Reports from National Societies
These reports have been collected and edited by me. I apologise if you feel your report has been ruthlessly cut (it should be no more than 300 words) and if I have misunderstood your meaning.I have done my best! HS
Sincere apologies to the Belgian Society. I was unable to find the report from Michel Delbrouck. H.S.
Croatia has not sent a report, but their officers have asked me to remind you of the ìMuradif Kulenovicî School of Balint Method. This is an annual event in Dubrovnik, in 2006 it will be from 6th-11th June. You are all welcome! Although it is worthwhile attending the whole week, you could go for part of it if you wish. In the morning are short papers followed by groupwork. There are further groups on some afternoons or evenings depending on the social programme. Further details will appear on the IBF website at a later date. H.S.
3. Report from the Danish Balint Society
Since the general assembly in November 2004 members of the society have taken op again the workgroup: Forum for talking treatment (Forum for samtaleterapi), which is part of the Danish College of General Practitioners. The task of the group is to organize a new training programme for educating supervisors for General practice. This group has been working very goal-directed and in this month we shall present our ideas for the executive committee of the College.
We have a process about fusing another Danish Society (Bendixselskabet for psykoterapeutisk samtale) with the Danish Balint Society. This society is based on the ideas of a Danish psychiatrist, Torben Bendix, who had a great influence in training GPs in talking treatment in a special way, using audiotapes. His work was very much inspired of Michael Balint and a psychodynamic approach. The presidents of the two societies are working on the new rules. We have agreed on the international name to remain The Danish Balint Society, but the name of the Danish Society will be changed. By joining together our society will grow and we hope to be able to make more activities. We hope to be able to make a significant footprint on vocational training as well as continuing personal and professional development courses for GPs in the future.
The book based on our Balint training course 1997-2000 eventually has been published, and presented at this congress.
We have made 2 electronic newsletters for our members each year.
In October we shall make a seminar on supervision with John Launer from the Tavistock Clinic in cooperation with The Central Research Unit for general practice, and the department of general medicine at the university.
Unfortunately we have still got only 25 members and therefore not much money. We have no sponsors.
President of the Danish Balint Society
4. Report from Finland.
The activity of our society has been limited this year, only one week-end seminar for the members this year. The board has met more often, because board members are writing, translating and collecting material to a small book for our 15th anniversary this year. Some new groups for GP:s have asked for group leaders, less than 5 groups are running now, as far as we know. The future of our society is unclear, because we have not succeeded in recruiting younger doctors. Many say, that they are interested, but they cannot find time to participate. Work is more demanding than ever, and people appreciate private time and rich social life more than before. (The latter may be good for their health, too) It may happen, that our 15th anniversary book will be our obituary in the same time. But I'm not sorry, we made many interesting things during those 15 years and had fun together.
5. Report from France, Société Médicale Balint :
Marie-Anne Puel August 2005 (27 th)
1. Regular activities:
As usual, we had our national congress in Rennes, last October on the theme ìTo get older is to live ª This congress was a big success ...except about money ÖNo comment
As usual, we had our national day for the leaders in March : to make the leaders nearer the SMB and to learn leading different approaches.
As usual, we are ready to welcome you all at our next national congress in Metz in October (cf websites) and we hope to have many foreigners because of the subject : borders, limits, frontiersÖ
2. NEW THINGS
For the first time, for two years, we have proposed a seminar- on ìdepression ì- for GPs only, who are paid to attend the formation and we have obtained validation. Thank you FranÁoise Auger! At the end, we earned some money ... That changes! But without kidding, this is the most important thing we did because it's like an official departure both for continuing education and as initial education. It is something like a nobility sign. Consequences: others seminars and new groups.
And we had the first 'Colloque' on the difficult problem about the links between our society, the leaders and GPs.
