Prathiksha Natan and Alexandra Manning, ABS members
Why become a Balint Group leader?
All the great benefits of Balint work - lowering isolation, relieving emotional burdens, growing your understanding - depend on good leadership of the group. It is no surprise that those who have experienced some of those benefits are most likely to want to train as leaders and share the Balint Group experience with their organization/community.
The ABS offers the only training available in the United States for Balint Group leadership. It was developed with the consultation of doctors who worked directly with Enid and Michael Balint when they were alive. It involves leading or co-leading a Balint Group in your own setting while engaging in dialogue with a supervisor and possibly a Fellowship Group. It is a joy in itself, intellectually rich, supportive and challenging.
Although Balint Groups support conversations that embrace divergent points of view, they are a structured conversation, homing in on direct experience, especially emotional experience, while maintaining personal responsibility and minimizing intrusive advising. Learning to facilitate this process increases group leadership skills exponentially. Training also results in greater confidence and increased credibility in one's own context, whether you are housed within an organization or working privately in your community.
Once you have obtained credentialing, doors open within the ABS to various activities, including leading online groups with other credentialed members from around the nation. The ABS is primarily oriented around training new leadership. Becoming a part of the training cohort begins with becoming a Credentialed Balint Group leader
An analogy may sum it up: for many, delighting in good food is sufficient, but for those who want to provide that food themselves or even join the ranks of chef, we offer the training.