Homeopathy Repertory

Thinking in Repertorese

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Do you ever think of a symptom, but it doesn’t show up in the repertory? Today’s repertories and software are often based on Kent’s Repertory, so it’s helpful to know how to translate some of the words. Below are suggestions for finding the proper rubrics.  Another problem is translating the patient’s statements into rubrics.  It can feel overwhelming at first, when faced with an onslaught of words and emotions. Don’t despair!  This is just a learned skill, and below are exercises for that as well. Good case taking!

1. Think of synonyms or older words which have the same meaning. For instance, if your patient isBossy”, try “Dictatorial”.  If he is “Critical”, consider “Censorious”, or   “Reproaches others”.

2. Ask yourself,What behaviors does that word represent?”   “Agoraphobia” is found in Kent under “Going out, aversion to”, “Fear – out of doors”, “Fear, crowd, in a”.

3. If the symptom describes unusual thoughts, look under “Delusions.”

A woman thinks everyone is watching her – Delusion: Looking at her, that everyone is.

4. If the symptom is a few words, try looking up each word.  “Fear that something terrible will happen,” is found in the Delusions section as:  “Happen, something terrible will”.  If a person lacks will power to undertake anything, this is found as “Undertakes – lacks will power to undertake anything.”

Here are some symptoms in ordinary language and then the words used in Kent’s repertory.

Ordinary language Repertory Language
Indecisive Irresolute
Adventurous Audacity, Courageous, Rashness etc.
Guilt Remorse, Reproaches himself, Anger-mistakes-own, Anxiety, conscience of, Delirium- blames himself, delusion- crime as if he committed etc.
Apathy Indifference, Ennui, Amusement-averse, Heedless
Regret Remorse, Anguish, Anger-mistakes own, Anxiety -conscience,  Reproaches himself, etc.
Greed Avarice, Desires -more than she needs, Envy,  Selfishness
Bad tempered Irritability, Contrary, Unfriendly, Unfriendly-humor
Domineering Dictatorial, Reproaches others, Censorious
Condescending Haughty, Contemptuous, Delusion- better than others.
Boredom Ennui, under Generals see- Lassitude)
Critical, Blames others Censorious, Reproaches others, faultfinding, Conscientious about trifles, haughty.
Resentment Anger with indignation, Brooding, Dwells on past events, etc.
Dedicated Pertinacity (holding to an opinion), Defiant, Courageous etc
Pessimistic Discouraged, Delusions- everything will fail, succeed cannot.  Fears- undertaking anything, Helplessness- feeling of, Undertakes- lacks will power to undertake anything.
Easy going Tranquility, Mildness, Quiet disposition.
Argumentative Quarrelsome, Contradict- disposition to, Contrary, Fight – wants to, anger
Creative Concentration – active, Ideas-abundant, Plans, Theorizing, Thoughts – profound
Critical of self Reproaches self, Anger- mistakes over his, Contemptuous, of self, Delirium-blames himself, Discontented- himself  with
Feels criticized Sensitive-over sensitive, Despair from smallest criticism, Admonition aggravates. Delusion: accused, thinks she is; insulted he is; looked down upon; imagines he is laughed at, etc
Compassionate Sympathetic, Benevolence, Affectionate, Anxiety for others.
Stealing Kleptomania
Introverted Company- averse to, Talk- indisposed to, Bashful, Reserved, Quiet disposition, Amelioration when alone, Secretive, Timidity.
Extroverted Company- desire for , Cheerful in company, Alone while, aggravates, etc.
Spontaneous Impetuous, Impulsive, Quick to act.
Plans everything Carefulness, Cautious, Fastidious.
Emotional Excitement, Exhilaration, High spirited, Irritability When excited.
Hard working Industrious, Activity -desires, Busy, Occupation ameliorates,  Exertion ameliorates, Work -desires, Irritability- idle while.
Sense of justice or fairness Weeping- sympathy for others, anxiety – others for, Sensitive- over sensitive- cruelties hearing of, Sensitive to moral impressions, discontented, Sympathetic.
Inconsistent Inconstancy, Undertakes many things, Persists in nothing, Mood-changeable, Capricious.
Lazy Indolence,  Exertion- aggravation from mental, Fear-Work, Loathing work –  Time- fritters away his , Work- aversion to mental, Business-  averse to. (Under Generals see -Exertion- physical aggravates. )
Stubborn Obstinate, Contrary, Pertinacity, etc.
Obsessional Thoughts-persistent, same idea repeated,  See also Anxiety, Fears, etc.
Optimistic Cheerful, Hopeful, etc.
Perfectionism Anger- mistakes-his own, Reproaches himself, Rest-cannot when things aren’t in place, Anxiety of conscience, Delusions: Right-does nothing, Thinks he has done wrong, deserves reproach, neglected his duty, etc.
Lies Lies, Deceitful, Untruthful, Slander- disposition to.
Pessimism Discouraged, Helplessness, Lamenting, Undertakes- lacks will power to undertake anything,  Wrong-everything seems, Delusion: fail- everything will, succeed cannot-does everything  wrong,  Fears undertaking anything,
Sloppy Indifference-personal appearance to
Premonition Clairvoyance,  Prophesying,  Death- presentiment of, Fear- that something will happen, Sleep: Dreams- clairvoyant, events not taken place, prophetic, visionary. Delusion: Happen-something terrible will.
Fear of Responsibility Anxiety- anything expected of him, Fears- undertaking anything, Timidity, Cowardice, etc
Responsible Conscientious -about trifles, Industrious, Sensitive to moral impressions, etc.
Conflicted/Ambivalent Antagonism with herself, Thoughts- two trains of, Irresolution, Will- pulled in two directions, Undertakes things opposed, Confusion- identity.
Talkative Loquacious, Talk- wants to, Gossiping, Reveals secrets, Speech- babbling, Delirium- changing subjects rapidly, Delirium loquacious.
Vanity Egotism, Haughty, Affectation, Aloof,  Flattery- desires, Contemptuous, Deeds-feels  as if he could do great, etc.
Mentally foggy Stupefaction, Dullness, Prostration of mind, Torpor, Unobserving, Concentration difficult, Thoughts- wandering, Memory- weakness.
Megalomania Power- love of, Egotism, Contradiction- intolerant of, etc.
Humiliation Mortification, Embarrassed, Reproach- ailments from,  Chagrin, Indignation, Honour- effects of wounded.
Fantasies See under “Delusions”
Excessive tidiness Fastidious, Conscientious about trifles, Rest-cannot when things are not in place, Washing- always washing her hands, Delusions: Contaminates everything, feels dirty, (Under Generalities see “Uncleanliness aggravates”).
Abandoned Forsaken, Estranged, (See also various Delusions: eg. Affection of friends-has lost, deserted feels, friendless he is, etc.
Tendency to drink alcohol Dipsomania, (also under  Stomach: Desires -alcohol)
Delirium Tremens Mania a potu
Rebellious Contrary, Defiant, Obstinate, Pertinacity
Head in the clouds – Absorbed- buried in thought, Abstraction, Theorizing, Absent minded, Thoughts-thoughtful, Fancies- absorbed in etc.
Hypochondriac Anxiety -health- hypochondriacal, Despair-health of recovery,  Doubtful -recovery, Delusions : disease-has every, feels he has ruined, sickness-imagined.
Dependent Helplessness, feeling of
Over talkative Loquacious/  Talking- pleasure in his own

