IBF President's Newsletter

December 2017


Has it already been three months? Indeed it has been slightly over three months since the amazing Oxford International Balint Congress. Below you will find a recap on the Congress. With the Congress now behind us it‘s time to look forward to our next Council meeting in Reims, France, again details below. 

20th International Balint Congress - Balint Theory and Practice: Exploring Diversity  

The opening plenary set the tone. Padraig O Tuama's "Where there is silence, let there be a story" brought into sharp focus the meanings of the stories we hear and tell, and the importance of listening to the voices of that bring us into contact with persons of different backgrounds and experience. The Congress theme of diversity wove its way through the plenaries and workshops, as we were transported to the Outback of Australia, Pakistan, a virtual meeting space for Balint and beyond. The display from the Michael Balint Archives reminded us that our founder also experienced being a stranger as he emigrated from Hungary to the UK. Please visit our website where you can view photos and the Congress Proceedings are available for download and reading!
Many thanks to David Watt, Ceri Dornan, Caroline Palmer, Martin Tilling and the entire organizing committee for a fantastic Congress!

France to host Council meeting

The Société Médicale Balint France has been chosen to host the IBF Council meeting in the first half of 2018 in the city of Reims, 25-27 May, 2018. Reims is in the heart of the Champagne district, and certain to be a popular destination. Affordable accommodations are to be available, similar to those at the Metz Congress. More details to come!

2017 Ascona Prize Winners

In Oxford we celebrated the awarding of our newest recipients of the International Balint Prize, jointly sponsored by the Foundation for Psychosomatic and Social Medicine and the IBF. Our 2017 winners are:
  • 1st Prize: Elizabeth Hamilton - Australia
  • 2nd Prize: Nuphar Vinegrad - Israel
  • 3rd Prize: Michael Watson - United States
Their readings of their winning essays were a highlight of the Congress. I encourage you to read them in the Proceedings!
Of course it is always a difficult decision to pick the top three out of many excellent entries. Therefore, please consider purchasing the 2017 Ascona Balint Essays book! It is available in paperback and e-book formats for €24.90 plus shipping.

IBF General Assembly summary

A brief summary: We discussed applications for new member societies in Armenia, Moscow and Moldova, which we hope to approve in Reims. Additionally the St. Petersburg society has officially reorganized as the Balint Society of Russia. Jean-Daniel Gradeler was welcomed as a new IBF Auditor as we thanked Pia Soderberg for her service in this role. We voted to reduce the individual IBF membership fee to 50 euros per year. The partnership with the WONCA Young Doctors Movement continues with an effort to develop more groups. A full provisional account of the Congress is available for download.

New translations available

Heide Otten announces: two newly translated texts on Balint leadership. The Theory and Practice of Balint Group Work is available for order from Routledge, with a 20% discount until January! The second text: Leading a Balint Group is available by e-mailing:

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year

The Board wishes each and everyone of you a joyous holiday season! Our work of improving healing relationships is so important in a world where healing and relationships are not often common. We look forward to meeting you in the New Year either in person or online.
Copyright © 2017 The International Balint Federation - Paul Sackin, Secretary, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp