9:30 - 11:00

Small Group Session #8: Balint group + debrief


Refreshment break

11:30 - 12:30

Plenary: On the Balint Journey

12:45 - 6:45  Lunch on your own followed by free time
 Dinner at Local Restaurant

Sunday, October 15th

8:00 - 10:00

Small Group Session #9: Balint group + debrief; small group closure


Refreshment break

10:15 -11:30

Final Large Group Session: review of material, transition to Balint groups in home setting, ABS information, conference closure.  


Registration will be limited to 50 participants.


Application does not guarantee acceptance. The American Balint Society (ABS) reserves the right to choose the participants and registrants for its programs and to assign participants to small groups in order to maximize the educational and professional experience offered. We reserve the right to refuse registrations and to cancel registrations already made or to postpone or cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances or insufficient enrollment. In the event of cancellation by the ABS, any registration fees paid will be refunded. Such refund shall represent the entire liability to the registrant.



Phillip Phelps, LCSW, BCD

Conference Director

C. Paul Scott, MD, DLFAPA

Conference Co-Director

Shari Leidig Holland, MA, LPC

Conference Co-host

Evelyn C. Reis, MD

Conference Co-host



Phillip A. Phelps, LCSW, BCD

Coordinator of Supervision, Credentialing Coordinating Committee, American Balint Society

Director of Behavioral Science

UPMC Shadyside Family Med. Residency

Clinical Assoc. Prof.

Department of FM

U of Pitt. School of Medicine

Pittsburgh, PA

C. Paul Scott, MD, DLFAPA

Past President and Emeritus Councilor, American Balint Society

Clinical Prof Psychiatry, U Pitt School of Medicine

Pittsburgh, PA

Ritch Addison, PhD

Past President and Emeritus Councilor, American Balint Society

Clinical Professor, UCSF Dept of

Fam and Comm Medicine

Behavioral Medicine Director, Family Medicine Residency Santa Rosa, CA

Clive D. Brock, MB ChB, FAACP

Past President and Emeritus Councilor, American Balint Society

Professor Emeritus

Department of FM, MUSC

Charleston, SC

Lisa Buck, MD

Chair-elect Credentialing Coordinating Committee, American Balint Society

Clinical Instructor

Tufts U. School of Med.

Bangor, ME

Chiara Ghetti, MD, Msc

Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology; Fellowship Director, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Division

Washington Univ. School of Med

St. Louis, MO

Katherine Knowlton, PhD

President-elect, American Balint Society

Clinical Instructor

FM Residency U of Washington

Seattle, WA

Albert Lichtenstein, PhD, LMFT

Past-President and Director of Balint Group Leader Education Fellowship, American Balint Society

Director of Behavior Science, Guthrie Family Medicine Residency, Sayre, PA

Laurel Milberg, PhD

Past President and Emeritus Councilor, American Balint Society

Clinical Associate Professor FM

U of Pitt School of Medicine

Pittsburgh, PA

Kristin Reihman, MD

Department of FM

Lehigh Valley Health Network

Allentown, PA

All faculty members are credentialed as Balint Group Leaders by the American Balint Society. Faculty present will depend on number of small groups.


In accordance with ACCME requirements on disclosure, information about relationships of presenters with commercial interests (if any) will be included in materials distributed at the time of the conference.

Registration Fees

Single registration:

              $700 by August 11, 2017; $750 thereafter

Residents, students, fellows receive 20% reduction:

              $560 by August 11, 2017; $600 thereafter 

Registration Deadline: September 11, 2017, or once 50 participants have registered.

All registration fees include syllabus and the meals listed in the conference schedule. A discount of $95 for current active ABS members ($50 for student members) will be applied during online registration. Current members of other countries’ Balint societies also qualify for a registration discount. They should contact Phil Phelps, Conference Director


Cancellation Policy

Registrants wishing to cancel their registration must do so in writing by the cancellation deadline of September 11, 2017. For cancellations received by the cancellation date, $100 of the registration fee will be withheld for administrative fees and the refund will occur after the intensive has been held. For cancellations received after the cancellation date, no refunds will be available.



Hotel and Conference Site
The conference will be held at Hyatt House Pittsburgh/Bloomfield/Shadyside with convenient access to the superb shopping of Shadyside, the beautiful parks of Pittsburgh and famous Bloomfield - the Little Italy of the city. Hotel amenities include 24-hour fitness center with pool, WiFi throughout the property, and an on-site market.

Make Reservation



SuperShuttle operates a shared-van service from the airport directly to the hotel. Advance booking is required and the cost is approximately $64 round trip.

Uber rates range from $34-44 each way and a taxi from the airport will be $50-65 each way.

Driving Directions
Hyatt House is located 23 miles from Pittsburgh International Airport. Take Airport Blvd to I-376 E/Pittsburgh and proceed 17.5 miles to exit 69B. Merge onto PA-51 S/Saw Mill Run Blvd and continue 3.3 miles to the exit toward Downtown. Merge into the Liberty Tunnel and continue across the Liberty Bridge. Liberty Bridge becomes Crosstown Blvd. Merge onto I-579 N via the ramp to I-279 and proceed for .2 miles. Exit onto PA-380 E/Bigelow Blvd and proceed 2.7 miles. Continue onto PA-380 E/N Craig St and turn left onto Baum Blvd. Continue for .8 miles to the intersection with Liberty Ave and the hotel will be on the left. 

Please Note

Participants should be clinically active and willing to present cases.


It is important to participate in the entire program. Success of the conference depends on group cohesiveness.  Please do not arrive late, leave early or miss sessions.


Advance notification of any special needs will help us provide better service.  Please notify us of your needs at least two weeks in advance of the program.


Please be aware that intensive Balint training can stir up strong feelings. If you are at a particularly vulnerable time in your life, you may want to consider completing this training at a later date.        


When going through the registration process, be sure to "allow" email communication, as there will be emails to registrants leading up to the intensive.


This live activity, Pittsburgh Balint Leadership Training Intensive, with a beginning date of October 12, 2017, has been reviewed and we have applied for up to 19.25 Prescribed credit(s) by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


AMA/AAFP Equivalency:AAFP Prescribed credit is accepted by the American Medical Association as equivalent to AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ toward the AMA Physician’s Recognition Award. When applying for the AMA PRA, Prescribed credit earned must be reported as Prescribed, not as Category 1.

APA ProviderThe American Balint Society is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The American Balint Society maintains responsibility for this program and its content.



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