Here are statements patients might make, and some appropriate rubrics:

“I’m a shoplifter” –       kleptomania

“I’m a workaholic “ –     industrious

“I lie in bed worrying about everything” –   Anxiety – evening in bed/ lying while

“I feel spacey and can’t focus “–   Absent minded, thoughts wander,  concentration difficult.

“I’m painfully shy” –       Timidity

“I get pissed when people disagree with me” – Anger- contradiction from

“I never felt the need to work. I like to sit around” – Indolence/ Sit-inclination to

“I felt like I was going to die” – Death- sensation of

“I never finish anything” –   Inconstancy

“I can never make up my mind” – Irresolute

“I hear every little sound” – Sensitive – noise to

“I hate wearing clothes. I’m a nudist”. – Naked- wants to be

I don’t want to answer questions” – Answers -refuses to

“I think I might have cancer, heart disease or arthritis” – Anxiety- health  about

“I feel I’m never going to get better” – Despair of recovery

“I sleep on the couch, the floor, or window sill- never the bed” – Bed – aversion to

“I have to work hard to concentrate” –  Concentration- difficult

“I can’t stand being around women” – Women- aversion to

“I will die at midnight” – Death- presentiment of- predicts time

“I can’t seem to stop my thoughts” – Thoughts- persistent

“I am Christ arisen” –  Delusion- Christ- thinks himself to be

“I got cramps after being embarrassed” – Mortification -ailments after

“I cry when people speak to me” -Weeping- spoken to when

“My thoughts are always in conflict” Will- contradiction of

“Everyone is more fortunate than me. I never got a break”– Unfortunate -feels

“I spit right in their faces”- Spits in faces of people

“I’m not taking any remedies” – Refuses to take medicine

“I gets sick worrying about things in advance – Anticipation- complaints from

“I want to try out for the team but I’m afraid I’m not good enough” – Confidence- want of self / discouraged, Delusion: – succeed- thinks he cannot

