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2006 - Meeting of the Council of the IBF - Paris - France


Officers of the Council (since 28th August 2005)
Dr Heide Otten (Germany )
Vice-presidents:Dr Benyamin Maoz (Israel)
Dr Marie-Anne Puel (France)
General Secretary: Dr Heather Suckling (UK)
Treasurer: Dr Michel Delbrouck (Belgium)

Minutes of the Meeting of the Council of the International Balint Federation

held at on Saturday 28th October 2006 at 14.30

Hotel des Grands Hommes,
17 place du Pantheon
75005 Paris

Those present:

Michel Delbrouck

Sanja Blazekovic-Milakovic
Stanka Spehar

Tove Mathiesen

Francoise Auger
Michel Nicolle
Marie-Anne Puel
Louis Velluet

Francois Berton

Germany :
Steffen Hafner
Heide Otten
Ernst Petzold

Benyamin Maoz

Marieke van Schie

Jorge Brandao

Anita Haggmark
Henry Jablonski

United Kingdom:
Andrew Dicker
John Salinsky
Lenka Speight
Heather Suckling
David Watt

Alexa Gilbert-Obrart

The President welcomed everyone to the meeting, especially the two new representatives: Francois Berton from the Association Internationale Psychodrame Balint and Alexa Gilbert-Obrart from the Australian Balint Society.

1.      Apologies:

Apologies were received from Finland, Romania, Switzerland and the United States.

2.      Minutes of the meeting of the Council Meeting  11th March 2006:

These were agreed as a correct record.

3.      Matters arising that do not appear elsewhere on the agenda:

Heather reported that she had received no further information from Miriam Salaman in Canada. Michel explained that there are many Canadian members of the Association Internationale du Psychodrame Balint.

Heather said she had had no response from Biggi Mauthner from Austira and had no other contact with the Austrian Society. Heide is in contact with them and agreed to ask them to contact Heather.


An email had been received from Vladimir Vinokur, president of the Russian Balint Society saying that they would love to join the IBF but they are in the process of changing their Statutes, membership criteria and leadership accreditation rules. They intend to make changes in accordance with the IBF guidelines and will be in touch when this has been done.

4.      President's report:

Heide said that she had attended the GP Congress in Australia two weeks previously. It had been a wonderful experience and she had led and participated in Balint groups in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. She was delighted to welcome Alexa to the meeting as a representative from Australia.

She had also been to the Ascona meeting and reminded the meeting of the Ascona Prize for Students (that is an agenda item).

5. Treasurer's report including payment of outstanding fees:

Michel presented the accounts and reported that the Federation has a healthy bank balance and thanked those societies who have set up bank transfers or paid regularly. However, there are several societies who have not yet paid.

There was some discussion about the fees.

In Brussels in March 2006 the following fees were agreed for 2007:

Full members 700 Euros
Newly formed or small societies 140 Euros*
70 Euros

The problem of what constitutes a 'small' society was raised.

It had already been decided that the Officers would consider applications for reduced fees and make the final decision. The agreed fee would apply for a maximum of two years after which a further application must be made.

Heather will write to the treasurers of all those societies who were paying reduced fees and ask them to submit a formal application for consideration by the Officers. This would enable them to make fair decisions.


6. Requests for funding:

A request was received from Portugal to translate a book from German to Portuguese before the congress.
Marie-Anne requested funds for the translation for ìWhat are you Feeling Doctor?î from English to French.
Heather reported that Albert Veress from Romania had sent her an email asking for funds for a Balint book. She had asked for further details but had not heard before she left for Paris.

The meeting was reminded that in March it was agreed that 2,000 Euros per annum would be set aside to help to fund translation of Balint books. Although it was anticipated that this would be for translation into English - as this is the language of the IBF - translation into other languages will be considered.

The meeting agreed to leave this decision to the Officers, when they have more information from Romania.


7 Secretary's report (including Register of Members):

Heather explained that her report was more like a cri de coeur because of the difficulty she has in maintaining an up-to-date register of member societies, their officers and contacts. She emphasised that she has tried to make this easier for everyone by sending out simple forms (one for the initial application and another for renewal that needs to be sent in annually.) Unfortunately, many forms are returned incomplete and others not at all!

