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2007 - Meeting of the Council of the IBF - Potsdam - Germany


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

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

held on Saturday 24th March 2007 at 15.00
at the Hotel am Griebnitzsee, Rudolf-Breitscheid-Str. 190-192, 14482

Those present:

Alexa Gilbert-Obrart

Jean Flechet
Christian Linclau

Tove Mathiesen

Michel Nicolle
Marie-Anne Puel
Louis Velluet

Germany :
Thomas Kanzow
Heide Otten
Ernst Petzold
Sigmund Scheerer
Olaf Templin

Benyamin Maoz

Jorge Brandao

Albert Veress

Henry Jablonski

United Kingdom:
John Salinsky
Heather Suckling

United States:
Donald Nease

At the start of the meetingthe President asked John Salinsky to say a few words about Dr Philip Hopkins who died in December 2006.

Philip was a generalpractitioner and a member of Michael Balint's original group that inspired 'TheDoctor, his Patient and the Illness.' He was the founder of the (British)Balint Society and a founder member of the International Balint Federation. Heedited the Journal of the Balint Society for 25 years. He will be greatlymissed by all those who had contact with him whether it was professional orpersonal.

The Council observed a period of silence as a mark of respect.

1. Apologies:

Theses were received from:

Michel Delbrouck, Sanja Blazekovic, Stanislava Spehar, Annette Davidsen, Helena Nielsen, Kristina Toviola, Anna Siimes, Francoise Auger, Pascale Hauvrespre, SteffenHaefner, Marieke van Schie, Tatiana Popovic, Natase Vranjes, Anita Haggmark,Andrew Dicker, Lenka Speight and David Watt.

2. Minutes of the meeting of the Council Meeting 28thOctober 2006

Item 6: Heather apologised for omitting to mentionthat a sum of money (500 Euros) had been agreed for the translation of Steffen Haefner's book 'Die Balintgruppe' into English, but because of the omission inthe minutes, this has not yet been paid. Heather will ask Michel to pay Steffen.

Action: Heather and Michel

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

There were no matters arising.

4. President's report:

Heide, the President, spoke about some of her Balint activities since the last meeting in Paris in October. She had been to:

Australia and led groups in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane
Israel to the meeting in Zihron Yaacov.
Sweden to a meeting in Stockholm

She thanked all these societies for their hospitality and said they had been very enjoyable activities.

She then told us about proposed activities:

The Psychosomatic Congress in St. Petersburg in June 2007 where she will attempt to persuade the Russian Society to join the IBF. She has received an invitation for the IBF to attend a congress in Gerlitz (on the German-Polish border) in 2010. The organisers hope that this will encourage delegates from the Czech Republic and possibly Slovakia, as well as Poland, Germany and from other members of the IBF.

The meeting accepted this invitation- in principle-and look forward to hearing more about it in due course.


5. Treasurer's report including payment of outstanding fees

The Treasure provided a written report that was presented by his deputy, Jean Flechet;

The financial situation is quite actually good. We have make some efforts forseveral years since I have taken this job. Now, if each country continues to pay their fees regularly, we could continue and develop some new projects at an international level.

With the fees, we can pay the studentsí expenses for the Ascona Price, the cost of the IBFís web site, the cost of the secretary and the expenses of the officers. Since 2006, the International Balint Federation offers the total amount per year of 2000 € for one or several translation projects in English of some textbook or book about Balint work.

Proposals and requests:

If we conserve the same amount on a account, thefinancial interest could pay the cost of the web site.

Every two years, during the year when we do not haveto pay the Ascona studentsí expenses, we could offer 2000 € more for anothernew international project.

With the efforts of the officers who have accepted toreceive half the amount, they received before, we are in a better financial position. I ask for this to continue on the same way.

In the same manner, I ask the members and the officersto accept only logistic expenses and not include the cost of food as expenses.

The country who hosts IBF Council meetings should organize the sessions itself and ask not the IBF to support it.

I thank you very much for your trust and I hope we could continue to progress in the same way for a better future.

Jean reported that Australia, Croatia and Romaniahad now paid. Finland has not yet paid, but is expected to do so shortly.

The President thanked both Michel for hisreport, and Jean for presenting it. They were congratulated on ensuring thatthe finances are kept in good order. She then invited comments:

It was agreed that the Officers should keep their expenses to a minimum and that food shouldnot be regarded as an expense.

Heather suggested that it might be fairer if the Officers only claimed for their actual expenses, confirmed by receipts, rather than receive an agreed amount for each officer, regardless of the actual cost of their fares. Benyamin asked whether the expenses of officers that are not covered by 350 Euros could be paid.

It was agreed that this should be discussed at our next meeting, as an agenda item.

Action: Heather

Whereas the meeting agreed that it is up to the host country for Council meetings toorganise them it was agreed that the cost of the hire of the room should be considered a bona fide expense of the IBF. Of course the amount would have tobe agreed by the Treasurer and Officers in advance.

6. Secretary's report (including Register of Members)

Heather said that her main tasks as secretary havebeen to ensure that societies fulfil the criteria for registration, maintainthe mailing list of the Officers of all the member societies, organising theelection of officers for this meeting and preparing the application for theRight Livelihood Award.

