We make good care better

Balint Leadership Training Intensive

Training leaders in relationship centered care.™

Join us in Spokane, WA
April 23 - 26, 2025

Sponsored by:

Registration Deadline: March 12, 2025

First 30 registrants receive a reduced rate!

Register Now

Course Overview

The four-day Intensive course is designed to teach Balint group leadership technique primarily through experiential groups, supplemented by topic-focused small discussion groups and faculty panel discussions. Attendees will have ample time to present cases, practice leading a Balint group, and engage informally with other participants. Faculty-guided debriefings provide opportunities to receive feedback on participants’ practice sessions in a safe and supportive setting. Participants emerge from the course with a deeper understanding of Balint group leadership techniques and responsibilities and improved awareness of the method’s limitations and risks. Each offering has unique aspects because of the mix of faculty and the specific cases offered in the Balint groups themselves.Conference Schedule

Registration Fees

Space is limited and previous Leadership Intensive courses have filled well before the registration deadline. Registration fee includes syllabus, refreshment breaks, breakfast, one dinner and one lunch.

Single Registration:
    $900 early rate*; $975 regular rate

ABS Member Registration:
    $800 early rate*; $875 regular rate

Residents, students, fellows receive a 20% discount:
    $640 early rate*; $700 regular rate

ABS Member Residents, students & fellows:
    $560 early rate*; $620 regular rate

*Early rates are limited to the first 30 registrants. 

Those registering at the non-member rate will have an option to apply for a one-year complimentary membership to the ABS following the conference. Current members of other countries' Balint societies also qualify for a registration discount. They should contact the Course directors, Janet Walker, janetwalker3@icloud.com, and Jill Romm, jillianromm@gmail.com, by email prior to registering:

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Financial Aid

The American Balint Society (ABS) seeks to increase inclusivity in its educational activities and among its membership. To support this goal, ABS has a financial aid program available to applicants of underrepresented groups (e.g. ethnic, socioeconomic, professional background, etc.) for whom the regular course tuition would present a hardship or barrier. The ABS Financial Aid program provides up to $500 tuition support for up to four individuals who have been accepted into an ABS Leadership Training Intensive course.  You must complete the registration process prior to submitting one of the financial aid application.

Please note that the deadline for financial aid applications is February 25, 2025. 

ABS Intensive Financial Aid Application

Cancellation Policy

Registrants wishing to cancel their registration must do so in writing by the cancellation deadline of March 12, 2025. For cancellations received by the cancellation date, $100 of the registration fee will be withheld for administrative fees and the refund will occur within 30 days of acknowledgment of cancellation. For cancellations received after the deadline, no refunds will be available. 

Welcome to Spokane!

The conference will be held at the Ruby River Hotel where hometown hospitality and peaceful river views greet every guest. Located on the Spokane River with easy access to the Centennial Trail and Riverfront Park, perfect for a leisurely walk or bike ride. 

Residing at the conference center is strongly recommended, even for local attendees, so you may benefit from the retreat-like nature of the course. The ABS has negotiated an exceptionally low rate of $114 per night plus taxes. Amenities include a fitness center, swimming pool, free WiFi, and use of free bicycles. 

Ruby River Hotel 

In reserving your room, you're getting the best possible rate and helping us fulfill our contractual obligation with the hotel. Rooms booked through other methods will not be protected by our cancellation policy with the hotel. 

Room Reservation Details Coming Soon!

Explore the City

Spokane provides a wonderful mix of culture, history, and outdoor pursuits. It's home to the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, which explores the region's history through exhibits on art, culture, and Native American heritage. The vast Riverfront Park, site of the 1974 World's Fair, features a sculpture walk, an historic carousel, and a cable car offering views over tumbling Spokane Falls, the second largest urban waterfall in the US. 

