Psychotherapy and homeopathy are two different therapeutic methods whose practitioners aim at helping their patients to find alleviation for their suffering. Including the mind is an integral part of both therapeutic approaches. Psychotherapy as a therapeutic method wasn’t yet established at Hahnemann’s time. However, he disregarded the methods and attitude of treating the mentally ill at his time and gave several recommendations for psychotherapeutic interventions in the Organon. When he lived in Georgenthal, in 1792, he cured the mentally ill patient Klockenbring. He argued:
“I never allow an insane person to be punished either by blows or any other kind of corporal chastisement, because there is no punishment where there is no responsibility, and because these sufferers deserve only pity and are always rendered worse by such rough treatment and never improved.” Samuel Hahnemann 
Moving forward, several therapeutic approaches to psychotherapy have been developed, each of them claiming to be helpful in some way. Carl Rogers‘ humanistic approach of person-centered therapy is of special importance as its philosophy marked a paradigm shift to existing approaches in psychotherapy. It offers valuable aspects that can easily be integrated into the homeopathic practice. The similarities and differences in their theory and practice of treatment shall be explored in this article.
Carl Rogers and The Person-Centered Approach To Psychotherapy
– Talent hits a target no one else can hit –
The history of treating mental and emotional disturbances is as old as mankind. As long as humans existed we have relied on friends, priests, astrologers, shamans, physicians, magicians, wise ones or healers to understand suffering and to find alleviation. However, with the earliest ideas of malevolent deities being the cause for mental illness, the patient was to blame and was punished and cruelly treated. Only with the recognition in the eighteenth century of mental illness as a medical disturbance, did treatment conditions for the mentally ill start to improve. In the late nineteenth century, the term psychotherapy began to be used to describe the approach of attempting to “cure the body by mind, aided by the impulse of one mind to another“. The main theoretical schools of psychotherapy that developed historically were the psychoanalytic, behavioral and humanistic approaches. However, until now, a universally accepted theory underlying psychotherapy hasn’t been established.
Carl Ransom Rogers (1902-1987) was a preeminent American psychologist. He is known as the founder of the humanistic approach of client-centered psychotherapy and the father of psychotherapy research. Humanism emphasizes the study of the whole person. One of the basic assumptions is that humans are basically good and trustworthy. They have free will with regard to choices and the path they go down. Central to the humanistic theories are the subjective experiences of the individual. Objective reality is less important than a person’s subjective perception and understanding of the world: “Man essentially lives in his personal and subjective world“. Thus,“There are as many realities as there are humans.“  
Rogers regarded personal growth and fulfillment in life as a basic human motive. He agreed with the main assumptions of Maslow, but added that for a person to grow, they need an environment that provides them with genuineness, acceptance and empathy. Without these, relationships and healthy personalities will not develop as they should. Each person seeks to grow psychologically and to continuously enhance oneself, which is captured by the term “self-actualization“. He emphasized, that the potential of each individual is unique, and that we are meant to develop in different ways according to our personalities.
Rogers established a new approach to therapy as a result of his frustration with the authoritative style of psychoanalytic therapy and his rejection of the deterministic nature of psychoanalysis and behaviorism. He began developing his approach while working with children at the Institute for Child Guidance when he noticed that he got better results upon listening and allowing his clients to determine the rate of treatment. Subjects refused to be influenced to maintain their integrity so he abstained from overtaking control or exerting any pressure.
“If I avoid to influence them, humans will become themselves.“ Carl Rogers
The year 1942, in which Carl Rogers published his book “Counseling and Psychotherapy” is considered the birth hours of the person-centered approach. It puts the existential encounter of two human beings into the focus of treatment and defines the therapist’s attitude as therapeutic in itself and not as a mere instrument to facilitate the therapeutic process.
The concept of Self Central to Rogers’ personality theory is the notion of self or self-concept which is defined as the organized, consistent set of perceptions and beliefs about oneself – the perceptions that the individual has of the “I” or the “me”. It also relates to the self in relationship to others and the environment, and to the values that are attached to these perceptions. The self is our inner personality and is influenced by the experiences we have in our life, particularly those made in childhood, and the interpretation and evaluation of these experiences. The self-concept includes three components:
Self worth or self-esteem – how we value ourselves
Self-image – how we see ourselves
Ideal self – the person we would like to be
Roger defined the person‘s phenomenal field as their perceived reality – the ever changing world of external and internal experiences which include all experiences available at a given moment, both conscious and unconscious. A person’s self develops while a portion of this field becomes differentiated through interactions with others and the social evaluations they have experienced.
The self-actualizing tendency
The self-actualizing tendency describes the inborn tendency of the organism to develop all one‘s possibilities, and in such a way that it serves the maintenance and promotion of the organism. This tendency is directional, constructive and present in all living beings and considered by Rogers as “the most profound truth about man“. Self-actualization is possible if self-worth, self-image and ideal self overlap. The concept of the self-actualizing tendency is the only motivating force in his theory, it encompasses all other motivations and tendencies. Only the organism as a whole has this tendency but parts of it do not.
“It seems to me that at the bottom each person is asking, Who am I, really? How can I get in touch with this real self, underlying all my surface behavior? How can I become myself?” Carl Rogers 
Humans strive to become what they can be, to realize their potentialities, to live in a way which is deeply satisfying to them and which truly expresses them. The actualizing tendency can be suppressed but can never be destroyed without the destruction of the organism. Based on this theory, symptoms must be seen in connection with unhelpful relationships and unrealized self-actualization and persist as long as the individual doesn’t develop his full inner potential. As such they constitute a valuable hint for necessary change on the path towards self-actualization and shouldn’t be suppressed or treated superficially.
Organismic Valuing and Conditions of Worth
Rogers opined that organisms know what is good for them and they have the ability to make changes, which is called “organismic valuing”. Related to the self-concept and self-actualization are secondary needs such as the “need for positive regard from others“, which refers to love, warmth, sympathy, respect, affection, attention, nurturance etc., and “the need for positive self-regard“, an internalized version of the previous, which refers to self-esteem, self-worth, and a positive self-image. If we receive only conditional positive regard, we develop an ideal self and conditions of worth, which also leads us to have conditional positive self-regard and to lose our integrated personality. To gain the approval of others the true inner self is denied and one exists only in response to the demands of others. This constitutes the fundamental alienation in humans.
Rogers believed that for a person to achieve self-actualization there must be a state of congruence between ideal self and self-image. We want to feel, experience and behave in ways which are consistent with our self-image and which reflect what we would like to be like – our ideal self. Therapy is to support the development of psychic maturity – the removal of conditions of negative worth and self-alienation, to reach a self that is congruent with experience, and living a life that is true to ourselves and who we are in the inside. Incongruity means to be out of synch with our true self. Incongruent individuals in their pursuit of positive regard cannot realize their potential. Conditions put on them by those around them make it necessary for them to forego their genuine, authentic life to meet with the approval of others. The more incongruity there is, the more the suffering. A state of total congruence rarely, if ever, exists, and all people experience a certain amount of incongruity.
The fully functioning person
Rogers described an individual who is self-actualizing as a “fully functioning person”. The needs for positive regard from others and positive self-regard match organismic evaluation and there is congruence between self and experience, with full psychological adjustment as a result. This ideal healthy human condition is embodied in the person who is open to experience. He is able to live existentially, is trusting his organism, expresses feelings freely, acts independently, is creative and lives a richer life – “the good life“. Rogers regarded the fully functioning person as an ideal and one that people do not ultimately achieve.
The therapeutic relationship
Among the most significant contributions is Rogers’ redefinition of the therapeutic relationship. As various therapeutic methods produce similar success in therapy the therapeutic relationship is seen to be a generic element, common to all forms of therapy. Rogers interest in psychotherapy led him to investigate the characteristics of helping interpersonal relationships that facilitate growth. Investigating interactions and studies he had noticed that regardless of the type of therapy, the therapists attitudinal elements and how these were perceived by the client accounted for the changes during therapy.
Freud had also argued that the therapeutic relationship is a crucial factor in therapy, but he had emphasized the phenomenon of transference, which involves a distortion of the real relationship. In contrast, Carl Rogers emphasized the real relationship between client and therapist and based his person-centered approach on the assumption that both persons establish a relationship to each other in the encounter. He felt that a therapist, in order to be effective, must have the qualities of being emphatic, congruent and accepting. He argued that these qualities are necessary and sufficient. If the therapist shows these three qualities, the client will improve, even if no other special techniques are used. The therapeutic relationship is but a special form of a diversity of human interactions. Thus, Roger‘s approach is not limited to psychotherapy but is applicable to any interhuman interaction to promote mutual understanding and to establish more stable relationships.
The essential conditions for the therapist’s attitude:
With congruence Rogers refers to the therapist being transparent and authentic, without “front” or facade. Only when the therapist offers authentic reality will the client be able to search for his own truth. “Whatever feeling or attitude I am experiencing would be matched by my awareness of the attitude. When this is true, then I am a unified or integrated person in that moment, and hence I can be whatever I deeply am.” Carl Rogers 
Unconditional positive regard
With unconditional positive regard Rogers means there is acceptance, sympathy and appreciation whatever the client‘s situation, behavior or feelings may be. The therapist hasn’t to agree with the client. However, his positive regard does not depend on the client’s thoughts or behavior. This helps the client to differentiate between his worth as a person and the evaluation of his actions. The experience that one’s own thoughts and feelings aren’t judged or met with rejection is a powerful experience that allows for self-acceptance and the ability to integrate increasingly more experiences, which facilitates growth and development.
People who are able to self-actualize are more likely to have received unconditional positive regard from others, especially from their parents and significant others in childhood. Rogers opines that self-appreciation is prerequisite for change. To gain satisfaction from self-appreciation the individual must once have experienced unconditional positive regard from others. Satisfaction and the attitude toward oneself then becomes independent from other’s opinions and the experiences with others, so that the individual becomes his own significant social counterpart. In therapy, Rogers aims at freeing the client as much as possible from the external threat of non-acceptance, so that he can begin to experience and deal with his internal feelings and conflicts. “Each person is an island unto himself, in a very real sense; and he can only build bridges to other islands if he is first of all willing to be himself and permitted to be himself. So I find that when I can accept another person… then I am assisting him to become a person. ” Carl Rogers 
Emphatic understanding means to be at home in the client’s world of perception. It means to let yourself enter the world of another person‘s feelings and meanings and to see them as he does – stepping into his private world without evaluating or judging him, but without losing the “as if” position of being a separate person.
Therapy according to Rogers
“The organism has one basic tendency and striving – to actualize, maintain, and enhance the experiencing organism. Whether one calls it a growth tendency, a drive toward self-actualization, or a forward-moving directional tendency, it is the mainspring of life, and is in the last analysis, the tendency upon which all psychotherapy depends.” Carl Rogers  In Rogers’ opinion personality change toward self-actualization is possible and a necessary part of growth. For the vast majority of persons who did not have an optimal childhood there is hope for change and development toward psychological maturity via therapy. Therapy focuses on the whole person, not their isolated problems. When certain conditions in therapy exist, a process is seen to get under way which leads to changes in personality and behavior. “I can’t make corn grow, but I can provide the right soil and plant it in the right area and see that it gets enough water; I can nurture it so that exciting things happen. I think that’s the nature of therapy.” Carl Rogers 
The therapeutic process
Rogers’ trust in the person’s inherent drive to grow gave him the conviction that clients not only have the problem but also carry their solutions within them. The therapist supports the client in finding his own solutions, in developing and solving current and future problems by himself. This is a constant process of development and psychological growth which is at the core of the person-centered approach. To facilitate constructive changes there first needs to be a minimum of psychological contact. The therapist must be emphatic, congruent and accepting. To promote the re-organization of the client’s self-structure, therapy aims at dissolving the conditions of negative worth, to achieve self-congruence with experience, and to restore the organismic valuing process. The transformation of incongruity requires adjusting the person’s perception of self-image and self-worth as well as making one‘s ideal self more realistic.
Roger’s found that this was best achieved through the method of “reflection“, which refers to the mirroring of the emotional communication. By doing this, the therapist is communicating to the client that he is listening, cares enough to understand, and that he knows what the client is communicating. It is important that a person is aware of what he is experiencing. Things which do not fit into the current self-concept are moved out of awareness, and if carried out to a considerable extent, this causes maladjustment.
