The Revised Balint Method: A Powerful Tool for Reflecting on Professional Coaching Practices

William Bergquist November 21, 2014 0
The Revised Balint Method: A Powerful Tool for Reflecting on Professional Coaching Practices

A particular reflective process has been used for many years in the supervision of physicians. Originally developed and used by a psychoanalytically-trained clinician (Balint), it has been used recently among professional coaches in their work with one another in a group setting (usually 6-8 coaches). Following are the steps to be taken in conducting a Balint group (revised for use with coaches):

Step One: Identify a “protagonist” who wishes to work on a complex problem (usually interpersonal, but also can be intrapersonal, dealing with an important complex decision to be made). A complex problem is one that not only has many components but also one in which the many components are interrelated/interlocked.

Step Two: Protagonist briefly described the problem/decision being faced. This should not take more than 5 minutes. Facilitated by Balint facilitator.

Step Three: With the facilitator’s assistance, the protagonist identifies three or four aspects of his/her own perceptions of the problem (e.g. protagonists own attitudes about other person)—these aspects are often contradictory or at least differing in some important way (e.g. what I respect about the other person and what I don’t respect).

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