– Anne Vervarcke, ‘Homeopathy Strange Rare and Peculiar,’
(AV= Anne Vervarcke AvdM= An van de Moortel)
AvdM: We covered the whole field of what can happen after the remedy. I will put forth as important: first a clear assumption of the kind of case you have in front of you, a realistic prognosis, all conditions for a healing setting fulfilled from all sides. This leaves us with case management.
AV: Although it is a crucial part of the treatment it is hard to elucidate it theoretically. That is why I do cases in public and demonstrate it on the spot. It is quite easy to argue with your students why you would give this or that remedy, but with the patient coming back in front of the same group with intervals of two months, four months, six months later and one year later, it is a whole different story. That is the moment of truth! It is where you prove your analysis was false or right, it is then that everybody for himself can see the patient and evaluate whether the remedy acted or not.
AvdM: I agree that there is no better way to prove your point and I’m happy to have had the opportunity to be present in Master Classes and live seminars. Video cases are instructive for teaching purposes but the live cases are the real thing.
AV: Indeed, one can work with video cases to make a point clear. In the training you can’t do without: you can show only the clarifying part, you can stop the case and explain and you can give the students time to reflect. During seminars the video cases are instructive to learn about a new remedy or group of remedies.
AvdM: You said it often discouraged you as a beginner because you compared your mediocre cases to these magnificent and grandiose cases that were shown in the seminars. Is that why you don’t use video cases as much?
AV: I didn’t realize at that time that the cases shown were
the best cases the speaker had in his whole career and that he prepared and edited the case for his lecture. This made him occupy a different position than the listener; he knew the outcome, he knew everything the patient was going to say, he could leave out parts that were less suitable or didn’t fit that well, he had heard the case many times and had looked up every possible rubric and information he could get. By no means did he know all this at the moment the patient walked out his door after the intake. But this is the situation the listener is in, he hears everything for the first time. So you see, they are in unequal positions.
AvdM: And that is why you want to give live cases, resembling as closely as possible our situation in our daily practice?
AV: Yes and another reason is because of case management. It is virtually impossible to teach this in the homeopathic training, which just isn’t long enough for it. Students start to take cases only in their third year. By the time they finish their training, they haven’t yet treated many patients all by themselves. They might have read and seen many cases, but doing it yourself is a whole different story altogether. That’s the reason why we allow students in their last year in the Master Classes, and after they finish their basic training they can continue to come for as long as they want. In this way they are able to witness the followups of the patients for one, two, three years. They can see the ups and down during the healing process, they can each time question themselves: what would I have done if this were my patient?
AvdM: I can easily reply to this question! I would change the remedy much more quickly than you do.
AV: Not only you, many homeopaths would. That’s why I think it is important to evaluate and discuss in all details what is happening and witness, see with your own eyes,that it is possible and common that a patient improves with one single dose let’s say of a 200K for four, six, even nine months. Sometimes a patient keeps improving for a year and then we don’t repeat as long as things go well because….
AvdM: …. “don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken”, I remember this one from the training! For homeopaths who can’t be present at the live case sessions, the second best thing is to read your books with the case reports of the Master Classes. The first one is ‘The Postgraduate Annual 2006’, (the Master Classes were formerly called ‘Postgraduate’), and then your book with even more explanation and analysis ‘Voorbij Lichaam en Geest’ (Beyond Body and Mind) which is being translated into English. I particularly enjoyed this book because of the interruptions by Christel Lombaerts who voiced the questions of the students in the analytical sessions.
AV: In the first book this setup is missing because only the verbatim report and the analysis were given. We realized that there is a whole lot more happening during the Master Class days which was not reflected in the book. So the questions were very helpful to me to have an opportunity to explain what I otherwise wouldn’t have known to be a doubt or a difficulty for the students.