Being able to speak freely in an atmosphere that makes any defenses unnecessary facilitates the exploration of one’s feelings and unknown aspects. When the individual’s negative feelings have been expressed, they are expected to be followed by positive emotions and the subsequent expressions of positive impulses, which make for growth. The therapist accepts and recognizes the negative and positive feelings. This promotes insight and understanding with possible courses of actions on new levels, and the decreasing need for help. The intellectual acceptance has to come along with emotional relief and the acceptance of oneself. Within the process developing in the course of therapy the client’s perceptual field and self-concept reorganize and congruence between self-concept and experience increases. Their perceptions become less distorted and experiences less threatening. The client increasingly perceives himself as the arbiter of his own evaluation and his behavior to be under his own control. Rogers assumes these changes to be persistent.
Samuel Hahnemann and Homeopathy
– Genius hits a target no one else can see –
Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) was a German physician. He is considered the founder of homeopathy and the father of experimental pharmacology. Homeopathy was born at a time when blood-letting, purging and blistering were standard medical practices. While practicing orthodox medicine Hahnemann had noticed that the treatment was often worse than the complaint, and that patients rather died from the barbaric treatments than the disease itself. Treating his fellow men with unknown medicines that had very adverse effects afflicted his conscience, so Hahnemann gave up practicing medicine and supported his family by translating books into his native German language. While translating a text about Cinchona (Peruvian Bark), he read that it was effective in the treatment of malaria because it was bitter and astringent. As other medicines had the same properties but did not help Malaria, he wondered why it was effective. In 1796 he decided to test Cinchona bark on himself, which brought about symptoms similar to those of malaria. This year is considered the birth year of homeopathy. Over the coming years Hahnemann tested many other remedies on himself and others. After having enough evidence, released his findings, explaining the Law of Similars. The idea of curing by means of similars had already been mentioned by early philosophers and physicians such as Hippocrates, but it had now been validated by experiments and systematically developed into a therapeutic method. The therapeutic goal of homeopathy is outlined in § 2 Organon:
“The highest ideal of cure is the rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way, on easily comprehensible principles.” – Samuel Hahnemann. To reach this goal Hahnemann established the basic laws and principles of homeopathy which he outlined in the different editions of the Organon, and which remained untouched by history. “Thus homeopathy is a perfectly simple system of medicine, remaining always fixed in its principles as in its practice, which, like the doctrine whereon it is based, if rightly apprehended will be found to be so exclusive (and only in that way serviceable), that as the doctrine must be accepted in its purity, so it must be purely practiced.” Samuel Hahnemann. Similia similibus curentur: The fundamental idea of homeopathy is the Law of Similars: Like cures Like. A substance capable of causing certain symptoms in a healthy subject is used to treat similar symptoms experienced by ill people.
Doctrine of a single remedy: Only one remedy should be given at a time, not compound or mixtures of medicines as only simple medicines were proven thoroughly. It is impossible to know how compounds may hinder and alter each other’s actions.
Law of the minimum dose: The smallest dose is to be given to avoid aggravations. It produces the least possible excitation of the vital force and is yet sufficient to stimulate the vital force towards balance.
Doctrine of Drug Proving: To apply homeopathic remedies according to the law of similars their medicinal actions must be reliably known through the process of drug provings. For this, dynamized drugs are applied on healthy subjects of different ages and sexes. Mental, emotional and physical symptoms appear during drug provings and are therefore part of the homeopathic materia medica.
Theory of Chronic Diseases: Hahnemann noticed that acute diseases could be cured rapidly, but that some diseases tended to come back and that amelioration for chronically ill patients wasn’t lasting. After twelve years of investing this phenomenon he established his theory of the chronic diseases, stating that these are caused by miasms. He originally named psora, sycosis and syphilis. These miasms constitute inherited and acquired patterns with particular characteristics and disease propensities, that also relate to one’s innate constitution. Their cure requires anti-miasmatic treatment with properly indicated remedies.
Doctrine of Drug Dynamization: Potentization or dynamization is a process by which the latent medicinal properties of a substance are extracted from their crude form for curative purposes. Upon experimentation Hahnemann had found that the process of potentization not only concealed the medicinal powers of otherwise inert substances, but that the power of remedies increased with increasing potentization steps – which either constitute trituration or attenuation and succussion. The action of dynamized remedies is deeper, longer and more wide-spread with increasing potentization. “Changes that come to material substances, specially the medicinal, through the trituration of non-medicinal powder, agitation of non-medicinal fluid, are so incredible that it may be compared to miracles, and is a reason of joy that those changes belong to homeopathy.” – Samuel Hahnemann
Theory of Individualization: No two individuals are alike and so the remedies they need might be different, even when suffering from the same disease. Homeopathic remedies are prescribed based on the totality of characteristic symptoms of the individual, that is, not pathognomonic symptoms but those that characterize the individual expression of disease. Thus, in search of the homeopathic remedy the patient’s strange, rare, peculiar, uncommon and characteristics signs and symptoms are to be especially and almost solely kept in view, and must correspond to those of the remedy.
Treatment of the whole patient: Homeopathy teaches to treat the individual with the disease and not the diseased parts or single symptoms alone as it is always the whole human being who is ill. Thus, there cannot be local diseases that affect a single organ or part of the body.
Totality of symptoms: Hahnemann defined symptoms as the outwardly reflected picture of the inner essence of the disease and the sole means whereby the disease can make known the required remedy. As it is always the whole person who is ill and individualization necessary for treatment, determining the totality of characteristic symptoms constitutes the diagnosis of the disease and is the foundation for prescription.