More than half the buildings in downtown Spokane are on the Historic Register, including the Art Deco Fox Theater and the Kirtland Cutter designed Davenport Hotel

Conference Director
Janet Walker, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor
Elson S. Floyd School of Medicine
Washington State University
Spokane, WA

Conference Co-director
Jillian Romm, RN, LCSW

Clinical Associate Professor, ObGyn
Oregon Health and Science University
Portland, OR

Additional Faculty

Ellen Barnett, MD
Director of Outreach/Program Development
Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation
Sebastopol, CA

Don Nease, MD
Director of Community Engagement and Health Equity
Professor, Department of Family Medicine
CU Anschutz
Denver, CO

Shana O'Marra, DVM
Associate Professor/Emergency & Critical Care
College of Veterinary Medicine
Washington State University
Pullman, WA

Chris Rule, MD
Director of Behavioral Health
Baptist Health-UAMS FM Residency
Little Rock, AR

Trevor Slocum, MA, NCC, LMHC
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Private Practice
IP Institute Infant Observation Program Committee
Center for Object Relations
Seattle, WA

Kris Wheeler, MA, LMHC
Private Practice
Center for Object Relations
Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Studies
Seattle, WA

All faculty members are credentialed as Balint Group Leaders by the American Balint Society. Faculty present will depend on number of small groups.

In accordance with ACCME requirements on disclosure, information about relationships of presenters with commercial interests (if any) will be included in materials distributed at the time of the conference.


Participants should be clinically active and willing to present one of their cases.

Because group cohesiveness affects participants’ experience of the course, registrants are required to commit to attending all sessions and to attending each session in its entirety. Please do not plan to arrive late, leave early or miss sessions.

The Balint Leadership Intensive is a training course and is not intended as therapy. Nevertheless, Balint Group work can sometimes stir up strong feelings. Prospective registrants who are experiencing a particularly vulnerable period in their lives may want to consider participating in this training at a later date.

The world COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. All participants should anticipate that they will be required to provide proof of having received the CDC-recommended number of COVID-19 vaccinations no later than 2 weeks before the start of the course. Additional requirements may include having received a booster and/or testing before the event. Registrants will receive updates closer to the start of the course.


Application does not  guarantee acceptance. The American Balint Society (ABS) reserves the right to choose the participants and registrants for its programs and to assign participants to small groups in order to maximize the educational and professional experience offered. We reserve the right to refuse registrations and to cancel registrations already made or to postpone or cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances or insufficient enrollment. In the event of cancellation by the ABS, any registration fees paid will be refunded. Such refund shall represent the entire liability to the registrant. 

COVID-19 considerations: we will monitor and comply with public health guidelines for a safe conference. Registrants will be informed closer to the event of any recommendations.

During this Balint Leadership Training Intensive, a few experienced participants may be co-leading small group sessions as part of an evaluation process by which they hope to become credentialed as Balint group leaders. If this occurs, we may ask all members of their small group to complete an assessment of the candidate's expertise during one of the two sessions in which he or she is acting as co-leader. We believe this process furthers your learning of Balint leadership skills in addition to offering the candidate helpful feedback. 

Balint Groups

Balint groups provide an opportunity to develop insight into the interpersonal aspects of the clinician/patient encounter and to become more empathic with patients and with oneself. They are used by health care clinicians throughout the United States and internationally to improve clinician/patient communication and clinical effectiveness, increase practitioner satisfaction, and decrease isolation. Residencies and other training programs use Balint groups as part of their curriculum addressing professionalism, clinician/patient communication, and clinical ethics.

Target Audience

The Spokane Leadership Intensive course is appropriate for clinicians new to the Balint Group method as well as experienced Balint Group leaders. The course is well-suited to those who are currently leading, expect to lead in the future, or are seeking a better understanding of Balint groups.  The curriculum is appropriate for physicians (primary care, psychiatry, other specialists), psychologists, social workers, other mental health care providers, veterinarians, and pastoral care providers.

Course Goals

At the end of the training, attendees will be able to:

  1. Describe verbal and non-verbal behaviors of Balint Group Leaders.
  2. Recognize the effectiveness of different leadership interventions.
  3. Identify the process and progression of a Balint group over multiple sessions.
  4. Define the new perspective of a presenter as a result of the Balint group process.

Note: a complete list of learning objectives is available on request.

Grievance Policy

Any concerns should be brought to the attention of the Course Directors, Janet Walker, janetwalker3@icloud.com; or Jill Romm, jillianromm@gmail.com.
ABS Grievance Policy


Application for CME credit has been filed with the American Academy of Family Physicians. Determination of credit is pending.

AMA/AAFP Equivalency: AAFP Prescribed credit is accepted by the American Medical Association as equivalent to AMA PRA Category 1 Credit toward the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. When applying for the AMA PRA, Prescribed credit earned must be reported as Prescribed, not as Category 1.

The American Balint Society is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The American Balint Society maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This activity is approved for 19.25 CE credits.

Application for CME credit has been filed with the American Academy of Family Physicians. Determination of credit is pending.