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ABS Members in Action

The Balint method, now practiced for some 70+ years, continues to gain adherents globally.  As the American Balint Society reaches out to professionals not yet familiar with Balint groups, we will use this public-facing webpage to feature our members whose innovative work reaches across boundaries.

We would love to hear from you if your Balint group’s use of the method’s essential characteristics has broken some new ground—whether that be via an underrepresented profession, discipline, specialty, research, or geographic area, face-to-face or virtually. Please send a brief description not exceeding 250 words and a representative photo to our webmaster for review. 

Balint in Veterinary Medicine: Shana O'Marra

As a veterinarian, I have had many interactions with the humans involved in a pet’s care that have left me unsettled, and frankly overwhelmed.  Most veterinarians are acutely aware that for many people, their relationship with their pet is the only relationship where they feel loved without condition or judgment, and may be their only link to the community.  Our clients bring their accumulated grief, fears, and personal traumas that shape their relationship with their beloved companion.  Our sense of responsibility for our patient and their human owners can weigh heavily on us. 

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Balint in Latin America: Kyle Hoedebecke

¿Habla español?  

With one foot in the Spanish-speaking world and the other in the Balint world, we here in the United States find ourselves in the unique position to leverage decades of Balint experience in order to benefit our colleagues in Latin America and elsewhere whose primary language is Spanish. I have been involved in multi-centered international Balint groups since 2014 when I  spearheaded a collaborative  group between the IBF and  World Organization of Family  Doctors (WONCA) that continues to meet actively. Since then, several of my Hispanic col leagues have approached me  about bringing Balint to the Spanish-speaking primary care world  in order to help fight burnout and  emotional stress in their settings. They have little-to-no Balint support locally or in their native language. That need was further amplified as COVID-19 cases  and deaths mounted.

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Balint with Law Professionals: Kris Wheeler

Collaborative Law Professionals (CLPs) work toward outcomes that diminish some of the trauma associated with divorce and allow for better care of the whole family system than the adversarial process of divorce court.  They need to navigate the complexity of their clients’ defenses and reactivity in order to support the best possible outcome for everyone after a divorce.  I believe that our Balint group helps CLPs be more creative in how they interact with their clients’ personalities and unprocessed pain around their broken marriages.

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 "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