Our website:

In 2012 our Association, presently 55 members, pursued its activities in France, Switzerland and Canada.

Our annual symposium took place last October in Brussels, on the theme: “La solitude du soignant” (“The loneliness of the caregiver”). Organized by our Belgian colleague Philippe Heureux, and by Caroline Dauchez (Paris), it brought together nearly 70 participants from Belgium, France, Italy, Canada and Switzerland. We were very pleased to welcome a few leaders of the Belgian Balint Society.

We now have 18 regular groups, most of them in France, five in Switzerland, and one in Canada. In France one regular seminar is part of the postgraduate training in sexology. A few short-term groups take place during the training of medical students.

Under the name of “Association de Formation Balint” (AFB), and with leaders from another association, we organise annually “Journées Balint d’Annecy”. Most of our leaders are also regularly involved in continuing medical education (CME) workshops in different parts of France. In this context of the French CME we also pursue our experiences of time-limited group work with the alternation of “classic” Balint work and Balint psychodrama. All activities that take place in the AFB give leaders an important opportunity to pursue their own continuing training, significant time being devoted by the team of leaders to the discussion of their technique and to the understanding of group dynamics. The on-going training of leaders is currently an important topic of discussion among us.

Our Association is currently involved in the making of a documentary intended for all audiences. After the shooting of numerous documents this team is now looking for producers. The aim of the film is to present audio and visual archives from “classic” Balint groups as well as psychodrama for the first time in French-speaking countries. This film’s objective is to convey the creativity of group work and its impact on participants.

Due to the significant cost of publication and its limited circulation, our annual Review “Les Quatre Temps” was not issued in 2012; a new issue is in the making and will probably appear in a different form.

Every year, two of our leaders participate in the symposium organised in the Alps by Canadian colleagues at the University of Québec. Members of medical faculties and of different Balint Societies from French-speaking countries share their experiences in the use of different methods of medical education.

Our delegate to the FIB participated in the second International Conference of Balint Leadership in Charleroi and shared his wealth of experience with the team of leaders.


Dr Luc Steiner, president                                                Dr Jean-Pierre Bachmann

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 This year has seen the rapid expansion of BSANZ with projects that broaden the scope of our commitment to Balint work throughout Australia and New Zealand and with the international community.

 Changes to the Board

President: Frank Meumann

Vice President: Vacant

Treasurer: Ruth Dunn

Secretary: Chel Quinn

Exec. Secretary: (Correspondence and communications): Di Nash. Ordinary members: Mark Davis and Alexa Gilbert-Obrart( International representative)

 Membership has risen to 61. Students are offered free membership.

 5th Annual Balint Leadership Intensive at Noosa Queensland October 18-21st 2012

This 4-day Balint Leadership Intensive was attended by 32 participants and led by both Australian and New Zealanders and chaired by Penny Love. A new element of Observation of Leaders- in -Training was added to the programme for the first time. Such was its success that we are now planning the 6th Balint Leadership Intensive from 24th -27th October 2013 in the same magnificent venue. All overseas participants will be most welcome.

 Leadership Accreditation

There are now 15 participants enrolled on the Leadership Accreditation Pathway and are in the able hands of Frank Meumann, Penny Love and Ruth Dunn.

 Leadership Training Committee

Mark Davis will head this newly formed committee which is distinct from the Leadership Accreditation Committee.

Leaders’ Supervision

Accredited Leaders are meeting to discuss how best to meet our own supervision needs.

 Balint in Medical Schools Think Tank

Alexa Gilbert-Obrart chairs this team of Dr Kirsty Foster of Sydney Medical School North, Dr Sheila O’Neill University of Wollongong,  Penny Love, Sally Warmington and Bill Betts  all from Australia and Peter Shoenberg from UK.

Alexa Gilbert-Obrart( International Representative )

On behalf of Frank Meumann, President BSANZ

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The Austrian Balintgesellschaft grows slowly and currently and has 105 members.
In the past year another university course in “Balint group leadership in healthcare” took place at the Danube University Krems and there were 14 participants awarded with the certificate «Balint group leader».