2 EXCEPTION FRANCAISE
The last thing we should like to report is the creation of our web site owing to Michel Nicolle, our president and web-master (Thanks to you!) About what to put on the web or what to avoid, the more exciting discussion was about the leaders: have they to be psychoanalysized or have they to be psychoanalysts. Perhaps, there is a misunderstanding. To get a ìpsychoanalyzed formationî may have two significations: to have a formation to become psychoanalyst and to be psychoanalysed without becoming a psychoanalyst. Nevertheless, some French Balintians think that the French SMB must psychoanalysis in Balint world must stay a ì exception franÁaiseî
3 FUTURE WITH YOU
Two plans will perhaps interest you all: bulletins and contacts on the international web and the Wonca (World organisation of national colleges and academics of GPs) in Paris in October 2007 (17-21)
I suggest we can find on the international web the periodic publications in each country
I suggest we can find on the same web the international contacts ( main e-mails in each country).
I suggest that you all come to Paris for the Wonca provided you are GPs!
Thank you very for your attention ( reading or listening)
6. Balintwork in Germany in 2004 and 2005
In 2004 we had 955 members with 555 groupleaders.
The new German 'Weiterbildungsordnung' (curriculum for specialisation training) states that training for all GPs, Gynaecologists and Psychiatrists must include Balintwork.
The DBG (German Balint Society) organized 14 Balintworkshops throughout the year and the country with lectures, Balintgroups, 8 leaders-trainings-groups and 3 supervision-groups for Balintgroup-leaders.
Altogether there were 452 participants, 427 medical doctors with different specialisations and psychologists, 19 students, 5 nurses and 1 hospital priest.
Of those 117 colleagues took part in the leaders' training-groups.
13 received their certificates as accredited Balintgroup-leaders.
Besides our own workshops, Balintwork takes place in numerous congresses in Germany, e.g. in Lindau, Langeoog, L¸beck etc.
We enjoyed welcoming Heinrich Egli/Switzerland, Benyamin Maoz/Israel and Paul Sackin/GB in our weekend workshops with very interesting papers.
In some workshops we offered ìBalintgroups with Skulptureworkî (as introduced in Dubrovnik).
In July we had a discussion forum: 'Luck and bad luck of balintgroupleaders' of the future of Balintwork in our country.
Ernst Petzold as the president of the Ascona ìStiftungî invited the members to Bern/Switzerland in October 2004 to discuss the ìAscona modelî and we are happy that the students' award will continue.
Our Balint-Journal, produced 4 times a year, is in its 6th year. It is free to members of the Balint Society. Since 2004 the Austrian Balint Society has joined us.
For 2005 we have organized 16 Balint workshops. 3 of them have a special theme and special guests: 1. addiction and 2. the doctor-patient-relationship with elderly people, 3. different fields, where Balintgroup leaders could work in (e.g. with teachers).
So far there have been 10 weekend workshops in 2005, the January one in Mallorca with the IBF Council meeting and an International Leaders' workshop.
6 more are arranged between September and December.
New ideas about leadership and supervision for Balintgroup leaders were stimulated by the Balint Leadership Training Intensive in Santa Rosa/ Cal. organized by the American Balint Society. The outcome of the questionnaire sent to all German Balintgroup leaders will be presented by Steffen H‰fner in Stockholm.
Last but not least two books by Werner Stucke have been revised:
1. 'The leading of Balintgroups', edited by Werner Kˆnig, Deutscher ƒrzte Verlag -hopefully to be translated into English and published in London.
2. 'The Balintgroup', edited by Steffen H‰fner, Deutscher ƒrzteverlag, will be available at the end of 2005.
Heide Otten, General Secretary of the German Balint Society
7. Summary of Activities and Developments of The Israel Balint Society June 2004-June 2005
The primary purpose of the Israel Balint Society is to disseminate the Balint method of training and research on the psychosocial aspects of primary medical care with special reference to the doctor/patient relationship for the improvement of the medical care at large and the prevention of burnout between physicians.
The Society disseminates e-mail newsletters, meeting proceedings, relevant books, papers, articles, interchange of ideas and research on the Balint method. The Council organizes Balint leaders seminars and the annual National Balint Conference. The Annual General Meeting is included in one of these activities.
The National Balint Conference is a two-day conference offering an intensive training in the Balint method to all members of the Israel Medical Association. In June 2004, we held a very successful conference where over 80 members attended.
