Online Group FAQs
General Information About Balint Groups
Research validates the importance of empathetic relationships with patients in providing effective healthcare, and in what practitioners find most meaningful about their work. Balint groups provide an opportunity to develop insight into the interpersonal aspects of clinical practice and to become more empathetic with patients and with oneself. Used by health care clinicians throughout the United States and internationally, they improve clinician/patient communication and clinical effectiveness, increase practitioner satisfaction, and decrease isolation. Residencies and other training programs use Balint groups as part of their curriculum addressing professionalism, clinician/patient communication, and clinical ethics.
What are the learning objectives?
These are generally applicable; the objectives for your particular online group may be tailored more precisely by your faculty. At the end of the training, participants will be able to:
- Identify aspects of challenging practitioner/client relationships;
- Define practitioners’ experiences which can improve through the use of a Balint group;
- Differentiate between reactivity or rote and authentic responsiveness in the practitioner/patient encounter;
- Identify language that minimizes or detracts from the individuality of the "other";
- Formulate different options for handling challenging patient encounters;
- Describe the usefulness of the group process for members and case presenters;
- Define the relational impact of the work of identifying with a patient;
- Contrast Balint group work with conventional case consultation.
What CE/CME is available?
Online Balint Groups are approved for Prescribed credit(s) by the American Academy of Family Physicians and American Psychological Association CE.
Who leads the ABS Online groups?
All faculty members are credentialed as Balint Group Leaders by the American Balint Society.
Who can sign up for one?
We welcome multiple disciplines with a working appreciation for confidentiality and the treatment alliance. For example, groups are suitable for those in active practice, including physicians, psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners and others. No prior Balint experience required.
May I participate in several serially?
Yes. Each online group combines a proven format with unique elements - a different mix of members and faculty each time. This allows for deepened learning through participating in one group after another.
When are they held?
The leaders of the group will set the dates and time of meetings, which will be noted in the event registration. The meetings themselves will occur on Zoom and invitations will be sent after your registration is complete.
Any other requirements?
Balint work can stir strong emotions. If you are at an unusually stressful period in your life, we may recommend you sign up at another time. Contact the faculty of the group you are interested in if you are unsure. Also, because the success of the group depends in part on cohesion, steady attendance matters. Our lives are busy, and missing a session may occasionally be unavoidable. We ask that registrants intend to attend all sessions of the group.