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Ann Sinclair
Emerita Councilor, 2018

An artist in more than one medium, Ann wove and made fiber art and was a poet with multiple publications. Though she would have claimed she was not a showman, one of her memorable works was a lecture on the parallels of Balint groups and weaving delivered at a Pittsburgh Intensive. Her death in 2017 was a loss deeply felt by the national and international Balint communities. 

One of the first wave of Society leaders who had not been present at its founding, Ann Sinclair came to Balint work in the mid-nineties, attending one of the first intensives, held at Galveston, and was recognized immediately for her leadership potential.  Like Enid Balint, she had trained in Social Work, receiving her MSW from Portland State University in 1995 along with a commendation for her original research. Her career in medical education centered on the Oregon Health Sciences University, where she held joint appointments in the School of Nursing and the Department of Family Medicine.

Ann was elected to Council in 1999 and served as a voting or ex-officio member of that body for the next fifteen years, sometimes fulfilling more than one role at once. Those roles included member of the Credentialing Coordinating Committee, Coordinator of Intensives (2003-05), Secretary of the ABS (2005-06), and President-elect/President/Past-president (2009-14).  A gifted clinician and mentor, she also stood out for the clarity of her governance style, which brought a gentle gravitas, and when called for, a gentle humor, to the work she considered so important.

Meanwhile she hosted multiple Intensives (1999, 2001, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015), establishing Portland as an important hub of Balint work. She was invited to serve as faculty at a dozen more.  She also supervised many credentialing candidates, contributing to her unparalleled teaching legacy with the ABS.

That legacy was also international. In Australia and New Zealand she mentored the local leaders at their Annual Balint Group Intensive Workshops. Ann was pivotal in helping the founding members of the BSANZ (Balint Society of Australia and New Zealand) to become leaders at Intensives. Closer to home, but still multinational in scope, she co-chaired and helped to establish the first Enid Balint Essay Contest, awarded in 2014. This ABS parallel to the Ascona Prize has been wildly successful since its inception. At her death the ABS allowed donations to support the contest in Ann’s name, one of the rare times it had earmarked gifts for a specific purpose. Her final service to the Society through these donations was to help put the Enid Balint Essay Contest on a firm foundation.  

For a narrative of Ann's work with the ABS, consult her Emerita Nomination.

 "Restoring the Core of Clinical Practice: What is a Balint group and how does it help?" by Laurel Milberg, PhD and Katherine Knowlton, PhD. Available in paperback or ebook. 

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The American Balint Society
, is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the therapeutic relationships between healing professionals and their clients/patients. The American Balint  Society is a member society of the International Balint Federation