Five Balint groups, led by experienced leaders ran simultaneously for three sessions, the feedback was excellent. The leaders were offered supervision by one of our senior Balint leaders. Dr Matalon, Professor Maoz and a prominent Israeli author delivered lectures, which added much richness to the conference. Some of the attendees later joined ongoing Balint groups. We are planning to have our next conference at the beginning of November 2005 at the seaside resort of Ashkelon. We are trying to arrange to have Amos Oz, a very prominent Israeli author, to deliver a lecture at the event.
Balint Leaders Meetings
Twice yearly meetings of with Senior Balint Leaders have been running for over 15 years.
The group of about thirty is well defined, heterogeneous in nature, with professionals coming from various health disciplines. Besides family physicians there are medical and clinical social workers, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists who run Balint groups. They include three fishbowl sessions, an update of Balint activity throughout the country and usually a theme. Balint leaders in the various parts of the country are asked to organize these meetings with the approval and support of the committee. At our last particularly successful meeting, which was held at a Kibbutz Guest House in the south organized by our Beersheba colleagues, the theme of the meeting was related to supervision in Balint groups. The next meeting, which will be held in mid December 2005.
The IBF council and Balint colleagues from other countries are warmly invited to attend to our next leaders meeting in June 2006.
8. Italy: I received a report, but unfortunately could not open it.
9. Activities of the APGB
1994 - The first board was elected following Demonstration Balint Groups during the ìSpring Meeting of SIMGî, in Estoril. Since then Balint workshops have been held every year.
1996 - first edition of Boletim/Folha Informativa da APGB (subsequent editions in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004 (3) and 2005.)
1998 - The publication of the first Portuguese translation of the book by Michael Balint The Doctor, His Patient and the Illness (Ed. Climepsi, sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Gr¸nenthal); preface by Jo„o Marques Teixeira (Honorary President of APGB) and introduction by M·rio Moura (Honorary President of the Portuguese Association of General Practitioners ñ APMCG))
Participation in the 11th Congress of the International Balint Federation in Oxford ñ England
2001 - Participation in the 12th Congress of the International Balint Federation, in PortorÛs ñ Slovenia
2002 - Starting of a new Balint Group in Lisbon, in the national premises of the Portuguese Association of General Practitioners (APMCG).
Participation in the 13th Congress of the International Balint Federation, in Berlin ñ Germany
2004 - Presentation of the book: Médicos com EmoÁıes, the Portuguese translation of What are you Feeling Doctor, from John Salinsky & Paul Sackin (edited by Gr¸nenthal Foundation)
Participation in the Balint Journey which commemorates the 30 years of the Belgian Society, in Charlerois
An agreement with APMCG was established in order to validate the Balint Group of Lisbon as an activity with curricular importance for the GPs' training process
Participation in the Workshop of the German Balint Society, in Mallorca and participation in the IBF Council meeting there, where APGB was invited to organize the 15th Congress of the International Balint Federation in 2007
Internal reorganization and election of a new Board of APGB.
A new Protocol of collaboration with APMCG, to get support for future activities of APGB, especially for the organization of the Congress of IBF in 2007
Scientific and organizational support of two monthly Balint Groups for GPs in Aveiro (Centre-North of Portugal)
Starting of a monthly Balint Group for nurses in Beja (South of Portugal).
Promotion and organization of the 1st Encontro Nacional de Grupos Balint (1st National Meeting of Balint Groups), in the Health Centre of Sete Rios in Lisbon, in October, 28-29. We are expecting about 100 persons, mainly GPs
Jorge Brandao (383 words)
10. The Romanian Balint Association was founded on 25 July 1993 with 29 founding members. In the last twelve years the members reached 317. At present the Association boasts with 277 active members. On disciplinary grounds 24 members were excluded, 16 members retreated, two moved to Germany and two in the USA. One member passed away. Professional categories: general practitioners, specialists, medical assistants, teachers, students, managers. There are 9 zonal groups who meet monthly or every two weeks. On a national level there are two Balint weekend meetings, and a conference, two to four times a year inter-county weekend gatherings are organized. At Miercurea Ciuc two international conferences were held along with Board meetings of the IBF. The number of participants at meetings varies between 60 - 190, according to the importance of the event. This year, in September, will be the 12th National Congress along with new elections in the Board. We are going to obtain favorable grading in good collaboration with the Medical College (12 - 30 hours CME). According to the statutary provisions, these elections are to be held every three years, the president, the secretary and the treasurer can be re-elected without mandate limitations.
