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Sargeant, R. Au-Yong, A. (2020). Balint Groups for Foundation and GP Trainees. Brit. J. Psychother., 36(3):481-496.

(2020). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 36(3):481-496

Teaching and Learning

Balint Groups for Foundation and GP Trainees

Rhona Sargeant and Amy Au-Yong

Balint groups are increasingly offered to doctors in training, both to give support to the doctors and to develop a deeper empathic understanding of their patients, the family and the clinical team. We describe Balint groups; the history of such groups and current applications. Using material from groups we ran over a three-year period, we consider practical and theoretical aspects of setting up short-term, contemporary Balint groups for doctors working in four-month psychiatric placements as part of their foundation or GP training in medicine. Current medical and psychiatric practice is gradually moving away from the dyadic doctor-patient relationship, with the use of wider team members and family as an integral part of patient care. In addition to the doctor-patient dyad traditionally explored in a Balint group we consider ways in which group analytic ideas have an important role to play. We consider that group analytic concepts enhance the Balint groups and add to the experience of those leading the groups. We describe how these can be used to illuminate unconscious factors within Balint and supervision groups. We use clinical vignettes to demonstrate some of our experiences, using both group analytic and Balint ideas.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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