Steering the Patient

Editorial March 2014

Some years ago, while having my case taken by another homeopath, I made a statement that he clearly misunderstood, for he launched into a direction that was quite off the mark. I tried to correct the misunderstanding by explaining my actual meaning, but he kept trying to corral me. I had an awful, sinking feeling, as if the train left the station but I wasn’t on it. I finally managed to express myself more clearly, which led to a successful remedy…. but it was not easy!  Humans don’t like being in a state of uncertainty and so we have a natural tendency to want closure. This carries over into case taking and can conflict with the basic rule of keeping an open mind. Over the years I have observed both students and seasoned homeopaths try to force a premature conclusion on a case. The homeopath offers his own interpretation of the patient’s statements, directing the case toward a particular remedy or class of remedies. It can be very subtle, and the patient may confirm the homeopath’s interpretation out of politeness or because she can’t articulate the finer details of her meaning.  How can homeopaths avoid this trap? The answer is to maintain good empathic listening and never overrule your patient’s perception.  If you are uncertain of their meaning, ask questions in a tentative way that allows the patient to correct you.  “Are you saying you felt proud of his success?” “No, I felt jealous.” Stay with the patient’s meaning at all times and don’t rewrite their expressions. Remember, some of the toughest cases have been solved when the patient’s actual words matched those of the provers.


In this issue:

We have another presentation from the Allen College of Homoeopathy. The Allen College, under the direction of the renowned Dr. Subrata K. Banerjea, offers truly excellent, case-centered training both in person and worldwide via live video courses. The training includes live cases from the 1st year. Nick Hill does a brief interview with Dr. Subrata K. Banerjea, Principal of the college. Cases and articles are presented by Dr. Subrata K. Banerjea, Dr. Olfat G. Ismail, Dr. Tagelbahaa Bahnassy, Dr. Saptarshi Banerjea, Janet Robinson-Banerjea R.S.Hom and Donna  Fox RSHom.

Interview: We interview Christophe R. Merville D. Pharm, pharmaceutical development manager for Boiron, the world’s leading manufacturer of homeopathic medicines. He shares some of the exacting methods used to produce high quality remedies.

New Veterinary Column : Starting this month Dr. Deva Khalsa V.M.D. will present  Dr. Deva Khalsa’s Veterinary Tips. Dr. Khalsa is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, a Fellow and Professor of the British Institute of Homeopathy, author of two books and she has lectured worldwide. She treats patients internationally.

Articles :  Dr. Dinesh Chauhan, Dr. V. .T Yekkirala, Robert Medhurst, Drs. Ruhul Amin and Biplab Chakraborty, Drs. Ileana Rîndașu and Doina Pavlovschi, Dr. Thomas Lindsley Bradford, Dr. Wilhelm Karo

Other Cases: Dr. Rafiqul Hasan, Dr. Rahul Kolamkar, Dr. Seyedaghanoor Sadeghi, Kathrine Dehn, Dr. Ranjini Ventatanathan, Dr. Edmund Carleton.

Elaine’s Career Day Contest has been extended to April 1st.  There is still time to get your entries in.  Click here for details:  https://hpathy.com/announcements/elaine-announces-contest/

Remember to take part in World Homeopathy Awareness Week, April 10th –April 16th ! See the article in this issue.

You will also find: Elaine’s Quiz and Tidbits, a new Tips and Secrets, Crossword Puzzle and Cartoon and The Plant Doctor (send your queries!).  We love to see our mailbox full with your cases, articles, questions and comments. Send them to us at: [email protected]

About the author

Alan V. Schmukler

Alan V. Schmukler is a homeopath, Chief Editor of Homeopathy for Everyone and author of ”Homeopathy An A to Z Home Handbook”, (also in French, German, Greek, Polish and Portuguese). He is Hpathy’s resident cartoonist and also produces Hpathy’s Tips & Secrets column and homeopathy Crossword puzzles each month. Alan is a recipient of the National Center for Homeopathy Martha Oelman Community Service Award. Visit Alan at his website: Here.


  • I’ve been away a little and then now I discover this new column about veterinary tips and I loved it!
    You are always innovating and surprising me!
    Thank you. You are the best!

  • You have hit the nail on the head ! You have expounded the universal truth when you say,”The answer is to maintain good empathic listening and never overrule your patient’s perception.” This to me is the ‘key’ to healing !

  • Dr Alan V. Schmukler’s observation is very much true. we can get lot of inputs from patients themselves, rather just taking case histories by just theoretical method or by way of routine practice. i have come across many such cases, patients say they have taken treatments from expert homoeopaths for 6 months to one year even then there is little improvements only. if we the homeopaths correctly catch the root causes we can hit the nail appropriately. we need to safe guard the homoeopathic system rather than routine treatments to withstand the present day quick fix treatments and damages to human mind and body.
    Homeopathy is God Given Gift to mankind, there is no diseases which cannot be cured it is only the man cannot e cured says The Great Doctor Turned Saint Dr Swami Sivanandaji Guruji.

    Dr Venkatesh cs

  • Listening needs patience.Doctor should be patient in listening to what patient expresses about his ailment in his own words.Diagnosis of a correct remedy hides in the words and sentences of the patient. A good Doctor intelligently accumulates symptoms to select the right remedy for his patient

  • So true Dr. Schmukler !

    Many a times the story narrated by the patient gives valuable rubrics, but, many will not tell you much even after prodding , so one has to fall on the body language and confirm the interpretations asking him.
    Nevertheless , NWS and and case history gives good clues in both the Introverts and the extroverts …

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