Dr. rer. nat. Ireneusz KAFLIK

BG Leader and Supervisor of Polish Balint Society

My name is Ireneusz Kaflik and I am from Poland, Czestochowa. I am a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist. I’ve been leading Balint groups for  27 years and I also supervise BG  and teach many courses on leading those groups.

I conduct BG for doctors, nurses, social workers,  Hotline consultants and others. I spent 30 years  working for the Hotline, but at certain point I stopped doing it 10 years ago. But now in this crisis situation where we are in, I’ve gone back to working on the Hotline telephone.

Currently when my patients are in crises and I work with them via phone and Skype. Personally, I find it very difficult. In the past we would say that making psychotherapy via phone is not possible, that it not an option, but now it seems what exactly happens.

For 10 years I made numerous visits to Ukraine to teach candidates to be BG leaders and I made several visits to Russia also for teaching.

The supervision occupies an important place in the process of training for future BG leaders. In Polish Balint Society, together with Professor Jan Lazowski, we prepared a simple and comprehensive model of supervision for BG leaders. This supervision model includes two parts.

The first part is Balint training group which is led by two candidates.

The second part is an additional  session, which includes 5 stages.

The first part goes for 90 minutes, and the second part goes for 90 minutes     as well and this is a full supervision process.

Practical experience shows that additional session for 90 minutes takes too long time although it is rather valuable approach. But practice also shows that right after a Balint Training group we need a brief supervision time to analyze what was happening in the BG.

So we prepared a concise version of supervision that one may do in 15-20 minutes. I even think that one may use this short-term technique by working online.

Our work during this supportive or additional session may be presented in 5 stages.

First one is discussing what happened during the training process. To discuss the candidate’s behavior, we need to recall the process of the session.

1. The First Stage consists of recalling the patients motivation for coming, what is his main concern, main problem, in other words why are they here like why are they here NOW, what are their expectations from work and how do they let us know about those expectations. What is the contents of the contract  and what motives did the therapist have for agreement  to work with this person?

In what way the narrator describes the patient in the BG and what are his or her expectations from  presenting  this person to the group?

2. The Second stage is analyzing and disclosure of the patient’s feelings and motivation of the characters of the story, in other words what emerges in the relationship between therapist and the patient, or the narrator and the group, or the leader and the group, or the leader and co-leader, or in other selected roles.

3. The Third stage is a discussing the leader’s actions. Did he identify the problems of the main characters and the main relationships? Whether the explanation of the problem came freely during spontaneous group discussion or  was it controlled by the group leader? We also discuss the number, the quality and accuracy of the leader’s interventions. We discuss how were chosen the moments for the  interventions  and what effect did these interventions  have.

4. The Fourth stage is discussing the cooperation and relationship between the  leader and co-leader but only in cases when two persons conduct the group. We discuss  the sharing their duties and their cooperation in general. We discuss the way they communicated with each other, and those feelings and emotions that they disclosed and  what impact it had for the group process.

5. In the Fifth stage we discuss the results of previous discussions, we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates’ skills and competences that we observed during the training events and outside the training events. It is very important to point out the successful actions and interventions on behalf of the therapist, but it is also important to discuss  what and how could be done differently or even  better.

Then the supervisor raps the session up and suggests the ways for further development. It is known that a group can be conducted by one leader or by leader and co-leader. In the online approach, the supervisor can ask questions not to the leader, but also to the group.

I started my working online relatively recently – I have one group of  Polish people and one group of Russian people, so I appreciate Elena Ivanova and Anna Rudeska for inviting me for work at those groups.

And I appreciate your attention very much!