Further education Balint group leadership

Certified further education of the International Psychoanalytical University Berlin in cooperation with the German Balint Society e. V. DBG and the Association for the Promotion of Balint Group Work e. V. VFB

Balintgruppen sind seit mehr als 50 Jahren weltweit Standard für ein vertiefendes Verstehen, für Reflexion und Supervision von professionellen Beziehungen in helfenden/beratenden Berufen. Die Weiterbildung zur Balintgruppenleitung an der IPU beinhaltet eine umfassende theoretische und praktische Ausbildung, schließt mit dem Universitätszertifikat der Kooperationspartner ab und ermöglicht zudem den Abschluss als zertifizierte:r Balintgruppenleiter:in der Deutschen Balint Gesellschaft.

Application, coordination and organization

Please send us your application in the form of the completed registration form:

Application form


Contact IPU Advanced Studies and Trainings


Sandra Buttress


Contact person:

(Representative DBG)

Matthias N. Schubert (VFB)

Die Weiterbildung Balintgruppenleitung bietet innerhalb von zwei Jahren eine praxisorientierte Qualifikation psychoanalytischen Fallverstehens in einer Gruppe. Es wird sowohl psychoanalytisches Grundwissen als auch die konkrete Anwendung im Setting der Balintgruppe vermittelt.
Neben der Theorie-Praxis-Verbindung der Lehrinhalte gewährleisten Selbsterfahrung und die begleitete Praxis die persönliche Weiterwicklung der eigenen Profession. Das Angebot zur Balintgruppenleitung basiert auf den seit den 60er Jahren in aller Welt durchgeführten Balintgruppen. Diese wurden zunächst von Michael Balint für Ärzte entwickelt. Sie sind inzwischen auch für verschiedene Berufsfelder aus dem Bildungs- und Supervisionsbereich von großer Bedeutung und erfahren dort hohe Akzeptanz.

Balint´s Methode einer reflektierten professionellen Beziehungsgestaltung versteht sich als Ergänzung zu sonstigen Struktur-, Organisations- und Qualitätsmaßnahmen in Supervision und Coaching.
Ziel der Weiterbildung ist eine umfassende Vermittlung der psychoanalytischen Grundlagen, unmittelbar verbunden mit der gleichzeitig erfahrenen Praxis in der Durchführung von Balintgruppen.


Three renowned organizations cooperate for the further training to become a Balint group leader:


  • The International Psychoanalytic University in Berlin, as a foundation university and sponsor of continuing education, closed a gap with the start of teaching in 2009 that had arisen due to the one-sided, scientific orientation of academic psychology. The degree programs at the IPU teach psychoanalysis as a science in which the human psyche is understood as biologically, socially, and culturally shaped, and which seeks to understand the individual against the background of his or her history and under the influence of the unconscious. The IPU facilitates studies, further education and research with psychoanalytic foundations and is oriented in teaching and research towards a transdisciplinary understanding of science. In dialogue with other sciences, it contributes to the further development of psychoanalysis as an applied social science and cultural theory. At the IPU, scientists with many years of experience in practice, teaching and research teach and conduct research. The IPU has excellent learning and working conditions and resources. Discussion and joint development - interdisciplinary and across status groups - is a defining feature of the IPU's scientific and organizational work.
  • According to its statutes, the German Balint Society (https://www.balintgesellschaft.de) fulfills the following tasks:
    • The dissemination of Balint's working method for introduction and further training in clinics and practices, in particular by making the doctor-patient relationship recognizable and promoting psychosomatic thinking and acting.

    • The implementation of this further education, especially within the medical profession, through the formation and promotion of Balint groups.

    • The scientific research and further development of the Balint work.

    • The expansion of Balint work as a learning and further education method for helping and social professions.

    • The training of Balint group leaders and their supervision.

    • The integration of these methods into medicine and psychology in the education of students.

    • In order to achieve its purpose, the Society organizes study conferences with large and small groups as well as scientific topics, develops curricula for the training of group leaders and offers corresponding events as well as supervision for group leaders.

    • The Society participates in congresses, conferences, meetings and courses, both nationally and internationally, to the extent that such events are consistent with the purpose of the Society, and in the support of efforts aimed at the collection of experience related to the purpose of the Society and its scientific penetration.

Successful completion of further training entitles medical graduates to apply for ordinary membership and all other graduates to apply for extraordinary membership in the German Balint Society.


  • The Association for the Promotion of Balint Group Work (http://balint-ev.de) is an association of balint group leaders who, in addition to their own balint groups, use their services primarily in their work as supervisors. Within the framework of professional training and further professional development, the association promotes in particular the application of psychoanalytic case understanding in balint group work as a means of reflecting on professional interactional action.  In doing so, the association supports the anchoring and presence of Balint work in diverse fields of application: Psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, social work, education, research and teaching, health care, culture, politics, pastoral care, administration and business.

The cooperation of the three organizations guarantees in a special and unique way an excellent teaching of theory, a comprehensive and everyday theory-practice relation and the manifold access to relevant networking opportunities.

