Balint work is designed specifically to allow transference and countertransference in a therapeutic alliance to become conscious, understandable, and therefore usable, for the clinician.
In a chapter in Making Spaces: Putting Psychoanalytic Thinking to Work
(Kate Cullen, et al.) Grant Wilkie describes why Balint groups fit so well in therapists' continuing psychoanalytic study and self-development:
In the Balint group, by opening up pockets of potential space, trainees learn to make use of associative modes of thinking and engage in “serious play, " which allows them to metabolize their experience, to put it into words, and find different ways to think about the problem. In time, the alpha function of the group is internalized, enabling members to think in a quite different way about their work.
The Balint group method emphasizes experience-near language and de-emphasizes authority for its own sake in both the group leaders and the group members. It fits well with contemporary analytic trends. The Balints understood the mutative power of the clinical relationship and the nonverbal, affective components of the treatment experience long before these took their rightful place in psychoanalytic work alongside interpretation. We are pleased to provide the chance to practice this discipline.
This group is not set up to offer CE credit for either physicians or mental health providers. Nonetheless, it may be accepted by your licensing authority on the basis of our credentails and the relevance of the work to your practice. If this is a consideration for you, please contact the government agency whose approval you will need before you register. If you'd like to join us, let either of us know. Or be in touch if you have any questions at all.