AV: Now I want to ask a question! What do you consider to be the hardest part in working with this method?
AvdM: Well, the most difficult thing for me is to know when the patient is talking from the vital level and when not.
AV: I see. Maybe I can give a few more hints. Some patients use a lot of images, these are part of the patient’s way of expressing. We should be careful then not to get lost in a description but just take note of the patient’s tendency to use colorful language. Idiomatic use of language and expressions that are common, usually are Level 3 or 4. ‘Work like a dog’, ‘hungry as horse’, ‘in the gutter like a rat’; all these expressions are common and we shouldn’t go into them. Every time we encourage the patient to go into his images, we’ll get more images. These images originate from the imagination, not from the vital disturbance.
AvdM: You do ask the patient often to tell you more. I have seen you do it many times, even when other homeopaths would have left it.
AV: Yes, but you have to know when to ask for more. You have probably noticed as well that I hardly ever make a choice about what I want to hear more about. I only ask ‘more about this, please’ without specifying the ‘this’.
AvdM: And ‘this’ is?
AV: The subjects the patient came with, nothing else. I leave it to the patient to make the choice. We have a saying; “What the heart thinks, the mouth speaks.” It means that the patient will always choose the topic that is directly related to his vital disturbance.
AvdM: Do you have more tips?
AV: The vital sensation makes a pattern; it explains every important symptom in the case. Not the trivial ones like a preference for romantic movies or a dislike for boiled eggs, but all those very characteristic features that put together make the case.
AvdM: You stress the idea of this pattern a lot, in your books and lectures, but in the consultation I find it very difficult to discern this pattern.
AV: You can compare it to a puzzle. In the beginning, it just looks like loose pieces but as you start to put these pieces together, you start to see the picture. Even if you haven’t laid out the whole puzzle, there is that moment when you have added enough pieces to see what the picture is. Then it doesn’t matter if you have pieces left that don’t fit in yet. In the beginning of a consultation the pieces look scattered and unconnected but we know for sure they are pieces of one pattern, of the remedy picture. In order to know if what the patient is telling us belongs to this pattern, we shouldn’t bring in anything, we should just
After the similimum listen and encourage the patient to go deeper. We know the information is vital when it is irrational, illogical, not in proportion, inappropriate, inexplicable, incomprehensible, bizarre, and never heard of. Even mistakes, unusual expressions, strange sequences, weird examples and especially repetitions are important. Once you hear the vital sensation, you will notice it everywhere; it is in every sentence the patient speaks!
AvdM: I think of the image you would give during my training: the patient is talking and every time he says something that seems meaningful or SRP or something incomprehensible that seems important, we note it as a ‘dot’. Like the game we would play as kids where we connected the dots following the numbers, and in the end we would have a figure. You would say that case taking is very much like tracing the dots and finding the figure.
AV: And you see it is not that difficult: even a child can do it!