Reading Michael Balint: A Pragmatic Clinician




Michael Balint is above all known for the "Balint Groups", which came to be a generic term for groups involved with the training of doctors and caregivers in the patient-caregiver relationship. Despite this, the origin and full import of his work has been somewhat overlooked. Hélène Oppenheim-Gluckman provides us with a concise account of how reading Balint has enriched psychoanalytic theory and its practice by broadening the indications for the psychoanalytic cure and the debate on psychotherapies and the training to the professional care-giver-patient relation.

Reading Michael Balint: A pragmatic clinician shows how Balint must be considered as one of the major figures in the British Independent School of psychoanalysis, along with Winnicott and Fairbairn. Oppenheim-Gluckman argues that his ideas, and the implications of his work with groups of medical practitioners, have remained hugely influential within modern psychoanalysis and training in medical psychology.

Reading Michael Balint presents a clear overview of the main tenets of his work. It provides a fresh perspective on Balint’s contribution and its importance for modern object relations theory and practice and brief psychotherapy. It will be an invaluable resource for psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic psychotherapists, counsellors and trainee psychoanalysts and doctors.

Hélène Oppenheim-Gluckman is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, and has a doctorate in fundamental psychopathology and practises in Paris. She is a member of the Société de Psychanalyse Freudienne, the Société Médicale Balint, and a Balint Group "leader". She has published several books and a number of articles in psychoanalytic, medical, psychiatric and political-cultural journals.
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