Doctrine of the vital force: The vital force is the invisible, dynamic energy that animates all living beings. It is this spirit-like force that governs life and maintains all the bodily sensations and functions in equilibrium in the state of health, and which is the intermediate level connecting body and mind. When a person falls ill, it is this dynamic vital force, everywhere present in the organism, which is primarily deranged by the dynamic influence of an agent inimical to life. Thus, health and disease are merely two different states of the vital force. A truly curative method has to act upon this dynamic vital force – according to the law of similars. That is, as disease constitutes a dynamic, energetic disturbance of the vital force, cure cannot be brought about by material quantity. The mistuned vital force can be freed from the natural disease by the dynamized, homeopathic remedy which creates a similar, somewhat stronger and self-limited artificial disease. As two similar diseases cannot exist simultaneously, the stronger artificial disease replaces and annihilates the natural disease. Hahnemann encouraged his patients to strengthen the vital force by healthy food, pure fresh air and water, exercise etc. In modern times this dynamic vital force finds its equivalent in the biomagnetic field whose energy penetrates the whole organism and higher bodies. “In our time, which boasts such enlightened and deep-thinking souls, does it have to be so impossible to conceive of a nonmaterial dynamic force when we see around us every day so many phenomena that cannot be explained in any other way?” -Samuel Hahnemann
Classification of diseases in homeopathy
Case taking and case management has to be adjusted to the type of disease beforehand. Hahnemann classified diseases into two types, acute and chronic diseases. Among the chronic diseases he differentiated:
- Iatrogen, drug induced diseases are artificial chronic diseases and caused by prolonged drug use in heroic doses. They are most difficult to cure.
- True chronic diseases arise from the dynamic contagion of a chronic miasm. Their effects are passed on from generation to generation. The vital force is unable to extinguish miasms, even when aided by the best hygienic, dietetic and sanitary measures and a strong constitution.
- Chronic diseases resulting from “false practices” are caused by maintaining or contributory causes such as bad living circumstances, unhygienic and unsanitary influences, dietetic errors, detrimental mental conditions, excesses of all kind, prolonged deprivation of things necessary to life, lack of exercise or fresh air, physical or mental overexertion etc. The related ailments disappear of themselves by mere change of regimen. If not addressed they may constitute an obstacle to cure. The resulting diseases are improperly called chronic diseases as they are based on the duration of exposure and go away on their own with improved conditions if no chronic miasm is present. Thus, to practice homeopathy properly also includes consulting the patient with regard to factors that undermine health. So long as these maintaining causes are not removed, medicines alone can do little. Hahnemann wrote about the physician in §4 Organon: “He is likewise a preserver of health if he knows the things that derange health and cause disease, and how to remove them from persons in health.”
The mind in homeopathy
The treatment of the whole person and the consideration of the patient’s totality of symptoms constitute some of the basic principles of homeopathy. That means that the mind is part of the whole, and mental and emotional symptoms are not to be seen isolated from the unity of man. As diseases of the mind do not constitute a class of disease of its own, they too require considering the patient’s totality of symptoms for homeopathic prescription. Hahnemann outlined in §214 Organon:
“…mental diseases… are to be cured in the same way as all other diseases, namely, by a remedy which shows, by the symptoms it causes in the body and mind of a healthy individual, a power of producing a morbid state as similar as possible to the case of disease before us, and in no other way can they be cured.”
Hence, the altered psychic condition of the patient has to be considered within the totality of symptoms if one desires to have a faithful picture of the disease from which to make a successful homeopathic prescription. With the concentration on the totality of the peculiar, uncommon and characteristic symptoms Hahnemann again emphasized the psychic condition in §211 Organon:
“… the state of the disposition of the patient often chiefly determines the selection of the homeopathic remedy, as being a decidedly characteristic symptom which can least of all remain concealed from the accurately observing physician“.
Hahnemann points out that the emotional and mental state is always altered, both in psychic and physical diseases. Therefore, he wrote in § 213 Organon:
“One will never be able to cure according to nature – that is, homeopathically – if we do not, in every case of disease, even in such as are acute, observe, along with the other symptoms, those relating to the changes in the state of the mind and disposition, and if we do not select, for the patient’s relief, from among the medicines a disease-force which, in addition to the similarity of its other symptoms to those of the disease, is also capable of producing a similar state of the disposition and mind“.
Hahnemann mentioned that grief and displeasure account for the most frequent aggravation of existing ailments and the development of chronic diseases based on latent psora:
“Uninterrupted grief and annoyance increases even the slightest traces of slumbering psora soon to increased symptoms and develops them unexpectedly to the breakout of all thinkable chronic suffering. And this much more certain and often than any other disadvantageous influences in the usual life of man...” – Samuel Hahnemann 
Therefore, it is not sufficient to apply the homeopathic remedy. The causes of grief, annoyance, displeasure etc. have to be addressed too, otherwise Hahnemann recommends abstaining from homeopathic treatment:
“But are the ill’s person’s circumstances not to ameliorate, doesn’t he have so much philosophy, religion and power about himself to bear patiently and calmly all suffering and fate not being caused or changeable by him, if grief and chagrin continue to beat him unalterably, without the physician being able to permanently remove these major destructive agents of life, then he rather shall abstain from treating the chronic disease and leave the ill to his fate.” – Samuel Hahnemann 
How both approaches come together and fall apart
The desire to help people
Samuel Hahnemann‘s deepest wish to help people soon led him to abandon orthodox medicine as it did more harm than good. To follow the Hippocratic oath was his major motive in developing his therapeutic method, that is, that by healing the sick he will neither hurt nor damage them.
Carl Rogers said: “I didn’t want to find a client-centered way. I wanted to find a way to help people.” With the investigation of helping relationships he noticed that this was best achieved when recognizing that every person is at the directing center of his life and that he can help people only by means of their own efforts and steps. Both, Hahnemann and Rogers, developed systematically a new therapeutic method that stood in contrast to the previously existing therapy.
Both truly cared about others and had an inquiring mind. Once they discovered something, they followed it through, constantly developing and adjusting their concepts and ideas, which is mirrored in their writings. In finding truth there was no compromise for both of them.
“If we don’t consider the establishment of the truth to be finished then gaining new insight will be possible, contradicting the best theories. This attitude is of utmost importance to me.” Carl Rogers 
Faith, religion and the freedom of thought
Hahnemann was born in the midst of the Age of Reason, which favored free thinking and scientific rational thought, and to answer questions through acquiring new knowledge. Already at the age of 22 he became a member of the Freemason lodge which stood for a humanitarian world order, free thinking, and the inner freedom to make important decisions in life by oneself. Hahnemann’s deep belief in God was also an important impulse for the development of his approach. Based on his unshakable faith in God, he firmly believed that there must be a cure for the diseases he wasn’t able to alleviate with the knowledge gained from orthodox medicine.
