The Society takes its name from Psychoanalysts Michael and Enid Balint, who began work in the 1950s to help General Practitioners reach a better understanding of the emotional content of the doctor-patient relationship and so improve their therapeutic potential.
Balint groups have been meeting ever since, and today a number of different health professionals participate. Balint group membership provides a space to think about those encounters which leave professionals drained, puzzled or stuck and through discussion about the relationship, the possibility of finding new ways forward with the patient. Although the Balint method is founded on psychoanalytic ideas about the dynamics of human relationships, the work of the group is based on the everyday consultations of members, using ordinary language, and does not require any specialist knowledge. The nature and context of healthcare practice is continually changing, but is still mainly based on human interactions between people seeking help and professionals, making Balint work just as relevant today as when it began.
The UK Balint Society welcomes membership from any health or social care professional who works with patients.