How to make Balint groups relevant for mental health nurses
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How to make Balint groups relevant for mental health nurses

Anita Green Associate director of nurse education, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Hove, England
Emma Searle Community psychiatric nurse, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Hove, England
Linda Hannah Community psychiatric nurse, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Hove, England
Matthew Robertson Community psychiatric nurse, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Hove, England

In mental health services the use of Balint groups is familiar to doctors who are training to work in psychiatry and this experience is viewed as an integral part of their education. Nurses are less familiar with Balint groups and are not usually taught about this group approach as part of their pre-registration training. This article describes the use of a nurse-led Balint group in the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The group provided a supportive and accepting environment, a form of clinical supervision, psychosocial education and personal exposure to feelings in a professional setting. It provided nurses with a valuable opportunity to develop knowledge and skills of psychodynamic theory and practice. The authors suggest that Balint group work can complement one-to-one clinical supervision to help further explore and enhance the therapeutic relationship between nurse and patient. Further work needs to be carried out to evaluate the use of Balint groups in multiprofessional teams.

Mental Health Practice. 21, 2,18-21. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2017.e1202

Correspondence

Anita.Green@sussexpartnership.nhs.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

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Received: 12 August 2016

Accepted: 06 March 2017