What is a Balint Group?
A Balint group is a group of clinicians, often physicians, who meet regularly to present clinical cases in order to improve and to better understand the clinician-patient relationship.
While physicians are usually trained to seek the “right” answer to medical problems, in a Balint group, the focus is on enhancing the clinician’s ability to connect with and care for the patient.
A Balint group session begins with a member's presenting a case for the group to discuss. The group learns about the patient through the presenter’s story and about how their relationship seems to the clinician. During the facilitated discussion, the group members uncover different and new perceptions about the patient's and physician’s feelings and their experiences with each other.
A Balint group usually has two leaders who facilitate the process. The success of a group depends on its members being honest, respectful, and supportive of divergent opinions. The content of the group is confidential. A Balint group may meet for months or years, and group cohesion and trust develop over time.