SDC: Tell me a little about the MICH Intern Clinic – What is the setup and format? What do you like best about supervising?
KH: The MICH Intern Clinic is a unique and amazing experience for all parties: the clients, the students and the teacher supervisors.
Each of our students has the opportunity to be the homeopath for a full 4 session case over a period of 3-4 months with 4-5 student observers present as well as the Teacher Supervisor. Each student is present in 5 full 4 session cases, once as the homeopath, and 4 times as an observer. This offers them the opportunity to be present for and dialogue on 5 full cases from initial case taking to prescription and all the way to follow up.
After each session with our patient we have a full group dialogue where we explore the case fully as a group, coming to a full understanding of the patient’s dynamic movement, susceptibility and striving. The MICH Method of case taking and dialogue allows for a deep and profound experience for all present and the students themselves benefit greatly from being present in so many cases, and in listening to so many different and individualized experiences of life. They learn how to listen to and follow each patient’s point of view and experience of the world, as something they have never seen before, as truly unique and individual, and come to an understanding of that particular, previously unseen movement.
There is nothing more exciting as a student homeopath than being present to live cases, and witnessing individuals in their uniqueness.
SDC: Do you remember what it was like to be a student in the MICH Intern Clinic? What was it like for you as a student homeopath?
KH: I do remember very well. As a student homeopath, I was both excited and nervous to participate in my first live case at the clinic. I thought I would be intimidated by having the observers and supervisor there, but the support of the group allowed me the confidence to just go with the flow and be with the client on his inner journey, knowing the others in the group were also listening, taking notes and holding the space for him. Our client was able to express to us so beautifully his unique point of view, his challenges and his overall movement through life, helping us to enter into his inner world with him, and through dialogue to select a similimum, which helped him greatly.
SDC : What was the most valuable piece of learning that you received as a student in the clinic?
KH: I think the most important teaching for me was to learn to be really present to the patient, and not to worry too much about the techniques of case taking. I learned that if I was thinking about what I was supposed to be doing, or my role, I would be focused on me, and the case would not flow easily. If I trusted in my previous learning, and really stayed present with the patient, then the case would unfold in a more natural and organic way. I also learned that listening is far more important than a well constructed question, or in trying to understand something. The listening has to come from a place of being comfortable in the unknown, in the previously unheard or unseen journey that the patient was taking me on so that I could go fully on that journey with them, without obstructing, or interrupting the process. This can be very challenging, as our human brains like to feel as if they are in the security of the known, but it is in this place of newness that the magic happens!
SDC: What do you think is most important for MICH students to learn from their clinic experience?
KH: Expanding on what I already spoke about in my own learning experience, I think that the students have the opportunity in the clinic to really practice being present with the patient, and going on that journey with them. Having the support of the observers and supervisor present means that the student homeopath can let go a little, not worry so much about taking notes, and just practice how to listen and journey with the patient. The hardest skill in Noumedynamic case taking is listening, not just to the words of the patient, but to the whole movement that is being expressed through the words. In our regular conversations we tend to listen to words very literally, but underneath those words there is a whole movement that is being expressed by each individual. When we step back to listen to the whole movement, then we can really start to understand someone’s point of view, their experience of life and the world, and within that their own distortions, delusions, experiences, and striving.
MICH students practice this kind of listening from day one in their training, through dyads, group exercises, dialogue practice and through their own experience with their personal homeopaths. In the clinic this is brought into real life clinical practice, both in the case taking itself, and also in the case dialogue after the patient has left. A core aspect of our teaching is to understand an individual as a whole, not as the sum of their parts. So we listen for that whole at all times, and as we start to understand and hear the whole, the parts all fall into place within that whole. The supervisor is present mainly to keep the case taking and dialogue on track, and to help students to understand where they might be interpreting, projecting, trying to come back into the security of the known, or trying to understand by putting all the pieces together, rather than stepping back to see the whole movement.
SDC: What has the experience been for the patients in the clinic?
KH: In each of the cases I have been present in, either as a student or a teacher supervisor, the patients have reported that they felt listened to and understood in ways that they had never experienced before, and that they were able to understand something about themselves that was previously unseen to them. This is an important aspect of the MICH method of case taking, in that we are not only listening in order to come to a remedy selection, but rather we are journeying with the patient to help them make connections and come to insights about their own movement. Bringing some awareness to an individual in their suffering, and in their striving, is such an important part of the journey towards healing. Patients also report that it is very moving to be able to express themselves in such a way, and to be heard and understood at such a deep level of their being.
SDC : What is most fulfilling for you as supervisor in the MICH Intern Clinic?
KH: I most enjoy being in the presence of so many different patients and incredible individuals which time and again leaves me in awe of the amazing human being, and each person’s unique and beautiful experience and point of view in life. Even in suffering, each individual is expressing something of the beauty of the universe, and each case is an amazing journey into a way of seeing the world that I have never seen before.
Supervising is very like case taking, in that I am observing the student homeopath, the patient, the case taking process and the dynamic between the homeopath and the patient. I’m always in awe of witnessing how a case unfolds, and when the case is not unfolding, or the homeopath gets stuck, it is because there is something in the process itself that is getting in the way. I enjoy observing the process itself, and in identifying what is hindering that process, I’m able to facilitate the homeopath to come back into the process in a way that helps it continue to move and unfold. Through an understanding of each student’s particular way of working, I can teach directly to that and help them to see and understand what is happening in them, that is getting in the way of their ability to be present to the patient in way that opens up the case.
Everything we do at MICH is individualized, whether we are working with a student or with a patient, and everything is facilitated through a process of inquiry and dialogue. It is this process that allows for open exploration, expansion, continued learning, insights and coming to shared understanding, and it is this that makes our work at MICH so rewarding!
Kate Hudson, BA, E-Ryt, DHom, MICH Clinical Supervisor
Kate is a MICH Homeopath, and experienced workshop facilitator. She believes that the therapeutic process of inquiry is an important step in both the client’s return to health and in the path to selecting an appropriate homeopathic remedy to facilitate that. She works with clients from all walks of life, and has had particular success with those who suffer from anxiety and depression, or other mental emotional challenges.