“The most inestimable treasures are an impeccable consciousness and good health. Love to God and self study provide one; homeopathy provides the other.” – Samuel Hahnemann
Although changing from studying agronomy to theology during his early years, Rogers little by little began to depart from his parent’s strict religious views. Dealing with the search for meaning and the possibilities to constructively change the peoples’ lives, he recognized that he did not want to be required to believe in a certain religious doctrine. He did not want to see the freedom of his thoughts limited by religion.  Rogers recognized the existence of a universal formative tendency but opined that the source of meaning is discovered by recovering contact with one‘s true and authentic inner self.
It all started with a profound experience, theory came after
Both, Hahnemann and Rogers, systematically researched and developed a new method of therapy based on experience and both questioned pre-existing theories. Hahnemann’s path to homeopathy started with his first self-proving of Cinchona Bark which led him to formulate the law of similars, and to systematically ascertain the medicinal properties of many other substances, of which most found entry in the Homeopathic Materica Medica. In 1810 Hahnemann published the first edition of the Organon of the Healing Art which had already been preceded by The Medicine of Experience and other articles. In the first and subsequent editions of the Organon he described the fundamental laws and principles of homeopathy. The sixth edition was only published postmortem. With the investigation of chronic diseases he established the theory of miasms which he published in The Chronic Diseases.
“Is it really possible to believe that, in this century of light, a piece of work based solely on experience, as my Organon of Rational Medicine, is set aside by the non-sense words of old school, while only experiments and counter-experiments could confirm or refute them?” – Samuel Hahnemann
For Rogers it was the therapeutic encounter with a mother and her son which became the impulse for developing his approach. Whilst the boy was treated by a colleague Rogers talked with his mother and recognized the rejection of her son as being causative for his behavioral problems. However, he was unable to convince her and gave up further attempts. To his surprise the mother asked him for treatment and subsequently talked about the problems in her life and marriage. Roger recognized that therapy started right at the moment she was beginning to talk freely, which was quite different from the usual anamnesis. He noticed that his ability to help was not merely bound to conveying his expert knowledge. He mainly listened attentively and allowed her to be a free and authentic person, and subsequently the relationship with her husband and son ameliorated.
Rogers’ central quest became to elucidate the characteristics of helpful relationships and how they can be used in therapy to promote personality development. To find the answer he systematically analyzed and recorded conversations and concluded that a positive outcome of therapy is favored when the therapist is nonjudgmental, does not provide any solutions, and doesn’t behave in a directing or manipulating way. Rogers approach also developed through different phases of forming and completing the theory and applicability of his method.
“Experience is, for me, the highest authority. The touchstone of validity is my own experience. No other person’s ideas, and none of my own ideas, are as authoritative as my experience. It is to experience that I must return again and again, to discover a closer approximation to truth as it is in the process of becoming in me.“ – Carl Rogers 
Paradigm shift in the therapeutic approach
Both, Hahnemann and Rogers, introduced a paradigm change in the approach to treatment. Although there have been forerunners expressing similar ideas or paving the way to their discoveries, the development of their therapeutic methods can be considered an individual performance. Rogers emphasized peoples’ basically good nature and opined that the client has the inherent potential to grow and to solve problems. He had the deep belief that each person has worth, dignity, and the capacity for self-direction which was counter to the pervading thought of his time. Rogers encouraged human and ethical treatment. In the therapeutic relationship he saw the most important therapeutic tool, which differed from other psychotherapeutic approaches, although now more and more schools of psychotherapy recognize the paramount importance of the therapeutic relationship.
Homeopathy departs from mainstream medicine through its different philosophy, methodology and pharmacopoeia. The shift is from materialism to vitalism, and from Newtonian determinism to limited free will and choices. Mainstream medicine with its reductionistic approach splits man into body and mind and conceives him as a biological machine with single symptoms, the mere expressions of derangements, which must then be fixed based on the principle of contraria contraris. Homeopathy is based on a vitalistic approach to health and disease, viewing disease in its primary origin as a dynamic disturbance of the vital force, and biochemical disturbances as a consequence. For cure the vital force has to be brought back to equilibrium. As symptoms are seen as part of the defense mechanism and the organism’s attempt to restore balance, they are not opposed, but treatment is based on the principle of similars. The true underlying cause of chronic diseases is addressed by anti-miasmatic treatment, and maintaining causes have to be removed. Hahnemann recognized the wholeness of man and treated their totality instead of single symptoms.
Both therapeutic methods suffered from rejection from their inception. Roger’s new perception of man and psychotherapy soon became a point of attack, and unfortunately often remains unconsidered among the variety of psychotherapeutic approaches. Meanwhile, homeopathy has been officially recognized by many countries and implemented into their medical systems. It too has been opposed from the beginning due to ignorance, dogmatism, prejudice, and the greed of others.
“The more tangible the truth, the more time will it spend to conquer the space it belongs to. Obstacles present themselves due to the fact that this truth generates true hate – because it announces a revolution, a disturbance in the existing interests and conquered places.“ – Samuel Hahnemann
Self healing and self organization
Both approaches strive for re-organization through freeing internal forces by means of an external stimulus. Rogers by providing a helpful relationship that sets the client free to explore and express himself more freely, to increase self-awareness, self-acceptance and openness, and to reduce defensiveness. His approach is based on considering the human organism as a self-organizing system whose processes are organized in their entirety. The client has everything inside himself for cure and is best capable to analyze his situation and to work out solutions for his problems. Homeopathy stimulates healing by providing an artificial disease that is similar and somewhat stronger than the natural disease. Thereby the natural disease is annihilated and the vital force can maintain again all functions and sensations in equilibrium. Potentized remedies act in the realm of dynamics and re-organize the superior energetic and informational structures of the organism.
The art of communicating
Rogers was aware that for people it was rare to be carefully listened to and that it is a powerful experience to be understood without being judged. He opined that true listening supports the client in expanding from the inside and to become intricate and elaborate, whereas interpretation or editing stops the inwardly arising process of a creative, self-corrective development. Rogers opined that nothing else matters much but being very present to the client, listening to the client, and to be with him. Then a feeling of connectedness develops, as though there is some kind of a real bond.  Rogers eliminated all interpretations and instead checked his understanding out loud until fully receiving what the client felt and wished to convey. This art of making closeness without imposing oneself circumvents defenses and stimulates a self-propelled process arising from the inside.
