Balint Essay

A UCL medical student on a psychotherapy training programme run at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C & I) has won a national prize for the best essay examining the doctor-patient relationship.

Harriet Hall, a fourth year medical student, won the prize for her essay about an encounter with a patient she discussed in her student Balint group, which is run by the Trust’s Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Service.

The group enables students to discuss their emotional reactions to being with medically and psychologically unwell patients during their first year of clinical medicine – under the principles established by Hungarian psychoanalyst Michael Balint.    

Harriet’s prize from the UK Balint Society is the third such win since the inception in 2004 at C&I of the UCL Student Balint Scheme. Her essay will be published in the Journal of the Balint Society and she will be given her prize at the International Balint Federation Congress in Oxford in September this year. One of the other members of Harriet's Balint group, Jonathan Illiff, was a runner up for the prize.

The Council of the Balint Society awards a prize of £500 each year for the best essay on the Balint Group and the clinician-patient relationship.

Entry is open to all except for members of the Balint Society Council. The judges are members of the Balint Society Council and their decision is final. Entries will be considered for publication in the Journal of the Balint Society. The prizewinner will be announced at the Annual General Meeting.

Essays should be based on the writer’s personal experience and should not have been published previously. Length of essay is not critical. Where clinical histories are included the identity of the patients should be suitably concealed. All references should conform to the usual practice in medical journals.

Options for submission:

  • By post: 3 copies are required signed with a nom de plume and accompanied by a sealed envelope containing the writer’s identity and contact details. Please type on one side of A4 paper using size 12 font and double spacing.
  • By email: entries will be printed and anonymised before going to the judges. Please type using size 12 font and double spacing.

Entries must be received by 1st May 2018 and sent to: Helen Lycett, Balint Society Administrator, 22 Kingsmead Road, London SW2 3JD or



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