The third party in general practice consultations

Michel Granek, Michael Weingarten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective - To describe the impact of outside agents in doctor-patient consultations. Design - In-depth group discussions with psychoanalytically oriented leadership. Setting - A Balint group which met weekly for two years. Subjects - 15 senior general practitioners with an interest in teaching. Findings - Outside agents are almost invariably present in general practice consultations. The 'third party' in the consultation fitted four separate categories according to its helpful or disturbing, real or projected characteristics. Conclusion - The dyadic nature of general practice consultations is illusory. The third party is an inherent component of the consultation and may be used consciously to gain extra insight into the needs of patients and their doctors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65
Number of pages1
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • balint group
  • consultation
  • third party


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