Training courses were organized almost every year.
A Balint Bulletin, issued free to members, is published each trimester, the 27th issue is due now.
Most of our funding is from sponsorship, the Bulletin and income from conferences and courses.
Part of the fund is used for sponsoring participants at international Balint conferences.
There are very good links with the media, spreading the Balintian theories and activities. We have tight links with other national associations e.g.. the Hungarian, German, French and British ones.
Our finances do not allow us to cover participation at IBF Board meetings, so we cast our votes electronically or by authorizing Dr. Bobay to represent us.
We keep in touch with members through the Bulletin, or by e-mail or postal mail - 2500 - 3000 letters annually.
We have made considerable effort to promote Balint groups in the Moldavian Republic, but all we could achieve was the participation of two of colleagues at the 2nd international conference, they made no further effort whatsoever. We are not going to give up hope, though.
Dr. Albert Veress President, since 1993.
11. THE BALINT SOCIETY OF SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
previous academic year, Balint Society of Serbia and Montenegro has continued with the regular Balint activities in Belgrade. In addition, our Balint Society has organized several Balint seminars, as follows:
November 1st 2004, Balint seminar was held in Belgrade, on the occasion of Balint Society of Serbia and Montenegro becoming member of the International Balint Federation. Our guests were Dr. Heide Otten, President of the IBF, Dr. Heather Suckling, Secretary General of the IBF, and Stanka Stojanovic-Spehar, Secretary General of the Balint Society of Croatia.
During the previous year, our Balint work has expanded and covered the entire territory of Serbia. The training program for General Practitioners in the far South of Serbia (Bujanovac), lasting several months and organized by the Doctors without Borders and the Institute of Mental Health in Belgrade, has also included Balint groups, with the leaders from our Balint Society.
In the previous academic year, the two-semestral Balint seminar for a group of General Practitioners from Vojvodina has been completed, and we have agreed to continue with the Balint training seminars in Novi Sad in the following academic year as well.
Upon request of the Belgrade School of Medicine, two workshops were organized for doctors from the entire Serbia specializing in general medicine.
We regret very much not being able to attend the meeting of the IBF General Assembly in Stockholm; we hope that we will be present at the next meeting, and we also hope that Balint Society of Serbia and Montenegro will find itself among the Country Members at the IBF website.
We send warm regards to everyone present and wish you success in your work.
Dr Natasa Vranjes
President Balint Society of Serbia and Montenegro
12. Balint work in Sweden ñ outline report 2005
Since 1982 The Swedish Association of Medical Psychology, (SAMP) subsection of The Swedish Society of Medicine, handles the Balint issues. This year the Annual Meeting found it unnecessary to appoint a Balint representative since 6 out of 8 members of the board are engaged in Balint work.
One of the aims of Balint work within the SAMP is to provide a meeting place between professionals of various backgrounds and to enhance the development of GP¥s as Balint leaders. In the past seven years five national Balint meetings have been organised in Stockholm and in the Gothenburg area. Balint work has also been promoted several times at national meetings for Swedish doctors, at national meetings for registrars, etc.
Internationally Sweden has been well represented and contacts expanded. There has been a fruitful exchange of ideas and transmission of papers with the French and the Israeli Balint societies in the past two years. Danish Balint representatives have attended Swedish national meetings and regular contacts are maintained.
The strong link with the British Balint movement has been maintained. In the 90¥ies Henry Jablonski brought Swedish GP Balint groups to do Balint work and sit in with British colleagues. In 2003 Henry was honoured to give the MB Memorial Lecture in London and invited to give the inaugural speech at the foundation of the Australian Balint Society in March 2005 in Melbourne.
We hope to further contacts with other societies in the years to come.
Dorte Kjeldmand has been working on her PhD thesis on Balint work with the support of SAMP
The contents of the Bulletin of the SAMP (published twice a year) focuses mainly on Balint issues.
Training for Balint leaders
There have been two training courses for new Balint leaders with the active support from SAMP.