The Austrian Balint Society was represented at the International Conference of WONCA (World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners / Family Physicians) with the following contributions:

Dr. Henry Jablonski, Psychiatrist, Stockholm, President of IBF
«Balint work — a road to GP professional development adapted to the
individual doctor, and to adaptation of treatment to the individual patient»

Dr. John Salinsky, London, United Kingdom,
«Writing prescriptions is easy …»: Franz Kafka and his country doctor (A Country Doctor, 1917)

Dr. Kristiina Toivola, GP, Chairwoman Finnish Balint Society
«Balint Work with medical students’

Workshop: Balint group

More and more workshops with Balint group work are offered at major medical conferences by members of the Austrian Balint Society.

We have contacts with the departments of psychosomatic medicine in the various medical specialty subjects and collaborate in the structural development of psychosomatic medicine in Austria.

We offer our members accredited sessions of Balint work as part of a diploma in several further education courses of the Austrian Medical Society

On April 13th 2013 there was the ninth Symposium of the Austrian Balint Society in Salzburg. The theme was the relationship of the four psychotherapeutic traditions in Balint work. There were workshops with the perspectives of Psychoanalysis, Systemic Family Therapy, Psychodrama and Behaviour Therapy.

Finally, the Austrian Balint Society has established its own home page at:

Dr. med. Hans-Peter Edlhaimb, MSc

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  1. Groups: the same situation in 2012 as in 2011 no more nor less

  2. Supervision and “Post-Balint work” are going on. A new member is training to be a Balint leader: Dr Joseph Huberty.

  3. Ninth “Balint spring” (24.03.2012) This took place in a lovely part of the Belgian countryside (Dinant) and was a “bon cru” (good year). We discovered that having comfortable conditions of work was a good thing for the team and against a kind of burn out.

  4. Study day (01.12.12): “Ageing is life!” was a good day of exchange between care-givers but there were not enough participants.

  5. Luc Decleire return to “school” to become a psychiatrist: congratulations to him!

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Headlines of the past year have been:

Supervisor education

Two of the three years’ education have now passed. The concept, learning by practising and research cum training + short theoretical lessons, has shown to be functioning.  After each supervision there are two reflections. First the doctor and the supervisor’s dilemma and then reflection on the group process.

As something new this year we started with a review of videotaped supervisions brought by the participants. New members can join once in the year.


We have had one 3-day and one 1-day seminar.  Also there have been some evening meetings with introduction to supervision.

Supervision for young doctors becoming general practitioners

Supervision as a part of the education to become general practitioner is now functioning in two thirds of the country. There are ten sessions per year.


Several Danish members participated in the second IBF leadership conference in Charleroi 2012.

Because of different traditions in various countries, we experienced how different supervisions can be done.  We saw, and some felt for themselves, how those traditions with rigid frameworks, if they are forced on participants who are not used to them, can lead to destructive group processes, and what has to be done to make the processes turn in a constructive way.

The 18th Nordic Congress on General Practice in Tampere in August 2013 has a one-day session on supervision and Balint work. The Nordic Balint societies have co-operated on the seminar. Our representative is Helena Nielsen.

The18th International Balint Congress in Heidelberg in September 2013 has Tove Mathiesen as a member of the scientific committee.


In addition to the usual activities, we plan to start supervision groups for supervisors. The aim is to make a forum for development, research cum training and socialisation among supervisors.

We are still a very small society with 50 members. We try our best to become more visible and are still working on our new homepage

Jorgen Stroebech, President

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The Finnish Balint Society has 100 members with no change during the last few years. The Chairwoman of the society was Tuula Arvonen, Vice-chairwoman Kristiina Toivola and the Board members were Martina Torppa,  Kaarina Huuskonen, Anita Korhonen, Marja Kylä-Utsuri, Anna-Maija Salmi and Marjatta Vuorinen.  The board had six meetings in 2012.

Our long-time treasurer and secretary Anita Korhonen, GP, passed away in February 2013. Her role has been crucial in arranging seminars and we miss her dearly.

