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Home2019 Spokane Spring Intensive

Balint Leadership Training Intensive

Training leaders in relationship centered care.™

Join us in Spokane, WA
April 25 - 28, 2019

Sponsored by:

Early Registration Deadline: February 25, 2019
Registration Deadline: March 25, 2019

Register Now

Registration for this event is now full. Please contact Janet Walker, course director, to be added to the wait list.

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

Residing at the conference center is strongly recommended, even for local attendees, so that you may benefit from the retreat-like nature of the course. The ABS has negotiated an exceptionally low rate of $99 per night, which includes full breakfast and complimentary WiFi.

In reserving your room with the following link, you're getting the best possible rate and helping us fulfill our contractual obligation with the hotel.

Reservation deadline: March 20, 2019

Reserve Room Now

Phone Reservations: 509.326.5577 
Discount code: AMER0425

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 limitation and risks. This course is given a minimum of twice a year. Each offering has unique aspects because of the mix of faculty and the specific cases offered in the Balint groups themselves.


Participants should be clinically active and willing to present one of their cases. Because group cohesiveness affects participants’ experience of the course, registrants are asked to commit to attending all sessions and to attending each session in its entirety.

It is important to participate in the entire program. Success of the conference depends on group cohesiveness. 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.

Welcome to Spokane!
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. Vast Riverfront Park, site of the 1974 World's Fair, has a sculpture walk 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 are on the Historic Register, including the Art Deco Fox Theater and the Kirtland Cutter designed Davenport Hotel. Unwind after the conference by exploring the Columbia Valley Wineries or enjoy part of the 37 mile Centennial Trail, a Rails to Trails Conservancy project. 

     Tentative Schedule

Conference Director
Janet M. Walker, M.D.
ABS Coordinator of Intensives
Urgent Care
Spokane, WA

Planning Committee
Kathy Knowlton, Ph.D.

ABS President-elect
Clinical Instructor
FM Residency
U of Washington
Seattle, WA

Robbie Sherman, M.D. 
Med. Director for Patient Experience and Physical Development
The Polyclinic
Seattle, WA

Additional Faculty

Ritch Addison, PhD 
Director of Behavioral Medicine 
Santa Rosa FM Residency
Santa Rosa, CA

Clive D. Brock, MBChB, FAACP
ABS Past President and Emeritus Councilor
Professor Emeritus
Department of FM, MUSC
Charleston, SC

Mary N. Hall, MD
Chief Academic Officer
Carolinas Healthcare System
Professor, UNC School of Med.
Charlotte, NC

Geoffrey M.  Margo, MD, PhD
Staff Psychiatrist
Counseling & Psychological Services
U of Penn & Private Practice
Philadelphia, PA

Eran Metzger, MD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry 
Harvard Medical School 
Boston, MA

Greg Troll, MD
Professor Emeritus
Touro U College of Osteopathic Medicine
Family Physician, West County Health Clinic
Sebastopol, CA

Mary Wassink, EdD
Assistant Professor
Licensed Psychologist
Department of Family Medicine
Western Michigan Univ. School of Medicine
Kalamazoo, MI

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 ACGME 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.

Registration Fees
Space is limited and Leadership Intensive Courses have filled in the past. Early registration is strongly encouraged.
Single registration:
             $800 by February 25, 2019; $875 thereafter
Residents, students, fellows receive a 20% discount:
             $640 by February 25, 2019; $700 thereafter
Registration Deadline: March 25, 2019.
Registration fee includes syllabus, refreshment breaks, one dinner and one lunch. For those staying at the hotel, daily breakfast is also included. A discount of $100 for current active ABS members (plus 20% for student members) will be applied during online registration. Those registering at the non-member rate will have the option to opt-in for a one-year ABS membership following the conference. Current members of other countries’ Balint societies also qualify for a registration discount. They should contact Janet Walker, Conference Director, by email before registering:

Cancellation Policy
Registrants wishing to cancel their registration must do so in writing by the cancellation deadline of March 25, 2019. For cancellations received by the cancellation date, $100 of the registration fee will be withheld for administrative fees and the refund will occur after the intensive has been held. For cancellations received after the cancellation date, no refunds will be available.

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.

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, 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 group sessions.

4. Define the new perspective of a presenter as a result of the Balint Group process.

Grievance Policy
Any concerns should be brought to the attention of the course director, Janet Walker
This live activity, Spokane Balint Leadership Training Intensive, with a beginning date of April 25, 2019, has been reviewed and we have applied for up to 19.25 Prescribed credit(s) by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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 CE credits.

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