Hahnemann too argued, that to record a true picture of the disease in its whole extent, it is essential to be a nonjudgmental observer. Freedom from prejudice and common sense are prerequisites to understand the picture of disease. He wrote in §6 Organon:
“Only freedom from prejudice and tireless zeal avail for the most holy of the endeavors of mankind, the practice of the true art of healing.” “The unprejudiced observer – well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience – be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (morbid phenomena, accidents, symptoms) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician.“
In his detailed instructions about the homeopathic interview and case taking, Hahnemann advised us not to interrupt the patient while talking but to keep quiet and write down everything. Only when the patient finishes, shall he be asked for particulars. He wanted each patient to describe his ailments with his own words and proposed to listen to the patient with much patience. Direct questions shall not be asked. In his article “About establishing the picture of the disease“ the famous homeopath Constantine Hering elucidates:
“The first new and particular at it is to listen to the ill person. One should not believe that this would have happened every time, this rarely or never happened after Hippocrates, or only as something unnecessary. Like a judge who judges before having heard the patient, are the most physicians until this day. … Listening without interruption is extraordinarily important; the picture is always disturbed or blurred if the physician interferes when the patient is talking, or when he asks questions prematurely.”
Homeopathy teaches that the disturbance of the vital force manifests through signs and symptoms. For prescription the individualizing strange, rare and peculiar symptoms are to be considered in particular to form the totality of the symptom picture. Different persons suffering from the same disease may need different remedies as they express their disease differently according to their individuality, hence nosological entities don’t constitute the foundation for prescription. Also, with the person-centered approach to therapy the client’s disease name is unimportant as the client is treated as a whole. Rogers found diagnostics and stigmatizing labels of the mentally ill to be inadequate and prejudicial, so he eliminated them. Opposing the medical model of illness, diagnoses, and the physician “knows best” attitude, Rogers argued that the client knows best and decides each move. The aim of therapy is to promote growth and to reach self-actualization, which for their part leads to problem and symptom solving. Hence, both approaches are not related to specific psychopathological conditions. When concentrating on the whole person, diagnostic labels become unimportant.
The holistic approach
Hahnemann considered a living being to be ill as a whole and consequently did not treat single symptoms but their totality – otherwise suppression would result. Rogers too perceived man in a holistic fashion, setting the whole person in the focus of therapy and not their isolated problems.
Rogers emphasizes individuality and the uniqueness of each person. He recognized that each human being is a different intricacy and develops according to his innate personality. By considering each patient’s strange, rare, peculiar, uncommon and characteristic symptoms, homeopathy too strictly adheres to the principle of individualization.
A single force
In homeopathy the concept of the vital force is fundamental for understanding health, disease and cure. The dynamic, spirit-like, autonomous vital force constitutes the energy of life that makes the difference between life and death. It is first disturbed when man falls ill and needs to be brought back to equilibrium for cure. Homeopathy’s goal is to restore the sick to health by re-balancing the disturbed vital force so that “our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purpose of our existence.”  Roger‘s theory is also built on the assumption of a single force of life which he called the self-actualizing tendency. It is defined as the built-in motivation present in every life-form to develop its potentials to the fullest extent possible. The tendency of self-actualization of all organic life and the formative tendency of the universe as a whole form the basic philosophy of his approach. “There seems to be a formative tendency at work in the universe which is observable at each level.” Carl Rogers 
Harmony and congruence
In both approaches the restoration of health implies bringing back harmony. Psychotherapy aims at harmonizing the function of mind and body and the demands of the exterior world. Rogers’ approach in particular aims at restoring balance by facilitating congruence between self-worth, self-image and self-ideal, and by promoting self-actualization. The concept of harmony is also central to homeopathy, viewing the balance of the vital force as the crucial factor in the state of health. When in imbalance the vital force is unable to maintain sensations and function in equilibrium which expresses through signs and symptoms.
Resonance through similarity or synchronicity
Being in synch means to share a similar rhythm or vibration. The word resonance means to “re-sound”, which indicates a flow of vibration between things or people. It is something that happens to all manifestations in this universe. Rogers’ approach aims at living in resonance with our true self and purpose. He also opined that most psychological disorders are psychological in their origin and that their treatment should be dealt with in that fashion. For the therapist in Rogerian therapy this means being fully present with the other person, responding to and tuned into their rhythm. The Law of Similars is homeopathy’s most important law upon which treatment rests. This principle is based on resonance which occurs “when a system is acted on by an alternating force which coincides with its natural frequency of vibration”. Thus, for true cure to happen, the dynamis of the remedy must resonate with the dynamic nature of the patient. As two similar energy waves or patterns cancel each other out, two similar diseases cannot coexist in the body at the same time. Therefore, the somewhat stronger, artificial disease replaces and annihilates the natural disease. As the artificial medicinal disease is self-limited, the vital force is freed from disease.
From inside out
According to Hering’s law of direction for cure, healing proceeds from the inside out, from the head down and in reverse order as the symptoms have appeared. Rogers opined that self-propelled processes arise from the inside. Humans are viewed as self-developing systems with processes of self-organization.
The role of the patient
Rogers wasn’t satisfied with the term “patient” because he wasn’t a doctor and because he saw his clients as self-responsible. Even if they were going to someone else for help, they still contain the locus of evaluation and decision within themselves. They retain judgment, and are not merely putting themselves in the hands of someone else. With the person-centered approach the client is seen as an expert on himself , contrary to other approaches of traditional psychiatry. Therefore, Rogers used the expression of the “self-helping person” or “client” instead of “patient”. With homeopathy the homeopath is mainly the active person and authority, prescribing the remedy and offering advice with regard to diet, exercise etc. However, case anamnesis and management and the removal of obstacles to cure, the so-called maintaining causes, require the active participation of the patient. Neither is motivation necessary, nor can suggestion or the placebo effect merely account for therapeutic success as homeopathy also works with infants, animals and plants. For psychotherapy the subject needs a certain motivation and cognitive abilities to start the process of therapy.
