We describe the Balint case discussion group method and how it can be applied to training psychiatrists. In a group that we ran, the performance of members on a clinical task before and after a year in the group was investigated. Written responses to a case vignette were appraised blindly by psychotherapists who were also examiners for the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
There were eight members in the Balint group, which met weekly for one year. We found that members' performance on the clinical task improved significantly following the year spent in the Balint group.
A Balint group, as part of an introduction to psychotherapy for psychiatrists, may represent a step towards achieving comprehensive training that is relevant to ordinary clinical practice.
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