Empowerment techniques: from doctor-centered (Balint approach) to patient-centred discussion groups

  • Luban-Plozza B
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The importance of training in the emotional domain has been stressed since 1950. Balint and his co-workers advocate the conduct doctor-centred seminars (training and research) for better understanding of the contact with patients. The discussions form an understanding of the content of the consultation within the context of the sense and relationship. Balint's method, with its emphasis on the role of psychology in medical care and on the interpersonal relations between the group members and their patients, is a satisfactory answer to the need for communication in the dispensing of health care. The case reports and group discussions attempt to throw a light on the doctor-patient relationship through the identification of its form and content. This diagnosis enables the physician, at times, to intervene therapeutically. An intervention is therapeutic when it brings to the fore an emotional or cognitive factor in the doctor-patient relationship and enables the patient to recognize something new about himself, and in doing so, even to 'change'. The ability to be acquired largely comprises that which is necessary for developing and understanding a doctor-patient relationship. At the same time family groups and psychosocial problems are taken into account. Junior Balint Groups for medical students have now been in existence at various universities. For 25 years general practitioners, clinic doctors, university staff and medical students have met for international seminars in Ascona, known under the name of 'Ascona Model' (WHO) with the intendion of adding medical training and consist mainly of Balint teamwork. In order to improve the relationship between doctor and patient, a new form of team discussion was introduced. This concept includes 'concerned' patients, their families, as well as experts in therapy and nursing. © 1995.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Balint groups
  • Empowerment techniques
  • Monte Verità groups
  • Team discussion

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  • B. Luban-Plozza

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