‘Balint at 50: from Foundation to the Future’

This day long event was held on 17th May 2019 at the Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Society. In keeping with the title of the celebrations, speakers took the audience from the Society's analytic roots and Michael Balint, through early GP groups with Enid Balint and the research group members, to present day GP groups and the spread of Balint work into psychiatry and medical schools. A highlight of the day was the 23rd Michael Balint Memorial Lecture, 'Balint and Virtue Ethics', delivered by Dr Peter Toon. Also included was a fishbowl group to show how a Balint group may operate.
To complete the day, we celebrated with a magnificent cake made and decorated by Dr Paul Julian.
Balint Society Celebratory Cake

Content of the day and session recordings

We are able to offer you a series of audio-visual recordings made on the day, which we hope will allow you to experience much of the atmosphere, interest and stimulation experienced by those of us fortunate enough to be present. The recordings are presented session by session. There are a few omissions, where there was considerable clinical content, even though anonymised. The introduction of the speakers in these cases is included as we wish to acknowledge their contribution to the day. We hope to add some written comments about their experience of Balint work in due course. The fishbowl session is not included.
The full programme for the day, including speaker and chair biographies, list of Foundation Members, Presidents and Council members can be downloaded using the links below:

Welcome to the day:  Caroline Palmer, President of Balint Society UK

Balint & his Psychoanalytic Legacy

Chair: Esti Rimmer
  • Michael Balint in Hungary: Raluca Soreanu.
  • His early years at the Tavistock Clinic, work with Enid & GPs:  Jennifer Johns.
  • Psychoanalysis within current Balint Work:  Gearoid Fitzgerald.


Session 2.

The GP Experience of early groups, & the birth of the Balint Society

Chair: Paul Julian

  • Jimmy Carne: 'From the Long Case to Six Minutes for the Patient'.
  • John Salinsky: The establishment of the Society, & remembering Mike Courtenay.


Session 3.

23rd Michael Balint Memorial Lecture: "Balint and Virtue Ethics" by Peter Toon

Session 4.

From The Psychiatrist's Chair.

Chair: Anne Patterson

  • 'Balint from the Cradle to the Grave':  James Johnston
  • Balint & me:  Khushi Ghazanfar (not included)

Session 5.

Cum Scientia Caritas:  Balint in General Practice

Chair: Ceri Dornan

  • GP registrar Balint groups, & the care home pilot group: Suni Perera.
  • GP Balint groups & hospital groups: David Watt.
  • The Academy and Balint Research:  Andrew Elder.

Session 6.

Into the Future! Student Balint Experiences & Plans

Chair: Sarah Majid

  • Balint Essay Prize Winner 2018: Inseo Yun (Edinburgh) (not included)
  • 'From membership to leadership':  Scarlett Tankard. (Bristol)
  • Setting up the Pan-London Medical Student Balint Society:  Eamonn Marshall.


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