Our society organised two seminars on “How to understand and handle patients with anxiety in clinical practice.” Both had around 20 participants. We have revised our leadership criteria to be suited for present circumstances

We also arranged Balint sessions in the Finnish Psychiatric Association National Assembly and in local symposia in different parts of our country. We have collaborated closely with the sub-section of Finnish Medical Association (FMA) for Physician Supervisors in arranging seminars on the physician-patient relationship and supervision. In 2013 the theme of the annual seminar of the Finnish Medical National Assembly (FMA) was “Medical Malpractice –consequences for the doctor and the doctor-patient relationship”. FMA has recommended the use of supervision for all physicians in its “Wellbeing at Doctors´ Work” agenda.

The 18th Nordic Congress on General Practice in Tampere in August 2013 has a one-day session on supervision and Balint work where we have had co-operation with all Nordic Balint societies.

Our aim is to reach newly-graduated and resident doctors but this has been a challenge due to working conditions in the Finnish Health Centres. However, two one-year long Balint groups for GP trainees  have been arranged, one in Helsinki and one in Turku.

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— April 2013   136 avenue de flandre 75019 Paris


• As usual, we will have our national day for leaders (Echanges des pratiques) on the 26th of May in Paris on the theme of co-leading in Balint groups:  is it helpful or does it create difficulties?

• Our next national congress in Besançon (on the 25 &26th of October) will be held on the theme:  “Cultures and relationship“

As usual our workshops are organised by Roger Lageux (who has also brought out a third book: „About leadership in France“)


  • A new workshop: A leaders’ workshop directed by Roger Lagueux, (psychologist and psychoanalyst) and a college  about  leaders’ training  began this  year

  • The 7th Congrès de Nice is now the College Congress and the Société Médicale Balint will run two Balint groups and will hold a stand.

• We have made a new website (same address

Jean Maclouf

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In 2012 the German Balint society has managed to implement two new weekend conferences, so that the total amount of conferences adds up to 14 in addition to the continual courses offered throughout Germany. In addition to Balint group work at these conferences, invited speakers have been added to broaden our understanding of modern theories of group dynamics and their implication for Balint work. Continuous efforts have been undertaken to keep and strengthen the acceptance of the necessity of Balint work in medical training through official agencies. While the number of members of the DBG has remained constantly at about 800, the number of trained Balint leaders has grown to approximately 500.

Since Dr. Heide Otten has unfortunately decided to resign from her over 20 years long activities as secretary of the DBG, a change of personnel in the managing board has been necessary, including a relocation of the committee`s offices from Wienhausen to Magdeburg to Anousheh Kielstein`s office as general secretary. Bernd Wüstenfeld has entered the managing board as treasurer, while Friederike Ludwig-Eckelmann became our third board member. Günther Bergmann and Peter Stammberger remained in the position of president and vice president. The board insisted to co-opt Heide Otten as advisor for international affairs.

International activities comprised a lively exchange with the Balint societies and groups of China, Ukraine, Russia, Iran, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands. Throughout the year preparations for the International Balint Congress in Heidelberg 2013 were under way where, in addition to the Ascona award, a new German Balint Student Prize will be offered. We are pleased and excited to welcome our guests to Heidelberg in September.

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The Hungarian Balint Association has approximately 45 members now, but this can change by clarifying the status of the inactive members on the one hand, and inviting some frequently cooperating collegues on the other.

Our Association has two main activities: managing Balint-group-life in Hungary and promoting Psychosomatics as a defined medical profession.

The procedure of leadership training was modified last year.

Regular activities

We have a Balint-group-workshop every spring, and a congress for Psychosomatics every autumn. In 2012 we had a familiar workshop with not as many participants as expected, but in a very good athmosphere. The autumn congress was co-organised by the Department of Behavioural Studies of the Szeged University, and its main title was “the reanimation of Psychosomatics” after the title of the book by the Swiss author, Jörg Kollbrunner.

In addition we organised four lectures about Balint-group work, all of them with approximately 10-20 participants.