These requests are sent to all the 'Officers of National Societies' so please will all the officers take responsibility for ensuring that the forms are completed fully and returned.

In spite of constant updating, there are always some emails that are returned unknown. She appreciates that this may be due to her inaccurate recording, but please let her know of any errors or changes.

Action: All


At present Heather is an individual member of EURACT (the cost is £34 paid for by the IBF) but she asked whether the IBF could join as an organisation and appoint representatives to attend meetings. The fee for organisations is approximately £100. This would give the IBF proper representation in an organisation whose main objective is to improve all aspects of training for general practice, at all levels.

Several suggestions were made for people to represent us. Marieke van Schie (Netherlands) is interested; Jorge suggested Joao Sequeira Carlos (Portugal) as he is already involved with EURACT and Benyamin suggested Andre Matalon (Israel) for similar reasons.

The meeting agreed that it would be an excellent idea for the IBF to be a member.

The meeting agreed to fund attendance for 1 delegate to two meetings a year for an amount up to 350 Euros per meeting.

Concern was expressed that the IBF may not be eligible as EURACT is an organisation of GPs. Heather felt that, although EURACT exists to promote GP education, it does not mean that every member organisation must be made up entirely of GPs.

It was agreed that Heather should apply, and if the IBF is accepted as a member organisation, elections will be held for representatives to attend the meetings.


International Congress 2007 to be held in Lisbon, Portugal:

Jorge distributed the announcement of the 15th International congress. He said that he has only received 4 papers so far.

The draft programme is as follows:

Day 1 (Saturday 1st September): Registration from 6.0 pm followed by the Welcome party at 8.0 pm.

Day 2

Morning: Opening ceremony:

ìMedicine, Evidence and Emotions 50 years onÖî

by Heide Otten, Jorge Brandao, Antonia Lavinha, the President of the Portuguese Association of General Practitioners and the Director of the Faculty where the Congress takes place.

Then a historical view. Jorge asked for suggested speakers and the names of John Salinsky and Michael Courtenay were put forward.

He also suggested contributions from Caldas de Almeida, a Portuguese Professor of Psychiatry and the Honorary President of the Portuguese Balint Society, Joao Marques Teixeira.

Afternoon: Balint Groups

Sight-seeing tour at 4.0 pm..

Day 3 Theme: Balint work in GP Training; WONCA and EURACT

Jorge asked for names of speakers, but this provoked much discussion!

The meeting said that at previous congresses there has been no shortage of papers- in fact usually a selection has to be made and some turned down.

The papers will be selected by a panel consisting of Jorge Brandao, Henry Jablonski, John Salinsky, Paul Sackin and Michel Delbrouck.

John said we should clarify the aims of the congress:

For example: ìto study the health-professional (doctor)-patient relationship, provide experience of Balint groups in an international setting and to promote and consider research into Balint work.î

It was suggested that the Congress organisers do not fill up time with speakers now, but wait for papers and then organise the presentations so that those on the same theme are put in the same session (as they already plan for the GP education session on Day 3). In the unlikely event of the organisers having insufficient papers, there could always be more time spent in groups.

There was a request for plenty of time for the groups, but not in the evenings.

A suggested skeleton timetable was:

9.0 am papers
11.0 am Coffee break
11.30 am Balint groups
1.0 pm Lunch (light, informal, buffet lunch.)
2.0 pm Papers
3.30 pm break
4.0-5.30 pm Balint groups

Various suggestions were put forward to allow time for discussion and including the following:
The proceedings with full versions of all the papers will be given out at registration.
Presentations will be strictly limited to 10 minutes
20 minutes will be allowed for discussion.

The meeting felt that enough advice had been given and confidently left further arrangements to the Portuguese organising committee.

Jorge asked us to remind colleagues to send in papers!

8.  e-international balint Journal and

9. Website for the International Balint Federation:

Items 8 and 9 were discussed together.

Marie-Anne explained that it is not realistic to produce more than 1 edition of the e-International Balint Journal per year.

She asked why it has not appeared on the website.

It became clear that the Webmaster is very busy, and as we pay so little for the maintenance of the IBF website, it has low priority. It was agreed that as the IBF is trying to develop into a more professional organisation we should employ a professional webmaster. It was agreed that we can afford a fee within the region of 2,000 Euros per year for this.

