1st Edition

The Theory and Practice of Balint Group Work Analyzing Professional Relationships

By Heide Otten Copyright 2018
    154 Pages
    by Routledge

    154 Pages
    by Routledge

    Michael Balint’s work grew out of a desire to analyze the doctor-patient relationship and improve diagnosis and treatment, and is now known and implemented internationally. In The Theory and Practice of Balint Group Work Heide Otten presents a practical guide to Balint groups and their relevance to clinicians in the modern world of internet diagnoses, distant patients and teams of specialists.

    The book begins with a history of the therapeutic relationship and its influence on the development of Balint’s work. Otten demonstrates how the sessions work, and goes on to look at the practical aspects of Balint group work with various professional and student groups, with participants of different cultural backgrounds and nationalities, and internationally. The requirements for leading a Balint group are then explored, and the book concludes with research findings and a look at how the practice can be extended to other professional groups. Case material from the author’s own work is included throughout, and suggestions for additional creative elements such as sculpting, role play and psychodrama are also featured.

    The Theory and Practice of Balint Group Work is an essential guide for psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic psychotherapists, counsellors and medical practitioners and theorists coming to group work for the first time or utilising Balint’s ideas in their day to day practice. It will also appeal to others working in the helping professions seeking to strengthen the therapeutic relationship.

    1 Introduction. I. History and Basics 2. Changes in doctor-patient-relationship 2.1 The Classical Era 2.2 Old Testament 2.3 Arabic Medicine 2.4 Medieval Age to Renaissance 2.5 Romantic Era 2.6 Industrial Age 2.7 Age of Psychoanalysis: Freud, Ferenczi, Balint 2.8 21st century 3.  Development of Balint work 3.1 How it began 3.2 The idea is spreading 3.3 International cooperation II.  Practical aspects of Balint work 4. How the sessions work 5. Balint groups with doctors working in somatic medicine 6. Balint groups with psychiatrists, psychotherapists, psychosomatics 7. Balintwork with students 7.1 The Ascona Award for students 7.2 Group work with Students 8. Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Groups 8.1 Different Professions 8.2 Group Members from different cultures and nationalities 8.3 In different countries 9. Balint groups with added creative features 9.1 Sculpture work 9.2 Role-play 9.3 Psychodrama 9.4 Imagination III. Leading a Balint group 10. Prerequisites 11. Training of group leaders 11.1 Leaders' workshops 11.2 Supervision of group leaders IV.  Results and opportunities 12. Research findings 13. Balint work with non-medical professionals 14. Summary


    Heide Otten, PhD, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Germany. She was Secretary of the German Balint Society (DBG) from 1991 to 2013, President of the International Balint Federation (IBF) from 2001 to 2007 and has been a member of the Foundation Psychosomatic and Social Medicine since 2000.

    " In our modern age doctors are expected to be resilient in the face of adversity, but how are they to cope with their feelings of uncertainty and helplessness? This richly illustrated text describes how and why participating in a Balint group can be so helpful, not only for doctors, but also for other health care professionals and medical students, struggling to understand their own and their patients' emotions, as they arise in their therapeutic relationships with patients. (Peter Shoenberg, FRCPsych, MRCP(UK), Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy Camden and Islington NHS. Foundation Trust , London, formerly Head of the Department of Psychotherapy at University College Hospital London)

    Heide Otten gives us a very complete and rich view about today´s evolution of the seminal work initiated 70 years ago by Michael Balint, with English general practitioners. This book reasserts the importance of the doctor-patient relationship. Be it in hospitals or ambulatory, the way doctors deal with their patients remains a corner stone of today’s medical practice. As a tool which aids doctors in this particular area, Balint Groups have continually increased in importance. (Jorge Brandão, Vice President, International Balint Federation)

    This book is a masterful exposition of the Balint group method in exploring the mysteries of clinician-patient relationships. Heide Otten, in calling upon her vast German and international experience, has written a superb book that provides a comprehensive overview of Balint group work, from its beginnings to methods, theoretical underpinnings and creative additions. Those experienced in Balint group work and those who are new to the method will welcome this new English edition. It is the book we have been waiting for. (Dr Frank Meumann, Past-President of the Balint Society of Australia and New Zealand, Chair of the Accreditation Committee and past CEO and Director of Training of General Practice Training Tasmania)