Cooperation with other organisations

We have a close collaboration with the Hungarian Psychiatric Association (HPA). In January 2013 we held a fishbowl-group at the annual congress of the HPA with several participants. The next day at the same congress we had our own section for lectures in Psychosomatics and an official dispute concerning the future of Psychosomatics as a separate medical qualification by analogy with the German precedent.

Five members of the Hungarian Association attended the workshop of the Romanian Balint Association.

At long last, we contacted the IBF again by attending the Leadership Conference in Charleroi.


According to our approach, Balint-groups are effective in every profession for helping other people. Therefore our groups are attended by nurses, teachers, trainers and of course, doctors. A case means any relationship between the professional helper and his or her a client. Also any professional relationship (e. g, with other colleagues) can be discussed as a case, but no private relationships.

Last year we held regular groups, occasional groups and accredited courses as well.

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Mark Budow- Chairman

Benyamin Maoz- Honorary Life president

Ofira Katz- Secretary

Peter Berkley, Naomi Etzion, Nina Guy, Andre Matalon, Stan Rabin, Yuval Shorer.


  • Compulsory groups for residents in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beer Sheva.

  • Regular Balint groups throughout the country.

  • Two groups in hospitals starting their second year:

  • Social workers at Soroka Hospital.

  • Clinical Psychologists at Ichilov Hospital.

  • Our hope is that from each of these groups there will emerge a cadre of new Balint leaders at each hospital.

  • Bi-monthly leaders’ supervision groups.


  • The 10th Annual National meeting had a record 97 participants. Our guest speaker this year was Haim Beer.

  • Once again we held spring and autumn leaders’ meetings, the latter being attended by an unprecedented 43 delegates which meant working in two parallel fishbowl sessions.

  • IBF LEADERS’ MEETING CHARLEROI- The following members attended: Andre Matalon(member of the steering committee), Mark Budow, Daniella Cohen, Aharon Karni and Stan Rabin.


We have set out recommendations for potential new leaders.

  1. Attendance as a member of a regular Balint group for at least two years.

  2. Attending at least four local/international leadership meetings.

  3. We recommend that the potential leader deepens his knowledge about group work and dynamics.


We are delighted that Benyamin Maoz and Nili ben Zvi’s Hebrew translation with up to date reflection of Michael Balint’s landmark book has been published! All our members will receive a copy at our upcoming spring meeting.

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(The current website is now under redevelopment)

No. of members: 21 (paying the fee up today)

President: Mario Carli


Secretary: Raffaello Adami <>

Treasurer: Cristina Meloni                   <>

International Reps: Anna Della Casa

Guido Prato Previde

Our Balint association is still a small one: we have the main centres in Milan and Verona. The Association consists of two Sections: General Practitioners (Balint-trained) and Balint Group Leaders. (Balint-trained, in accordance with our criteria)

Our Statutes (the last edition in 1998) date back to the Association’s foundation in 1970, and need to be updated, so we will provide for a new edition in the near future.

There are presently some on-going groups:

1 led by Mario Carli, GPs

1     “           Guido Prato Previde, Pediatricians

1     “           Walter Di Bitetto, GPs, Health Workers

1     “           Anna Della Casa, Health workers and psychotherapists

1     “           Federico Chiesa, GPs and Specialists

1     “           Simonetta Martini, Psychiatrists

1     “           Cesare Casati,   Psychiatrists

There are also on-going groups that are not true Balint groups but led in the same spirit and method, so we can define them as Balint-inspired-groups:

1 led by Federica Menaldo, Parents and relatives of psychiatric patients

1 led by Federica Menaldo, Parents of patients in psychotherapeutic treatment for eating disorders

1 led by Sauro Giuseppe, Social workers in a psychiatric community

There are also some awareness-raising activities (a few encounters with GPs and other doctors): Federico Chiesa has been leading (with Antonio Paganotto, psychologist, as a co-leader) a group of nine doctors for four months. Dr Chiesa is going also to meet some doctors who asked to approach the Balint method.

Last year Walter Di Bitetto led a group of GPs for a fixed term group with the sponsorship of the local (Foggia, south Italy) Medical Association. The same doctors presented their work and the Balint method at the national meeting of GPs in Florence.