Henry offered to ask the Webmaster who had prepared the website for the Stockholm Congress if he would take it on.


The meeting asked Heide to thank the present Webmaster for all the valuable work that he has done to set up the present website.

For the time-being all items for the website are still to be sent to Heide: mailto:Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken. 


It was agreed that information about new Balint books (in all languages) would be put on the website and/or advertised in the e-journal. Four new books were circulated at the meeting.

Action:Marie-Anne and Heide

10.  Right Livelihood Award:

It was agreed that we would go ahead and ask Professor Öname please to nominate the International Balint Federation for the award.

Heather has drafted the report that is required from the nominee and will finalise this with the help of the Officers.

Ernst will ensure that Professor name please  has all the information required for the nomination.

The application must be in by April so there will not be an opportunity to discuss this at the next Council meeting.

Heather asked for information about the founding of the IBF and was advised to check out the American Balint Society website and to consult Clive Brock and Michael Courtney.

Action:Heather and the other Officers

11.  Ascona awards:

Ernst reminded the meeting that submissions for the Ascona Prize for Medical Students should be sent by email to: mailto:Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

Closing date: 31st December 2006

Further details are available on the IBF website: www.balintinternational.com

He asked everyone to tell their students to apply.

Action: All

14. Leadership accreditation:

Not everyone has the International Guidelines so Heather will circulate them again with these minutes.

She still does not have Guidelines from all members and will write to the officers of these societies individually.

Originally it was agreed that all the Guidelines would be in English, but some societies have sent them only in the original language. Heather will ask these societies for translation.

She will circulate the guidelines that she has.

Action: Heather

15.  Reports from National Balint Societies:

These have been circulated by email. It was agreed that it is very helpful and interesting to see what is going on in the different member countries.

Heather reminded everyone that she requests reports before each Council meeting and would appreciate them arriving before the deadline! She also reminded the meeting that all submissions should be less then 300 words!!

The final version of the reports of October 2006 will be circulated after this meeting.

Action: Heather

16.  Date and place of Council meeting  Spring 2007

The next meeting date and venue were confirmed.

It will take place in Potsdam on 24th March 2007 (the meeting will be held during the German workshop 23rd-25th March.)

We were disappointed that we were unable to go to Israel as originally planned, this autumn, but it was felt that in order to be fair to all our members we should not change the venue for March 2007 as this had been arranged and agreed in Brussels in March 2006.

The Council meeting in the autumn of 2007 will, of course, be held during the International Congress in Lisbon in September 2007.

It is planned to hold the meeting in the Spring of 2008 in Israel, the date to be agreed in Potsdam.

It is known that Romania is anxious to host a Council meeting so this will be considered for the Autumn of 2008.

17.  Any Other Business

Benjamin pointed out that in order for business to be completed satisfactorily it is essential that the Officers of the IBF meet before the main Council meeting. This was agreed and hosts are asked to allow time and space for this.

He also asked that the Council meetings should be accompanied by some Balint work, a group or workshop. It was pointed out that this is usually the case, but this meeting was exceptional as the venue was changed and there was no time to arrange a workshop or venue large enough for this to take place.

There will be Balint work in Potsdam, in Lisbon and Israel.

Action:Hosts for Council meetings

Marie-Anne reminded the Council about the WONCA (Europe) meeting in Paris 17th-20th October 2007 ìRethinking Primary Care in the European Contextî. Interest  was expressed although the cost may prevent some people from attending. Marie-Anne said that the French plan to make it an excellent event and she looks forward to seeing many Balint doctors there.

The President, on behalf of the meeting, warmly thanked Marie-Anne and her colleagues for organising this meeting so efficiently and at such short notice.

She also thanked the French Balint Society for their generosity in providing      delicious wines to accompany the wonderful meals that were organised for delegates!

The meeting closed at 5.15 p.m.

HCS 18-Nov-06

Mijn Balint

Leden hebben toegang tot artikelen en The Journal of the Balint Society. Deelnemers aan Balintgroepen vinden hier tevens notulen van bijeenkomsten.

Agenda: Studiedagen en congressen

Geen komend evenement!