In this article we consider the possibility of using homeopathic remedies in systemic therapy, when the object of treatment is not a single individual, but a certain system of “person-person” or a certain group of people.
My more than 25 years of experience in homeopathic practice, almost 20 years of experience in teaching and maintaining homeopathic websites and forums encourages a certain analysis. The following is the result of many years of observations and reflections.
There is a distinct impression that homeopathy is not a single monolithic system with common unshakable laws and patterns, but it represents a number of quite different phenomena. Any attempt to create uniform rules for noticeably different systems is like trying to create a common code of existence for fish and birds.
The consequence of this fact is endless long-term discussions on a number of issues of homeopathic methodology. Various specialists, believing that they are talking about a single system, are actually talking about different facets of the method, as they are based on personal, always limited experience.
It is possible to single out at least three, differing from each other, main directions of action of homeopathic medicines, two of which were described by the founder of the method.
These are the homeopathy of “Organon”, the homeopathy of “Chronic diseases” and, finally, the homeopathy in the mental sphere, which was mainly described by later authors.
At the same time, many medicines are represented in all three directions of the method and have their unique action in each of them. For example, Merc sol has its own well described pathogeneses, but at the same time it is the basic medicine for the lyuetic miasm and it also has its rather specific phycotype.
The article discusses some abilities of homeopathy in the mental sphere the description of which has not been found by the author in the available literature.
We should begin with a number of comments. Firstly, a wide range of abilities of homeopathy in the sphere of psyche have been described by various authors, but there always exists an issue of “author’s method”, when the proposed technique works only with the author of the method. In such a delicate sphere of medicine as homeopathy, and even more so in the psychic sphere, the issue of reproducibility of the method is especially acute.
Secondly, it seems that the ability of medicines in the psychic sphere are often not correlated in any way with the physical or miasmatic spheres, in other words, their prescription does not require confirmation by physical and general symptoms and modalities.
Thirdly, the development of various areas of psychology over the past 50-70 years has brought certain new knowledge into the field of human brain functioning that can be applied productively in combination with the abilities of homeopathic remedies.
Fourthly, working with mental problems requires special knowledge and skills, so a number of techniques can be successfully applied only under certain conditions, provided that the homeopath has certain skills.
Abilities of homeopathy in the psychic sphere are traditionally limited by the homeopathy of psychotypes or by a number of specific clinical situations which are characteristic of specific remedies (Ignatia, Stramonium, Staphysagria, etc.). A number of authors describe some other abilities, which, however, are not systemized and widely accepted.
A system is a combination of elements where the cause of disorder or dysfunction of one element may be outside the element itself and may be located in the system as a whole or in another element with which it is connected.
It is like, for example, a person’s irritability can be caused by a liver disorder and can be corrected by “liver” and not by “mental” drugs.
In some cases a mental or a physical problem or even an illness of a person can be originally caused by systematic disorder – either in a couple or in a family or in a group. In such a situation the treatment of the suffering person itself (the appointment of a homeopathic remedy) may not give the desired result, but will only have a palliative effect.
At the same time, the adequate impact on another part of the system, in which the cause of disorder may be hidden, can have a strategic effect. In other words, sometimes the remedy can be given not to a suffering person, but to his/her partner. Thus, the state of the whole system changes and, through subtle systemic connections, the suffering person is treated.
It is the same as pediatricians often cannot help a child without correcting his mother in one way or another.
Here is a clinical situation that allows us to metaphorically understand one of the possible mechanisms of what is happening. A woman develops mastitis in the postpartum period. Traditional homeopathic prescriptions do not give effect and it becomes clear that there is a psychosomatic family cause in the form of developing tension between her and her husband, the father of the child; according to the woman, he “begins to bare his teeth”.
Given the “animal” terminology, the woman is asked to imagine which animal she associates her husband with. She says that her husband reminds her of a sloth. The woman is asked to try to identify herself with this animal. At first, she refuses to do that, but finally she agrees.
She describes that she, unexpectedly for herself, feels how incredibly slow time is passing, there is no need to make a single unnecessary movement, any movement is very rationally slow, necessary and, to some extent, meditative.
For her, this was quite a new, unfamiliar experience that allowed her to more deeply understand, or rather feel, the world of her husband. During this simple exercise, the woman at the same time felt and voiced that her mastitis was a way of revenge on her husband. This understanding helped to solve her physical problem.
This model is expected to work in the situation when the other member of the couple in confrontation takes the remedy prescribed to his/her partner. In this case the “psychotropic” medicine, through the subtle connections between people, will help not only the patient (in terms of deeper understanding and acceptance of the partner), but also, indirectly, to the partner and the system – the field between the partners.
The result may be both the harmonization of relationship in the couple (the system) and the resolution of a number of the patient’s physical and psychological problems of the systemic origin.
At the same time, the impact of homeopathic remedies is much more intimate than the sphere of human awareness and the medicines prescribed in this paradigm may work in a more subtle and effective manner compared to psychotechnology.
It should be added that this pattern refers only to the remedies of mental action, while those prescribed by similarity in physiological and miasmatic spheres will not have a systemic effect and cannot be used in the described way.
The technique considered above can be used in different ways in various communicative pairs and the person-to-person systems.
It is possible to suggest the following range of options:
pregnant – embryo, mother – small child, parent – child (regardless of the age), any other intra–family pair communication, colleagues at work, including subordinate – boss, as well as dependent – codependent, doctor – patient, etc. Each of these options has its own specifics and can be considered in detail separately.
Having the experience both in homeopathy and systemic family therapy it is possible to work not only with a separate pair but also with a more complicated family system.
Here is an example, demonstrating one of multiple potential abilities of the technique. Some remedies (psychotypes) in homeopathy can be considered, to a certain extent, as gender-specific: Sepia and Pulsatilla are predominantly female, while Nux vomica and Lycopodium are predominantly male. In many cases, married couples can be juxtaposed with the corresponding pairs of “gender” remedies.
While the pair of Nux vomica – Pulsatilla is a relatively harmonious and complementary pair, the pair of Lycopodium – Pulsatilla is much less harmonious, with the possibility of abuse on the part of the man.
If in such a situation the man is given Lycopodium, and the woman is given Pulsatilla, In this case the man “Lycopodium” would become even more “Lycopodium” in terms of the psychotype, while the “Pulsatilla” would become even more “Pulsatilla”, and that could only aggravate the dissonance.
If each of the couple is given, in turn, the partner’s remedy, then the situation is different. Lycopodium, taken by the woman, will give her for some time certain aspects of this psychotype. On the one hand, she will deeply, at the level of psychophysiology, come into contact with the features of the Lycopodium and thus, learn something about her partner’s world.
In some ways she will be able to understand him deeper. (Just as the woman from the previous example felt the features of a sloth in herself). On the other hand, the partner, during the action of the remedy, will see his reflection in the woman, in a sense he will be in front of the mirror, and that can also have certain positive results.
Sometimes it may be useful for the man to take his partner’s Pulsatilla some time later. And even if the duration of the mental effect of the remedies is short, certain traces of the experience will remain with both. In some cases, this will be quite enough to harmonize the relationship in a couple.
In conclusion, it should only be added that the proposed technique requires a sufficient level of ethics and sensitivity and certain psychological knowledge, as well as the understanding of what categories of patients such work is possible with.