There are 19 registered societies, these are: Australia, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland,France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Association Internationale du Psychodrame Balint. This list will appear on the IBF website.

Action: Henry

Sadly, no applications for membership have beenreceived from Austria, Canada or Russia in spite of repeated requests. There has been no contact from Poland since August 2005 and no fee has been received. She emphasised that we hope that Poland will send the fee and the Balint Societies from above countries and any other, will apply in due course. Sheasked those present to contact any interested parties and suggest that they contact her Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

Action: All

Heather thanked all the Officers for responding to her emails and correcting the email addresses, she is delighted that recently she has had no emails returned! Shethanked them for paying their fees and for their patience, as sometimes theywill receive the emails more than once. She asked them not to rest on theirlaurels as she will shortly be sending out a Renewal of Registration form to everyone in order to update the mailing list, and hopes that everyone will respond promptly.

Action: Heather (and All)

The election process had worked well and votes have been received form all the registered societies except those of Italy, Switzerland and the AIPB. The results will be announced shortly.

The RightLivelihood will be discussed under Item 7.

7. Election of Officers (to take up posts in September 2007)

The President announced that the following Officers will take up their posts at the end of the 15th International Balint Congress in Lisbon in September.

The following were unopposed:

President: Henry Jablonski
Treasurer: Michel Delbrouck
General Secretary: Heather Suckling

The elections for the Vice-Presidents were hotly contested and the results were as follows:

Benyamin Maoz: 42 votes
Donald Nease: 30 votes
Sanja Blazekovic: 26 votes
Albert Veress: 25 votes

Therefore the new Vice-Presidents will be Benyamin Maoz and Donald Nease.

The new Officers were congratulated by the meeting.


The secretary explained that she has been advised by Egle Zebiene, the President of EURACT, that for the IBF to become an 'Organisation in Collaboration' with EURACT we need three or more members ofthe IBF to be accepted as individual members of EURACT. Although an Organisation in Collaboration does not have voting rights, the 3 individual members each have 1 vote.

At the pre-Council meeting the Officers of the IBFagreed to invite the following people to apply to become members of EURACT:

Heide Otten (Germany), Andre Matalon (Israel) and StanislavaSpehar (Croatia).

The meeting agreed that Heather should approach Andreand Stanka, Heide has already agreed.

Each will need to apply to EURACT separately and will have to be approved by their Council. It is hoped that there will not be a delay in the application as the next meeting of the EURACT Council will be in Zagreb from 9th-11th May 2007.

The IBF Council has already agreed to fund the subscription of approximately £100 (this is approximately 150 Euros).

We know that Professor Egle Zebiene (from Lithuania) is supportive of Balint work and she will be invited as a guest to the Lisbon Congress.

Action: Heather (contact Andre and Stanka)
Action: Heide, Andre andStanka ñto apply (if agreeable)
Action: Michel to provide the money for thesubscription

9. International Congress 2007 to be held in Lisbon, Portugal

Jorge presented the proposed programme and raised several issues for discussion:

  • Guest: The invitation to Professor Zebiene was approved. The IBF will pay for her conference fee and accommodation, but not for her travel.
  • The timetable was approved. Concern was expressed about the 9.0 a.m.start on the Wednesday (after the party!) but it was agreed to leave it at 9.0a.m., but to advise the group leaders to allow for a later start of the groupwork, say 9.30 a.m.
  • Association Internationale du Psychodrame Balint : Jorge said that the AIPB wished to run a psychodramagroup in French throughout the congress. After considerable discussion theCouncil agreed that this was not appropriate. However, the Council would welcome a presentation by AIPB in English, so that all congress participants could enjoy it. It was agreed that Jorge should offer the AIPB the opportunity to run a psychodrama group on the Saturday, before the officialopening, as an alternative. Ideally this would be in English, but couldpossible be in French if that were not possible. This would need to be arranged and funded by the AIPB in cooperation with Jorge.
  • Language of the Congress: The President emphasised that the language of International Balint Congresses is always English and this is no exception. Jean said that Michel had particularly asked for a plenary to be held in French in order to encourage more papers from French-speakers, but the Council felt that was inappropriate as the language ofthe Congress was English. This lead to a discussion about groups in other languages.
  • Balint groups: Jorge clarified that there would be traditional Balint groups in French, German and Portuguese as well as English held in parallel throughout the Congress.

Fees: these will be as follows:

Before 30.6.07: After 30.6.07:

  • Students: 0 Euros (Free!) 0Euros
  • Doctors in training: 120 Euros 220 Euros
  • Ordinary delegates: 270 Euros 370 Euros

The conference fee includes lunch, coffee break refreshments, the Welcome party and Congress dinner. (Initially there was to be an extra chargefor the dinner, but the meeting recommended that it should be included in the Congress fee.) Jorge confirmed that they have secured sponsorship for theCongress.


A list of accommodation varying in price from 40-150 Euros per person per night will be on the website. Jorge explained that this is provided by the Agent and it might be less expensive for delegates to book direct.