Last May, many of us attended a conference about eating disorders. Dr. Federica Menaldo presented her on-going work with the patients’ parents and explained her Balint method adaptation to this particular group. Within the same conference, we could also gather some paediatricians among the participants and start with a first Balint group experience.

The leaders regularly hold supervision groups, both in Milan and in Verona, about twice a month.

On the 2nd of March, 2013 our Annual Assembly took place in Milan. Our president, Dr Carli, spoke a little about some difficulties the association had to cope with in the last two years. Then he announced that he is now leading alone the group he used to co-lead with Prof A.Ferrari, our past president, in Saronno. Prof Ferrari is going to retire. The group has been working for five years and now it is really a true Balint group.

Dr Adami says that Dr Carli’s leadership shows a specific sensibility toward the GP’s problems; Carli adds that in his opinion GP leaders perhaps know better their colleagues and can more easily put themselves in their shoes, they probably know better the patients, while psychologist leaders know better the way to let the GPs understand correctly the Balint method and its deep significance.

Dr Prato Previde is going to organise an open session with his continuing group. In addition he says that he could make a cottage available in the countryside for the association to plan future meetings.

Dr. Adami recalls past meetings of leaders promoted by Dr Rusconi, (the founding father of the Italian Association) He states the importance of this kind of experience with the opportunity of exchanging ideas and opinions among leaders.

Dr. Carli informs us that the website is going to be changed and updated; he announces also that a meeting with the Milan Medical Association is expected next autumn.

Some of us, with Dr Carli, worked on a new edition of the Italian translation of Michael Balint’s “The Doctor, his Patient and the Illness”.

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The Dutch Balint Society is in a steady state. We have 400 members and 45 Balint groups. Most of them are groups of general practitioners who have been working more than five years in their practice. The groups are led by a general practitioner (co-leader) and a psychotherapist (leader).

We have 28 Balint leaders, some are leading two or more groups. Eleven new leaders are training to become a Balint leader. Eighteen general practitioners would like to join a Balint group but have not found one.

We have two meetings a year together with the Society for psychosomatic medicine and offer them to our members for a low price, especially to interest the students. In 2012 we spoke about trauma and the possible treatments, and heartfulness. This is a cooperation between The Netherlands and Belgium.

In June we had a Balint leaders training in Aachen, organised by Guido Flatten, Guenther Bergmann and Marieke van Schie. In 2013 we have invited all Dutch Balint leaders to come to Aachen, to follow this course.

We hope to work together with the supervisors in our country who have student groups, during their training.

Marieke van Schie, secretary of the Dutch Balint Federation

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During the last year the Society was actively supporting on-going Balint groups and stimulating the development of new ones in St. Petersburg and in other regions of the country, primarily in medical educational institutions in St. Petersburg. Balint groups are implemented now into the educational curriculum in at least four educational departments of our medical University (formerly – St. Petersburg medical academy), as well as in the East European Institute for Psychoanalysis and  educational centre of the Bekhterev’s Psychoneurological Institute, which is the research and clinical centre for the whole country. The Society also organised regular supervision workshops in the Institute of Psychoanalysis and other professional organisations. Last autumn we established a new stable Balint group for consultants in the psychological centre of the St. Petersburg State University.

The Society took an active part in organising and providing regular psychosomatic congresses and conferences in St Petersburg as well as training courses for physicians and medical psychologists from different regions of the country. The annual all-Russian congress for psychotherapists held every March in St. Petersburg traditionally includes Balint workshops and presentations in the programme.

During the year the Society kept very active cooperation with the East European Institute for Psychoanalysis and Russian Psychotherapeutic Association and regularly presented there our papers and workshops for physicians and medical psychologists. So the activity of the Society was concentrated on the spreading of basic ideas and Balint group work technologies in different professional spheres in several regions of the country.

During the last year the Society presented four papers on Balint work topics in Russian professional journals related to psychiatry, psychotherapy and counselling. We also presented a completely new and statistically valid inventory for diagnosis of professional burnout in physicians, consultants and social workers. We believe this is very much related to our work.

