Skip to main content
Add Me To Your Mailing List
Home2020 Seattle Spring Intensive

Balint Leadership Training Intensive

Training leaders in relationship centered care.™

Join us in Seattle, WA
February 27 - March 1, 2020

Jointly Sponsored by:

Northwest Balint Circle

Early Registration Deadline: December 27, 2019
Registration Deadline: January 27, 2020

Registration for this event is now full. Please email KATHY KNOWLTON if you'd like to be added to the waitlist. 

Register Now

2020 Seattle Intensive Schedule

The course will be held at the Cedarbrook Lodge. Located on 18 acres of gardens, groomed lawns, and wetlands, Cedarbrook is an oasis and restorative location for the conference. Cedarbrook is a 5-minute ride from SeaTac on the complimentary shuttle.  

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.

In reserving your room with the following code, you will be guaranteed the best possible rate and will help us fulfill our contractual obligation with the hotel.

Use code TABS when booking online at

At “make a reservation” click on “book now”, then “special codes”. Put TABS under Group Code along with the dates of stay and hit “check availability”. The American Balint Society rate will show up. TABS will work in phone bookings, too: 206.785.3533 or 877.515.2176. The cutoff date for our special rate is February 26, 2020

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 Seattle!

Looking for some culinary inspiration? Savor Seattle offers several different walking food tours that last about two hours.

Hop on the light rail to downtown and visit the annual Northwest Flower & Garden Festival. Renew your inner landscaper!

Also downtown is the Nordic Lights Film Festival, in case you need to get in touch with your Viking heritage.

Or you could hit the iconic Seattle landmarks: Chihuly Glass Studio, Space Needle, and Pike Place Market.

Don't feel like venturing off the property? Book a treatment at The Spa at Cedarbrook Lodge

Conference Director
Kathy Knowlton, Ph.D.

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

Additional Faculty

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

Beth Bromley, MD, PhD
Director UCLA-DMH Public Mental Health Partnership
Los Angeles, CA

Karen Carlson, MD
Medical Director
MGH Women's Health Associates
Boston, MA

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

John Muench, MD
Director Behavioral Medicine
Portland, OR

Jill Romm, RN, MSW
Clinical Associate Professor
ObGyn Dept, OHSU
Private Practice

Portland, OR 

Chris Rule, LCSW
Director of Behavioral Medicine
Baptist Health
Little Rock, AR

Robbie Sherman, M.D. 
Medical Provider Communications Consultant
Emerita Medical Director for the Patient Experience and Physician Development
The Polyclinic
Seattle, WA

Janet Walker, MD
Urgent Care
Clinical Assistant Professor 
Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Spokane, WA

Kris Wheeler, MA
Private Practice
Past-President: NW Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study 


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 December 27, 2019 ; $875 thereafter
Residents, students, fellows receive a 20% discount:
             $640 by December 27, 2019; $700 thereafter
Registration Deadline: January 27, 2020.
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 receive an invitation from the ABS for a one-year complimentary membership following the conference. Current members of other countries’ Balint societies also qualify for a registration discount. They should contact Kathy Knowlton, Conference Director, by email before registering: .

Financial Aid
The American Balint Society (ABS) seeks to increase inclusivity in its educational activities and among its membership. To support this goal, ABS offers financial aid 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 to up to two individuals who have been accepted into an ABS Leadership Training Intensive course. Please note that the deadline for financial aid applications is December 27, 2019. 

ABS Intensive Financial Aid Application

Cancellation Policy
Registrants wishing to cancel their registration must do so in writing by the cancellation deadline of January 27, 2020. 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 Seattle 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,Kathy Knowlton. Alternatively, you may contact the Coordinator of Intensives Eran Metzger.
This live activity, Seattle Balint Leadership Training Intensive, with a beginning date of February 27, 2020, 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.

Check our blog   Doctor-Patient Connections