Papers: 23 papers have been received, but it will only be possible for the presentation of 16 of these. However, Jorge proposes that all those submitted will be included in the Proceedings of the Congress. The selection is being made by the Portuguese Scientific Committee of the Congress after receiving advice from the Scientific Committee of the IBF. (This consistsof Michel Delbrouck, Henry Jablonski, Heide Otten, Paul Sackin and JohnSalinsky.)


10. e-international balint Journal

The second edition of the e-international balint journal has been published and will shortly appear on the IBF website. It includes contributions from France, Germany and the UK.

The plan is for it to be produced annually in the spring and the deadline for contributions is the end of February each year. At present contributors may submit articles in any way they wish, but the Editors are considering developing a standard format.

The Council congratulated Marie-Anne, the Editor and thanked her and Andre Matalon for the excellent work they have done.

11. Funding translation of Balint books

The secretary reminded the meeting that the Councilwill consider subsidising the translation of Balint books, usually into English as this is the language of the IBF, but it has not agreed to subsidise the publication of books in the original language.

Applications should be made to all the Officers of theIBF.

12. Website for the International Balint Federation, including appointment of a WebCo-ordinator

We are delighted that Johan Rhedin, from Sweden, has been appointed to maintain the IBF website. Henry Jablonski has agreed to act as theco-ordinator, so all contributions should be sent to him Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.. In order to minimise the cost, the website will be updated twice yearly, approximately 4 weeks after each Council meeting.

The Council agreed that the co-ordinator should havethe ultimate discretion to decide what is put on the website.

Action: Henry

13. Right Livelihood Award:

Unfortunately, the deadline for submissions this year was brought forward to 1st March, but the Officers decided to go ahead with the submission as soon as possible as it will be held over until next year.

The information from the Nominee (the IBF) is almost complete, but the following need to be added:

The final accounts for 2006
The proposed budget for 2007
Written materials:

  1. Two books only are allowed; these will be the Proceedings of the last two International Balint Congresses, Berlin and Stockholm
  2. A book list of relevant Balint books
  3. The latest copy of the Journal of every Balint Society
  4. A list of all the websites of the registered societies

Heather will liaise with Michel about the accounts and budget.

She will also contact the Officers of the national societies and ask them to send the journals and website addresses to Heide, who will co-ordinate the information.

Action: Heather (thenAll!)

14. Ascona awards

Ernst announced that there were 11 entries for the Ascona prize, from Romania, Germany, the UK, the US and from a student of both Israel and the US.
The final selection has not yet been made, it will be done in early April.
The authors of the 3 best papers will be invited to Lisbon.
(In view of the fact that at least 1 paper had gone astray, it was agreed that in future authors will be asked to send their essays to two email addresses.)
Action : Ernstand Heide

15. WONCA Paris (17th-21stOctober 2007)

Marie-Anne has arranged for 2 Balint groups to be held at the WONCA congress on each of the following days, Thursday 18th, Friday 19th and Saturday 20th October. One group will be in French and the other in English. She needs leaders for the English group. Suggestions were made,Conny Svenson, Stanka Spehar, Sanja Blazekovic, Andre Matalon and JohnSalinsky. Approaches will be made to them and anyone interested should contact Marie-Anne as soon as possible.

Action: Marie-Anne,Henry, John and All

16. International Congress 2009

Albert invited the IBF to hold the 2009 Congress in Romania. He suggested possible venues, Brasov, probably the most suitable or possiblyon the Black Sea. He would organise a trip to see the painted monasteries in Moldovia. His invitation was welcomed and accepted, thank you Albert.

Albert was asked to bring more information about the various venues to the next Council meeting that will be held in Lisbon.

Action: Albert

17. Date and place of Council meetings; Spring andAutumn 2008

Benyamin invited us to Israel for the Spring 2008 Council meeting, assuming that the political situation remains stable. However, if there are security problems then Heide said it could be held in Potsdam during the Balint weekend of the German Society.

This suggestion was agreed. Thanks to Benyamin and Heide.

Action: Benyamin

18. Any Other Business

19. Russia: Heather circulated an email from Vladimir Vinokur witha brief report from the Russian Balint Society. She asked the Council to insistthat, if the Russian Society wishes to maintain contact with the IBF, itsubmits an application for membership to ensure that it fullfils the criteria.This includes paying the annual membership fee (initially that would be 140Euros.) (As they are not yet members, they are not permitted to state thattheir leadership Guidelines are recognised by the International Federation.) The Council agreed that Heather should write to Vladimir Vinokur to explain this and that Heide should discuss it when she visits St. Petersburg.

Action: Heather and Heide

a. Frank Dornfest: Don told the meeting that Frank is about to embark on an experimental treatment for leukaemia. The meeting expressed its sympathy and wished him well. It was requested that his email address should be circulated so that people can send personal messages.

Action: Don

b. Leaders at the 15th International Congress:  Jorge asked whether to hold a Group Leaders' group or a Supervision group at the Congress.

The meeting was happy to leave thisdecision to the Portuguese organising committee.

Action: Jorge

Reports from National Balint Societies  have been circulated separately.

HCS 4-Apr-07

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

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