“I just can’t mingle at parties. I don’t know how to act.  I can’t even ask someone to dance”. Shy, Bashful, Timid, Reserved

I’ve lost my job. That was my life work. It was everything. I’ll never have a chance like that again. There’s nothing I can do”. Grief, Despair, Sadness, Helplessness, Inconsolable

“Why can’t they schedule these appointments better?  I’ve been waiting for over an hour.  I don’t want to spend all day here. Impatience

“I’ve got no character. I started drinking again. My family thinks I quit. I don’t want them to find out I failed”. (Remorse, Reproaches himself, Anxiety-conscience of.

Turning a Patient’s Words into Rubrics

Find rubrics to describe these statements.  (Answers at the end)

Abbreviations:  Pt= Patient,  Hom= Homeopath


Pt: I’m sorry I’m late.

Hom: No problem, it’s only five minutes.

Pt: Well, you said three o’clock and I should have been here.  I do everything wrong .  My son just dropped out of school and I couldn’t stop him.. I wasn’t a good parent. I should have been more firm with him, given him more direction.  I never learned how to be a parent. I didn’t give him what he needed. I should have gone back to school, made something of myself, been a better role model for him. Now he has no one to look up to.



Hom: What brings you here?

Pt: What kind of a question is that? What do you think brings me here, I’m sick!

Hom: Would you like to tell me about it?

Pt: Of course!  (Describes various physical problems..then)  It’s difficult at work. I told them I couldn’t do heavy lifting. So what do they do?  They stick me at a desk filing papers all day!  I said, “I’m not going to shuffle papers.”  So then they had me answering phones. They can’t treat me like that. I can file a suit.



Pt: I have this back pain for the last 3 months.

Hom: Could you describe it?

Pt: Well, it’s like my cosmic energy is swirled around the wrong way. I  think I opposed the order of the universe and this is the reverberation manifested somatically.

Hom: What part of your back hurts?

Pt: I don’t know if it makes sense to limit ourselves to the body, since that’s just an extension or densification of our energy field. I mean, one part is all parts, is every part!



Pt: I think about those movie stars, you know, all the money they get. And what do they do? Nothing! Anybody can do that. I bet they all knew somebody. There’s a fellow at work, who just started. Makes twice what I do. Why didn’t they offer me that job?  I know everything he knows. He wears expensive suits, drives home is a big car, probably gets all the women.



Pt: Here are my medical records as you requested. “They are in chronological order and I’ve put tabs on the outside to make them easier to locate.

Hom: Thank you for going to all that trouble.

Pt: No trouble at all.  I like a sense of order.  I’m not comfortable with disorganization or clutter. Books should be returned to where you found them, as should silverware. I believe in being conscientious.  I told a friend I would return her pen on Thursday. It was pouring rain, but I walked a mile to her house to hand it to her!



Pt: I never sit in the house alone because I start getting nervous, thinking about dying. I feel like I’m all alone in the world.  As soon as people come over I cheer up.  I really like having company around.


Answers 1-6

#1 Reproaches himself.  Anger-mistakes- own. Delusion -right-does nothing.

#2  Contrary, Contradict- disposition to, Quarrelsome, Defiant,  Irritability, Fight-wants to , Anger- when he has to answer.

#3 Abstraction, Theorizing, Fancies- absorbed in.

#4  Jealousy

#5 Fastidious, Conscientious about trifles, Rest, cannot , when things are not in place.

#6 Company – desire for, Cheerful in Company, Anxiety alone, Death-thinks of, Delusion- alone feels.

# # #

Alan V. Schmukler is a homeopath and educator. He is the author of Homeopathy: An A to Z Home Handbook. You can visit his website at www.healgently.com. Questions and comments are welcome 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.


  • Brilliant! Very helpful, esp to a beginner like myself (often can’t find the rubric I want.) Loved the straight-faced humour of ‘translate patient’s… into rubrics’ task too!
    Many thanks.

  • Hi Mary Lynn, I’m glad you found this helpful. This is an often overlooked aspect of homeopathic practice, yet this knowledge is essential to working a case.

  • Alan, just wanted to tell you this article of yours have always been helpful as I refer to it many a times when I am stuck up. Thanks for making homeopathy very easy with your useful inputs.

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