The first was held within a Stockholm County Psychotherapeutic Training Unit, led by Anita H‰ggmark and the second (that finished in January 2005) was organised within The Institution of General Practice at Huddinge and administered by Anita H‰ggmark, Conny Svensson and Lars H‰rdelin.
The training runs for 2 years, one whole day a month. The teachers and supervisors have been predominantly SAMP doctors and psychoanalysts who are experienced Balint group leaders .
13. Report from Switzerland
I repeat here my information of January 2005, new is only the number of groups in Switzerland, we know of.
The Swiss Balint Society has now 45 members, 44 ordinary members that are all accredited Balint Leaders, and 1 extraordinary member (everyone interested in Balint work can become extraordinary member). We know of about 40 Balint groups (leaded by members and non members). There have been some new groups these last months. There must be more groups and we try to get in contact with Balint-Leaders that are not members of our society and invite them to an intervision of Balint group leaders organised every year by our society. In Switzerland, doctors in training are not yet obliged to participate in Balint groups, but many medical societies accept Balint work as part of the obligatory continuing professional training.
There are two intervision groups of Balint leaders that meet regularly.
There are 2 Balint meetings in Switzerland, organised by members of the society, the interdisciplinary Balint days on Wartensee in Spring and the Balint Study Week in Sils in Engadin in September. Members of the society participate also in the JOURN…ES FRANCO-SUISSES POUR M…DECINS ET SOIGNANTS in Annecy in France.
We have a website www.balint.ch with information about Balint groups, Balint meetings, the Swiss Balint Society and Literature on Balint work by members of the society.
St. Gallen, 19. Juli 2005
14. Report 2004/5 from The (British) Balint Society Oxford.
The Oxford weekend was held at Exeter College from September 17-19. Attendance was 40 with a good mix of GPs, newcomers, psychotherapists and 2 medical students.
There were two visitors from Iceland and an envoy from Manila in the Phillipines. The conference began with a keynote address ìThe Consultation, The Heart of General Practice.î, given by our vice president Dr Andrew Elder. Over the three days there were four small group sessions. On Saturday afternoon we re introduced a fish bowl group session as we had not been sent many papers for a small paper session.
There were five lecture/seminars at the RCGP Society. The final lecture was the 16th Michael Balint Memorial Lecture, held in the Long Room of the RCGP and preceeded by a short reception for about 50 people. We use this to bring in an audience outside the Society to try to publicise our work and programme.
The 5th Chester weekend was on May 14th and 15th. There were 10 of us in all, including 6 practising GPs (one of whom was also a psychotherapist) and two counsellors from the University of Manchester Student Counselling Service. Next year we may move to a new venue which would allow more people to attend and for us to revert to a full 3 day weekend event.
Group Leaders Workshop
This met three times this year in seminar rooms at the Tavistock Clinic.Attendance is made up of Londoners who run or who have run groups, some staff from the clinic involved in their Balint group, and group leaders travelling in from outside London, usually to present their group work. The first meeting on October 12th was one such, when Amanda Daykin and Dr Richard Pannett came down from Norwich. To demonstrate their leadership they actually ran the session as a Balint group, another way of trying to learn leadership from each other. The second meeting on 24th February was a similar meeting when we were unable to find leaders who wanted to demonstrate their group. Instead we had a group leaders' workshop group along the lines of the German Balint Society's training model. The final meeting on 14th June was me and Dr Blass discussing the Chester weekend with a combination of audio tape, audio transcript and session reports.
Dr D Watt
15. American Balint Society Report . July 20, 2005
Congratulations to our new officers: Paul Scott, President, Don Nease, President-Elect, Ann Sinclair, Secretary, and Janet Walker, Treasurer. They will serve a two-year term.
The last twelve months have been full ones for Balint work in the United States. Membership continues to be a primary concern of the Council. To this end, the working group on Balint and ACGME competencies initiated last year, has generated a document, which will be disseminated on Balint-L. Hopefully this document will provide members with concrete evidence of the value of Balint work in satisfying the ACGME requirements for their residency programs.
