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Home2020 Boston Fall Intensive

Balint Leadership Training Intensive

Training leaders in relationship centered care.™

Join us in Boston, MA
November 12 -15, 2020

Sponsored by:
The American Balint Society

Boston Psychoanalytic Society & Institute


We are sorry to announce that we have canceled the Fall Intensive scheduled for November 12-15, 2020.  Our priorities are to conduct a course that is safe and that does not compromise on the unique Leadership Training Intensive experience that is one of the pillars of ABS’s work. Because of the ongoing uncertainty around travel and meetings, we do not believe we can deliver on these priorities come November.  We have been monitoring other medical education organizations with fall offerings in New England, and it appears that all have either canceled or moved to live stream.


And on the topic of live streaming, the ABS Intensives Committee has been hard at work on a curriculum for on-line Balint Leadership Intensive training.  We hope to pilot such a course in the near future in the form of one of our “Intensive on the Road” (IOTR) courses that we bring to health care organizations.  Please let us know if your organization would like to learn more about hosting an IOTR training for 8-12 clinicians. The Boston Intensive will not be live streamed, however, as we are not at the point where we could assure registrants that such a course would provide the experience that meets our standards.


The challenges currently facing health care and our society make Balint work more important than ever, adding to our pain over having to cancel the November course.  We remain hopeful about scheduling a West Coast Intensive course for the spring of 2021, and we will announce dates for the 2021 fall Intensive soon.


Please contact Shantel Beckers at about your registration fee.  You may request a full refund, or we can credit your registration to a future Intensive of your choice through the end of 2022. If you do choose the credit, you will lock in registration at the current rate and will not incur any additional charges if  registration fees increase. If you have any other questions about the Boston Intensive, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  We deeply appreciate your commitment to Balint work, and we look forward to seeing you at a future Intensive!


Eran Metzger, M.D.
Coordinator of Intensives
American Balint Society

The course will be held at the Executive Conference Center on the campus of Babson College in suburban Wellesley, MA, 20 minutes from downtown Boston and Logan International Airport.
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 a special conference center hotel room rate which includes full breakfast and complimentary wifi. Amenities include a modern fitness center and walking trails.

Hotel Reservation

Note: When booking your room, you'll need to enter 2011AMERIC in the group code to secure the conference rate. Rate available through October 11, 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 Boston!
Boston, birthplace of the American Revolution, is located approximately 10 miles from the conference center. It is an eminently walkable city, whether you follow one of the historic paths (Freedom Trail, Black Heritage Trail, Irish Heritage Trail) or wander “freestyle” through its distinctive neighborhoods: Back Bay, Beacon Hill, The North End, Chinatown, and Boston Harbor. 

Museum-goers will have to choose between the Museum of Fine Arts, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the many Harvard museums across the Charles River in Cambridge. Fun shopping and distinctive restaurants for all budgets share space on Newbury Street, Prudential Center, and Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

      Course Schedule         

Conference Directors
Eran Metzger, M.D.
Director of Psychiatry
Hebrew Senior Life
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School 
Boston, MA

Laurel Milberg, Ph.D.
ABS Past-President and Emeritus Councilor  
Clin. Assoc. Prof, Dept. of FM
Univ of Pittsburgh School of Medicine 
Leeds, MA

Additional Faculty
Lisa Buck, M.D., M.A.
Medical Director
Hope House Health Center
PCHC, Bangor, ME

Karen Carlson, M.D.
Women's Health Associates
Mass General Hospital
Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA

Mary N. Hall, M.D.
Chief Academic Officer & Professor
Atrium Health
Charlotte, NC

Phillip A. Phelps, LCSW, BCD
Director of Behavioral Science Curriculum
Clin. Assoc. Prof, Dept. of FM
Univ of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Pittsburgh, PA

Paul Scott, M.D.
ABS Past President & Emeritus Councilor
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
Univ of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Pittsburgh, PA

Jeff Sternlieb, Ph.D.
ABS Past President
Consultant, Metaworks, P.C.
Wyomissing, PA

Kathleen Ulman, Ph.D., CGP, DFAGPA
Asst Prof of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School
Clinical Asst in Psychiatry
Mass General Hospital
Boston, MA

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.

Registration Fees
Space is limited, and the previous Boston Leadership Intensive course filled before the early registration deadline. Early registration is strongly encouraged.

Single registration:

             $800 by September 15, 2020; $875 thereafter
Residents, students, fellows receive a 20% discount:
             $640 by September 15, 2020; $700 thereafter
Registration Deadline: October 15, 2020.

Registration fee includes syllabus, refreshment breaks, 2 dinners and one lunch. 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 Eran Metzger, Conference Director, by email before registering:

Cancellation Policy
Registrants wishing to cancel their registration must do so in writing by the cancellation deadline of October 15, 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.

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 September 15, 2020.

ABS Intensive Financial Aid Application

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 Boston 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.

Note: Complete list of learning objectives is available on request. 

Grievance Policy
Any concerns should be brought to the attention of the course director, Eran Metzger:

Grievance Procedure
This live activity, Boston Balint Leadership Training Intensive, with a beginning date of November 12, 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 19.25 CE credits. 

This program is approved for 16 CE by the National Association of Social Workers Provider #886826093-2378.

 "Restoring the Core of Clinical Practice: What is a Balint group and how does it help?" by Laurel Milberg, PhD and Katherine Knowlton, PhD. Available in paperback or ebook Order Now

The American Balint Society
, is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the therapeutic relationships between healing professionals and their clients/patients. The American Balint  Society is a member society of the International Balint Federation