The purpose of the cases in this book is to provide an illustration of the remedy. They are not meant to be a proof nor a full description of what has happened. The purpose is that the reader can get a feeling for and an understanding of the remedy readily and easily.
The descriptions are kept concise so that the reader can get an impression fast; repetitions and irrelevant information are left out.
Story: the information is presented in a logical order, so to make it a story. For example, some symptoms might be presented at the start of the case, whereas they were told by the patient in the third follow-up. My colleague Bob Leckeridge has pointed out beautifully that the history of the patient can also be expressed as “his story”. Stories can be incorporated and remembered more easily. The words and expression that the patient used are kept as precise as can be in a translation. This is important as the language of the patient is very characteristic for his state of being and as such, for the remedy.
Order: the cases start with the main symptom, followed by the problem and behind that the cause; this can be seen as the essence of the case.
Then follows further psychological information, life story, further disease information, generals, analysis and follow-up.
In cases where other remedies were given, the information belonging to those remedies is left out or presented very briefly; this is done to avoid confusion. It brings the risk that some information of the remedy is not represented. That’s why I wrote the generals completely in most cases, as they are the most difficult to discern as belonging to the remedy or not. Some might say that it remains to be seen which information is relevant or not. I must admit that it’s disputable, but I’ve tried to sort out what belongs to every remedy as much as possible. Some might say that when more than one remedy has been given there might be or must be a remedy that covers both. As most of them will frequently refer to Hahnemann, I like to point to the fact that Hahnemann, most of the time prescribed many remedies in succession.
Patient's words: all descriptions are in the words of the patient. I’ve left out my own observations. Instead I’ve used my observations in the consultation to let the patient tell what I perceived. By addressing the topic of my observation, the patient was able to tell how he perceives it.
It will be clear that I see symptoms and complaints as meaningful, or at least I try to find the meaning of them. In this sense I’ve left behind the traditional way of seeing symptoms as separate from each other, as “loose sand”. My path in homeopathy has led me to the vision that every symptom has a meaning and can be understood.
The follow-up is also in the form of a summary. The essentials are written down to give a good impression of what and how much the remedy helped the patient in curing himself.
To use a case for publication, it must be a good case, meaning that the patient is completely cured. But in my experience there are no patients that are completely cured. Every person is in development. Of course there are many "good" cases where the patient is doing much better and where the main complaints and the essence of the problem have disappeared. But there are also many cases that do much better, the main complaint has disappeared, but there are still other problems left. Are these "good" cases?
The division between "good cases" and "not good cases" is very crude. I've developed four scores, to give a better impression of what the case can show the reader. The four scores are:
They are discussed in the chapter "Case scores".
The duration of the cure is often seen as the most important factor for a good case. Some say that the patient has to be well on the same remedy over a period of one year, or two years. Some cases in this book have a shorter duration. In my experience, it's already possible to predict the good effect after one month, when the patient is doing really well. In cases where there is a nice short initial aggravation and when the patient has developed an insight in his problem and changed his life accordingly, then we can predict that the cure will last. This is in my experience highly reliable. The reason for this is that insight is cure on the highest level, or almost the highest level. It's much deeper than emotional changes or energy increase.
The cases in this book are investigated a lot more thoroughly than in "Homeopathy and Minerals" and in "Homeopathy and the Elements". The quality of the effect has been scored not only in the form of a personal assessment of the writer, but also in the form of case scores and quality of life. Patients were contacted often after many years to ask them about the follow-up and give their impression, additions and corrections of the text of their case. I've done this as a consequence of the criticism of some homeopaths that the cases in the previous books were not assessed well and didn't have enough follow-up.