The concept of cure
Treatment follows one’s paradigm, and when there is a sound principle there can be a clear aim for treatment. According to Roger’s approach pathological symptoms appear when humans’ attempt to unfold their true self fails. To mobilize the vital force Rogers aims at meeting one’s true self. Symptoms will decrease in the same degree as man experiences who he is and lives in agreement with his true self. The healthy person is viewed in terms of the “fully functioning person”, who is able to accept the self as it is, with failings, positive and negative feelings and qualities. He is able to love and to receive love and to cope with life. He is open to experience and to express what he is feeling, and to assimilate that into his concept of himself and guide his behavior in terms of it. He moves away from perceiving himself as unacceptable, as being unworthy of respect, and as having to live by the standards of others. Instead, he develops a more positive attitude toward himself and moves toward a conception of himself as a person of worth and as a self-directing person. He becomes more self confident and more realistic and differentiated in his perceptions. His aims and ideals for himself become more achievable. His behavior becomes more mature, perceiving others with more realism and acceptance. The process moves toward realness and closeness of relationships, a unity and integration of functioning, and the normalization of adaptation.
The core of homeopathy is to cure the patient by balancing the vital force by means of applying the homeopathic simillimum. In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force, the dynamis that animates the material body, retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, with regards to both sensations and functions.
Causal treatment and the past
In homeopathy the investigation and consideration of the fundamental, underlying cause of chronic diseases as well as the exiting cause of acute diseases is of paramount importance to form the symptom picture and prescribe the curative remedy. To determine the patient’s miasmatic state and development the investigation of his past history and hereditary influences is crucial. The patient’s simillimum has to cover his miasmatic make up.
Rogers doesn’t consider any necessity for inquiring into the past for treatment. With regard to the characteristics of relationships he even noticed, that it is unhelpful, when “the therapists had given direct, specific advice regarding decisions or had emphasized past history rather than present problems”. 
Concept of layers
In homeopathy there are several approaches to treatment. In contrast to constitutional prescribing as practiced by Kent and others, prescribing based on the concept of layers is grounded on the assumption that the patient’s journey of disease constitutes different layers that have to be prescribed for accordingly. According to the layer approach, the vital force is freed from inimical dynamic influences in the manner of peeling away the layers of an onion. Rogers opined that at the bottom of suffering is the goal the individual most wishes to achieve, the end which he knowingly and unknowingly pursues – to become himself. In therapy the client can begin to discover something more truly himself by peeling off layer after layer of defenses.
Perception, free will and choices
Roger’s approach rests on the assumptions that phenomenology is central, that people have free will with regard to choices made in life and the paths to follow. One of Roger’s premises for successful therapy and positive changes was that the client must be able to perceive the therapist as being empathic, congruent and accepting. Only then changes become possible. He also recognized, that the self is not something that is just built up by conditioning, although certainly that is a part of it. Rogers aimed at amplifying the client‘s perception by allowing him to experience new positive experiences with the therapist. The self-concept is seen as the most important variable in the dynamic of the personality, hence changes of the self constitute the most important goal in therapy.
With the concept of miasms, as known in homeopathy, our inborn constitution and predispositions are seen to be shaped by miasmatic forces which limit humans’ expressions on the physical, emotional and mental level. Miasms code our brain and how we feel, think and behave, so our free will and choices are limited to certain patterns. The concept of miasms confirms what Schopenhauer once said: “Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.”
In homeopathy delusions, and the core delusion in particular, are known to be persistent unless solved by a similar dynamic. They compose the deepest inner aspects of the human psyche and the driving force behind emotions, thoughts and behavior. They also shape those thoughts and feelings that prevent us from reaching our true potential. Luc de Schepper states:
“The core delusion is the center point or nucleus, the beginning of the story of our patient – and it indicates the remedy he needs! Therefore, discovering the core delusion will be an important step, not only in formulating and understanding the crux of the patient’s suffering, but also in finding the similar remedy that will free him from the chains of his central, fixed idea.” 
May both approaches arrive at the same place ?
The supporting element of therapy is the therapeutic relationship in Rogerian therapy and the similar, dynamized remedial agent in homeopathy. Roger’s focus is on the therapeutic relationship and freeing the forces for healthy growth and self-actualization, whereas homeopathy’s key aspect lies in balancing the mistuned vital force, removing miasmatic blockages and dissolving the core delusion.
Rogers defined health as a state of congruence between self-image and ideal self, which facilitates achieving self-actualization. His goal for the individual was to live life to its fullest expression. Being out of synch with our true self and straying from the expression of our highest potential leads to suffering. He viewed humans similar to a seed that is ready to grow and blossom yet when the germ is stifled and light and nutrients are missing, the plant remains small and unable to reach its full inner beauty. If growing in a favorable environment the plant can grow strong and healthy and develop beautiful blossoms.
Roger’s approach seems to primarily support the more inhibited, psoric subjects and the incarcerated individual with an active cancer miasm – which both struggle with self-actualization due to their underdeveloped ego. However, Rogers points out, that moving toward being, knowingly and acceptingly, away from being what he is not and from being a facade, aims at neither trying to be less than one is – with the attendant feelings of guilt or self-depreciation, nor trying to be more that one is – with the attendant feelings of insecurity or bombastic defensiveness. 
Hahnemann’s aim was to truly cure his patients which he saw in balancing the mistuned vital force. His aim was to free the vital force from disease so that it could be used for the higher purposes of our existence. Homeopathy teaches that there is a certain constitution and miasmatic pattern shaping the dynamis and thereby experience, delusions, perception, emotions, cognition, and behavior. We are not born blank plates upon which there is a history to write, but come with a certain set of miasms and related characteristics and predispositions. These determine how we react and adapt to situations, and how we perceive the therapist’s attitude and interventions. Miasms bend our free will into certain limits and come with a particular type of struggle with regard to self-actualization. The concept of miasms implies that it is not merely a disadvantaged environment which may hinder us from reaching our true potential. Constitution and predisposition are the primary cause for illness, and the stressors that may weaken our constitution or hinder development, are secondary. Homeopathy can balance the vital force of each person no matter which miasms are predominantly active. Trying to change the personality through psychotherapy, however, must be limited to a certain degree unless the dynamis is being influenced by another, similar dynamis that removes miasmatic blockages to bring the best out of one’s constitution.