Balint Leadership Training Intensives in Pittsburgh and Santa Rosa both received outstanding reviews. We have had wonderful international participants from Australia, England, Germany, and Russia. The next intensive will be held in Tennessee November 10-13, 2005: http://fammed.musc.edu/balint/facdev.html
The ABS presented workshops at most of the usual conferences this past year: Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, Family in Family Medicine Conference, The Forum on Behavioral Sciences as well as some new venues: American Association of Sex Educators, North American Society for Psychosocial OBGYN, and some International Venues: WONCA, Royal Australian College of GPs. The upcoming International Balint Congress in Stockholm has quite a few ABS members giving papers.
Balint Weekends have become Balint Saturdays. This type of occurrence, with the addition of continuing education credit, might serve as a model for other endeavors around the country.
Currently, the ABS has 35 Credentialed Balint Leaders. The Credentialing Coordinating Committee is discussing ways they can assist co-leaders in their work together.
Encouraging research that addresses the value of Balint work has and continues be an important emphasis of the ABS. The ABS Research Committee is about to begin a multi-site study on Balint outcomes.
Reports associated with this document can be accessed at: http://fammed.musc.edu/balint/annmeeting/You can always find information on membership opportunities, upcoming trainings and Balint Weekends, committee reports, credentialing and supervision, collaborative research possibilities on the ABS website: http://fammed.musc.edu/balint/index.html
Ritch Addison, PhD
Immediate Past-President, American Balint Society
16. Australian Balint News, August 2005
This document consists of Australian news since the last report in January, 2004.
Balint Society of Australia
We have a newly formed Society and are working on our organizational structure.
RACGP Convention 2005
Following the successful Balint workshop at the RACGP Convention in Melbourne in 2004, this year's Convention in Darwin will include a 4 session workshop plus a half day leadership workshop, both involving overseas visitors, John Salinsky (U.K.) and Albert Lichtenstein (U.S.A.).
Melbourne Balint activities
Melbourne has 7 Balint groups and a Balint reading group for GPs; a Balint Clinical Group for group leaders; and is the base for the Balint Society of Australia.
Members of the Society have contributed to a recent RACGP publication, Keeping Doctors Alive, and have continued to liase with this group's initiative to facilitate peer support for Australian doctors.
We were visited in March by Henry Jablonski who gave talks to the Victorian Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists and to the Balint Society. Albert Lichtenstein will address the Balint Society in October. Two members of our group attended an American Balint Society Leadership Intensive this year.
Balint activities around Australia
People are working towards starting new groups in Hobart, Sydney and Brisbane. We know of one group in Adelaide.
Jill Benson from Adelaide recently published an article on Balint work in Australian Family Physician.
We are grateful for the international support we have received in working to develop Balint work here ñ thanks to those who have Emailed, visited and welcomed us at international meetings. Anyone visiting Australia who would like to make contact with us is most welcome. Please let me know if you would like to help with a workshop or present a paper.
Marion Lustig (on behalf of the Balint Society of Australia)
17. Balint Work in the Netherlands
There is a growing interest in Balint Work in the field of medical professionals. As a consequence in October 2005 the first independent Balint Society will be founded. The name is 'Vereniging Balint Nederland' (Dutch Balint Society).
Herewith a brief review on Balint Work in the Netherlands during the the last decades.
In the 50's 'Balint' was very popular and resorted under the Dutch College of General Practitioners. Due to the lack of good and professional coaching of Balint-trainers, and the fact that many alternative methods of 'intervision' enjoyed a growing interest, Balint became fractionized. Most groups do their work individually. In 1982 the Dutch College of General Practitioners ended its membership of the International Balint Federation. In general there was no longer a 'central quality control'. Other factors of less interest in the Balint-method up to now is the absolute belief to find a solution for every problem in health care by technology, evidence bases medicine and medical protocols.
During the last few years more physicians come to the conclusion, that they miss something in their daily work. Medicine is becoming too complicated. There is a need for personal feed-back.
There are more than 40 Balint-groups at work nowadays. Some of them work according to international standards. Although throughout the years the Balint-groups resorted under the Dutch College of General Practitoners one cannot speak of a well organized Balint Society.
Recently, a 'task force' of Balint-workers, took the initiative to found an independent society. So to meet the growing interest in regular and good-quality intervision.
So, in October 2005 the Dutch Balint Society (Vereniging Balint Nederland), in membership of the International Balint Federation, will be a fact .