Vladimir Vinokur, President

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The Swedish Association of Medical Psychology (SFMP), member of the International Balint Federation, continued its efforts to promote the development of medical psychology and promote interest in the psychological aspects of health care.

The board of SFMP during 2012 had the following composition:
Chair: Henry Jablonski; Vice President: Lena Moegelin; Treasurer: Rolf Künstlicher; Secretary: Elsa Lena Ryding; members: Åsa Wallin and Oskar Lundgren.

The association’s journal “Bulletinen” has published a double issue 2012-13 and Henry Jablonski has been acting editor.

A writing contest has been held in partnership with the Swedish Society of Medicine’s Student Association. All four winners in the junior group have translated their texts for participation in the international Ascona Award under the International Balint Federation.

A seminar on professional development was held in September in partnership with the Swedish Medical Society’s Student Association, based on the texts written for our previous writing contest.

Also in September, Henry Jablonski with GPs Ulrika Rydhamn and Sara Banegas led a half-day workshop for resident physicians in Stockholm; 50 attended.

A Balint leadership training course is going on, with eight students. The course is led by psychoanalyst Stefan Balint, Balint group leader and tutor in psychotherapy for many years in South Sweden. At the 2nd International Balint Leadership Conference in Charleroi in October 2012, 13 Swedish leaders and future leaders participated.

At the Annual General Meeting of the Swedish Society of Medicine in December 2012 the SFMP contributed with:
Perinatal Care and Trauma: When ‘good enough’ is not good enough. Susan Ayers, Ph.D., Reader in Health Psychology, University of Sussex
Moderator: Elsa Lena Ryding
Seduction: hidden force in medical practice, Rolf Künstlicher, Ph.D., psychoanalyst, child and adolescent psychiatrist
Moderator: Henry Jablonski

The Nordic Balint collaboration (Sweden-Denmark-Finland) continued during the year: Danish participation in Swedish leadership training, Swedish participation in the Danish, continued work on educational projects, certification requirements for Balint leaders.

Elsa-Lena Ryding

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The Society continues its programme of weekend meetings, leaders’ workshops, lectures and annual dinner. We also focus on leadership training, working with other organisations, widening membership, supporting groups to start and keeping our new website interesting and up to date. Membership is increasing slowly, with some new groups forming across the country. We recognise a need to be clear about, and show that we value, what we can offer to members and interested parties at a time when there seems to be so little space for health personnel to think about their work or themselves.


In addition to weekends in Longhirst Hall, Northumberland (June 2012), Oxford (September 2012) and Whalley, Lancashire (March 2013), colleagues in Ireland arranged a weekend in Belfast in November 2012, attracting practitioners from all over Ireland and Britain. There may be another Irish weekend later this year. The format of weekends includes classical Balint groups, a leaders’ training group and a ‘fish bowl’ demonstration group followed by a large group discussion about the process. The ‘fish bowl’ continues to stimulate a range of opinions about its value. Weekends are also social events and we have some lovely venues, and organisers who put much effort into making the events a success. People have attended from a number of other countries, which we welcome, with the enrichment it offers to the meetings.

Working with other organisations

Links between the Society and the Royal Colleges of Psychiatry (RCPsych) and of General Practitioners (RCGP) have strengthened, with Balint members speaking at Annual Conferences, putting on meetings for RCGP Faculties, and leading Balint groups at meetings. Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the RCGP spoke at our Annual Dinner in February 2013. As psychiatrists in training are required to participate in Balint work, those leading these groups are showing increasing interest in the Balint Society’s leadership training programme. Some Society members run Balint groups as part of GP training, and we plan to promote this more widely via members who attend conferences for Primary Care Educators.

Leadership training and development

The IBF biennial Leadership Conference is a welcome addition and a number of people from the UK have attended. We are fortunate to have Andrew Elder, who is involved with this development, as a resource. A sub-group of Council is currently reviewing our leadership training approach. Society members have contributed to training workshops in Ireland. Leaders are able to present their group at the Tavistock Leaders’ Workshops in London.

Ceri Dornan