Area of study and objectives:
The Balint Study Centre was founded in Turin with the primary task of studying and supporting the practice of care (in healthcare professionals firstly, but also social services and education practitioners) and with two main objectives:
a) Building up a body of knowledge – by assembling reference materials, studies, research, data, and personal accounts – about the emotional costs of the “helping professions”, both medical but and non-medical, including – though not exclusively – via the setting up of a dedicated “observatory” on the website of the Order of Physicians of Turin;
b) Supporting care practitioners by developing and implementing prevention and protection methods (especially the Balint approach) against phenomena of organizational malaise, burnout and work-related stress; caring for practitioners by focusing on the impact of the non-individual factors – role and network relationships, group processes and institutional/social dynamics – involved in care/helping.
The study group is seeking to expand and develop its connections with local welfare services networks, and with scientific and representative associations of doctors and other helping professionals: nurses, healthcare workers, psychologists, educators, social workers, physiotherapists and rehabilitation specialists, as well as non-health-related helpers, such as teachers, lawyers, magistrates, accountants, human resources managers, public safety officers, etc. Shared emphases in inter-professional collaboration include: attending to the care relationship (care in the broader sense, not just therapy) that binds practitioners to their clients, patients, and users; a systemic focus on the group and network relations that connect practitioners with other actors and agencies, with public institutions, with the community, with families and associations, with regulation, laws and planning strategies – in practice with all the stakeholders, especially the financial and political ones. Surviving this complex environment – without getting hurt, and without burning out and becoming cynical and demotivated, while preserving one’s capacity to think, integrity, competence, empathy and the possibility to take pleasure in one’s work – is an ambitious objective that is nevertheless realistically achievable.
The emphasis is on group work, whose focus is specific projects and activities rather than internal dynamics. During the COVID-19 crisis, the group has temporarily taken the form of a study group on the public health emergency, designing ad hoc projects and recruiting new members. Its new title is CISPOS Observatory.
Participants (members and non-members):
Francesco Benincasa (family doctor and child neuropsychiatrist with psychoanalytical training), Paolo Carbonatto (family doctor and psychiatrist), Giuliana Gallicchio (psychologist and psychotherapist), Laura Jarre (child neuropsychiatrist and pediatrician, former head of a maternity and infancy department), Franco Lupano (family doctor and public health historian), Maria Carmela Orlandi (hospital-based gynecologist, Chair of the order of Physicians’ Commission on Professional Distress), Mario Perini (psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, scientific director of the Nodo Group), Martine Tedeschi (family doctor, psychotherapist), Daniela Vandoni (psychologist and psychotherapist, President of the Nodo Group), Stefania Zurletti (hospital psychologist and leader of Balint groups), Alessandra Lugli (psychologist and psychotherapist), Ambra Cusin (psychoanalyst), Bianca Gallo (group psychologist), Dario Iozzelli (psychologist and psychotherapist ), Elen Vigna (psychologist and psychotherapist), Cristina Figarolo (psychologist and psychotherapist), Laura Miniotti (psychologist and psychotherapist), Maurizio Mirabella (psychologist and psychotherapist), Andrea Pistone (psychologist and psychotherapist), and Stefano Carusti (psychiatrist).
To request information or apply to join:
Last updated: March 2021