Summary and conclusion
Both therapeutic methods can play an important part in releasing and facilitating the tendency of the organism toward psychological development. The true quantum leap, however, is offered by homeopathy, which is able to remove miasmatic blockages to bring the best out of one’s constitution. With constitutional treatment homeopathy can get to the very basic root of our impediment to self-actualization, setting the individual free to become himself and to activate and express all the capacities of his self – to live not die. However, psychic forces are among the most important factors that can mistune the vital force and may even be an obstacle to cure hindering the success of homeopathic treatment. As psychic forces can reach into the realm of dynamics, psychotherapy has the potential to re-balance the vital force to a certain extent, and is a valuable tool to address maintaining causes. Psychotherapeutic concepts aid us to better understand our patients, their delusions and distorted perceptions, to support finding the best suited remedy, as well as to educate the patient, and to accompany their process of healing, growth and development.
Homeopathy’s concept is more comprehensive than the person-centered approach to psychotherapy, encompassing any dynamic factor that may disturb the vital force. Hahnemann has developed a truly comprehensive approach to treatment which allows one to integrate Roger’s approach to enhance and facilitate the effectiveness of treatment. The person-centered approach can be well integrated into homeopathic treatment, be it in case anamnesis, follow up treatment and case management, to establish rapport and a therapeutic relationship, which is most important to rapidly gain the patient’s trust to open him up and talk about his symptoms.
The progress made in the process of reaching congruence and self-actualization may serve as a further tool in case management and to measure the outcome of therapy: To the same degree as the individual moves towards realizing his true self, healing proceeds. Knowing that changes are facilitated in helpful relationships the homeopath may strive to fill this place by providing the appropriate attitude of being emphatic, congruent and accepting.
Healing is a continuous movement toward harmony and balance. With both methods the person’s ability to heal is given assistance by addressing factors getting in the way of healing that complement each other. To be successful in our endeavor as homeopaths we may incorporate the saying of the famous Austrian homeopath Mathias Dorcsi:
“You have to make an effort and to take the time to meet the patient, to listen to him and to try to understand him. You have to grasp him as a person and individual, as someone, who has never found his person, and someone who has been forced to overtake a certain role (person), to play, or who has been hindered to chose and live his role.“ 
- Samuel Hahnemann, Lesser Writings, p.243
- H.F. Ellenberger, The discovery of the unconscious, p.765
- Carl Rogers, Eine Theorie der Psychotherapie, p.21
- Carl R. Rogers, Do we need “a” reality?
- Carl Rogers, Therapeut und Klient, p.21
- Carl Rogers, The quite revolutionary, p.247
- Carl Rogers, Eine Theorie, p.26
- Carl Rogers, On Becoming A Person
- Carl Rogers, The Carl Rogers Reader, p.119
- Carl Rogers, On Becoming A Person,p.21
- Carl Rogers, The quiet revolutionaty, p.259
- Samuel Hahnemann, Band I, Chronische Krankheiten, p. 139
- Samuel Hahnemann, Band I, Chronische Krankheiten, p. 140
- Carl Rogers, Eine Theorie der Psychotherapie, p.19
- Carl Rogers, Entwicklung der Persönlichkeit, p.24
- Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person,p.23
- Carl Rogers, The quiet revolutionary, p.279
- [Constantin Hering, Vom Aufstellen des Krankheitsbildes
- Samuel Hahnemann, §9 Organon
- Carl Rogers, Der neue Mensch, p. 75
- Carl Rogers, The Carl Rogers Reader, p.112
- Carl Rogers, On becoming a person, p108
- Luc de Schepper, The Advanced Clinical Guide to the Homeopathic Practice
- Carl Rogers, On becoming a person, p.175
- M.Dorcsi, Das Konstitutionsdenken in der Homöopathie, Documenta Homeopathica, p.97
- Sheldrake, New science of life, p.95
- Carl Rogers on Personal Power, p.186
- Carl Rogers, Person to person, Pocket books, 1967
- Carl R.Rogers, Eine Theorie der Psychotherapie, Ernst Reinhardt Verlag, 1959
- Carl Rogers, On becoming a person, Mariner books, 1961
- Carl Rogers, Die Kraft des Guten, Kindler Verlag, 1977
- Carl Rogers: The Quiet Revolutionary, Penmarin Books, 2002
- Carl R.Rogers, Therapeut und Klient,Fischer Verlag, 2004
- Carl R.Rogers, Die nicht-direktive Beratung, Fischer Verlag, 2010
- Samuel Hahnemann, Lesser Writings
- Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Gesprächspsychotherapie e.V. – Der personenzentrierte Ansatz
- Samuel Hahnemann, Organon der Heilkunst, 6.Auflage, Barthel&Barthel Verlag, 1999
- H.Kirschenbaum, V.L.Henderson, The Carl Rogers Reader, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1989
- Norman Claringbull, What is counseling and psychotherapy?
- George Boeree, Personality theories
- Douglas Brown, Paradigm Shift: Homeopathy as Applied Consciousness
- Kathy Jo Hall, Carl Rogers
- Natalie Rogers, Carl Rogers
- AG Personenzentrierte Gesprächsführung, Persönlichkeitsentwicklung durch Begegnung, Österreichischer Bundesverlag, Wien
- The discovery of the unconscious: The History and evolution of dynamic psychiatry, H.F. Ellenberger, Basic Books, 1970
- Luc de Schepper, The Advanced Clinical Guide to the Homeopathic Practice
- Hapthy.com: Luc de Schepper, Using Carl Jung’s definition of the core delusion to understand your patient in the homeopathic practice
- H.F. Ellenberger, The discovery of the unconscious: The History and evolution of dynamic psychiatry, Basic Books, 1970
- Constantin Hering, „Vom Aufstellen des Krankheitsbildes“, Archiv für die homöopathische Heilkunst, Band 11, 3. Heft; Leipzig, 1831
- Carl Rogers, Der neue Mensch,
- Luc de Schepper, The Advanced Clinical Guide to the Homeopathic Practice
- Mathias Dorcsi, Das Konstitutionsdenken in der Homöopathie, Documenta Homeopathica
- Rupert Sheldrake, New science of life
- Carl Rogers, The Carl Rogers Reader, Mariner Books, 1989
- Carl Rogers on Personal Power, Constable London, 1978