Working Method

The working method of Balint group work is named after the Hungarian physician and psychoanalyst Michael Balint (1896-1970).

The focus of Balint group work is on understanding the unconscious relationship dynamics between the consultant and the person seeking advice. The description of a scene, a problem, a situation from the professional working relationship serves as an introduction to the Balint group work. Based on the associations of the group members to the presented case, different aspects of the counseling relationship are reflected. Blind spots become visible through the group process, as do the unconscious concerns of the person seeking advice. What is not understood from the professional relationship becomes visible in the resonating body of the Balint group. The renunciation of direct focused solutions allows inner freedom for a deeper process of understanding.

Working on the case leads to a change in one's own perspective and to more understanding about psychodynamic processes. A better understanding of the working relationship, expanded options for action and greater professional satisfaction are the results of the joint work. The working method can also be applied in appropriate modifications as psychoanalytic case understanding within other counseling formats.

Overall, the training is classically directed towards understanding the counselor-client/physician-patient relationship. In addition, it is applied in the reflection of counseling complex systems, such as families, teams, groups or organizations, as well as in counseling processes with such systems.


Time Frame

  • Admission interview
  • Two years/four semesters in a fixed continuing education group, three weekends per semester (Friday and Saturday)
  • One weekend of self-experience per semester, if there is no previous experience that can be credited to the program
  • Participation in three conferences of the German Balint Society
  • Participation in eleven video conferences
  • Final colloquium


  • Psychoanalysis Today - Basics of Psychoanalysis
  • Psychoanalytic development theory, attachment theory
  • Theories of the group; group analysis and group dynamics
  • Subject concept of psychoanalysis and intersubjectivity
  • Psychoanalytic diagnostics and psychosomatics
  • Theory of organization
  • Acquisition and personal concept for balint group leadership, contact and contract development
  • Understanding of roles and professions
  • Transference and countertransference
  • Scenic understanding and mirroring phenomena
  • Diagnosis and intervention
  • Defense and resistance
  • Understanding and non-understanding
  • Abstinence and attitude

Shares of the Further Education

  • Theory seminars
  • Participation in a further education balint group
  • Participation in three leadership conferences of the DBG
  • Videoconferences
  • Leading of a Balint group under further education supervision
  • Participation in a self-awareness group, if applicable

Targeted Audience

The training is suitable for:

  • Supervisors
  • Group analysts
  • Psychotherapists
  • Psychologists with further education
  • Social pedagogues and social workers with further education
  • Theologians with further education
  • Educationalists with further training
  • Counselors
  • or interested persons with a comparable counseling or therapeutic qualification.

Admission requirements

  • Completed university studies in an educational, psychological, social science, medical or theological field of study or a comparable qualification.
  • At least five years of relevant professional experience and counseling experience.
  • Participation in continuing education and professional development courses totaling 300 hours.
  • At least 35 sessions of professional reflection, including at least ten sessions in a Balint group.

    A commission consisting of representatives of the cooperation partners of the continuing education decides on the admission. The number of participants is limited to 20.


University certificate of the cooperation partners: IPU, DBG, VFB.


























The training takes place three times a semester on Fridays from 14:00 to 19:30 and on Saturdays from 09:00 to 17:00. On another weekend per semester the self-awareness group takes place at the same times.

Participation fees

80,00 € for the intake interview

6.260,00 € for the further education at the IPU (including 1.400,- for a self-experience group)

Self-experience hours previously completed by participants can be recognized and then replace participation in the self-experience group.

1.140,00 € for the participation in three conferences of the German Balint Society

1.800,00 € for 10 sessions of advanced training supervision

It is not possible to calculate exactly the costs of the participants for travel, accommodation and meals.
A reduced participation fee for this advanced training is not possible.

Cancellation must be made in writing by the end of the 14th day before the start of the event. Until then, you can cancel your participation free of charge and receive a full refund of the participation fees you have already paid. After the end of the 14th day, a refund is excluded. However, you may nominate a substitute person with the required qualifications to take your place.

Anmeldung, Koordination und Organisation

Bitte senden Sie uns Ihre Bewerbung in Form des ausgefüllten Anmeldeformulars:

Anmeldeformular (Es ist keine Anmeldung für den Kurs 2022 mehr möglich)


Ansprechpartner:innen IPU Fort- und Weiterbildung:


Sandra Buttress


Ansprechpartner:innen Koordination (Konzept, Behandlungspraxis, Supervision):

Dr. Günther Bergmann & Matthias N. Schubert


Refinancing options

Starting in the second semester, participants can offer balint groups on their own initiative under continuing education supervision. Already during the further education a refinancing of the pure further education costs up to 25 per cent can be reached in such a way.

The income for ten sessions of balint groups can be fictitiously offset if, for example, 125 to 250 € are earned per session of 90 minutes (for example, if five participants pay 25 to 50 € per session).

All in all, the costs of further training, excluding the expenses for accommodation and travel, can be amortized with about 50 sessions of own Balint group leadership.