Author: Jan Scholten
The information from cases seems objective at first glance. At a second glance the information is less objective, less fixed. The meaning of words depends on the user. Everyone who has done case taking will know that it is quite difficult for people to find the right words for their feelings, to express what is going on precisely. The use of language as an intermediary of the real sensation and experiences make the information less trustworthy.
Information in a case, or clearly spoken problem of a patient is always limited.
The limitation is on the one hand coming from the patient. It is often not easy to find the right words for an emotion or sensation. Problems are only partly conscious. The deepest part of the problem is always unknown to the patient otherwise he would not have the problem anymore. Often the problem only becomes clear to the patient after the prescription of the right remedy.
On the other hand there is the limitation of the doctor. The art is to know what one sees. Many cases in this book are quite old, taken 10 or 20 years ago. In retrospect those old cases are quite limited, the information is superficial and the essence of the problem is unclear. They were often prescribed on a keynote without an understanding of the underlying problem but often one still gets glimpses of the pictures as they are emerging in this book. This is why they are presented.
Cases are presented in a short, condensed way. First this is done for readability reasons, so that the reader doesn’t have to go through a long story to get to the essence of a story. It is like a presentation between colleagues where the essence is told in a few sentences. Follow ups and analyses have been left out when they would not have added any information. In those cases that implies that the patient in general was much better, his energy and mood were much better and his complaints were gone or almost gone.
A second reason is considerations of space. This book would have become too thick with all the cases written out as the consultations progressed.
Cases are presented as illustration of the classification. They are not meant as proof, which would be impossible anyway. The proof of this classification can only be found in one’s own practice.
That is why only the problem is presented and not the whole story of the patient. Information that is superficial, accidental or too general is left out. This is especially done when more than one remedy has been given in the course of a treatment.
One can see an evolution in the cases. Cases from the far past are often superficial, lacking essential information. Later cases have a much better case taking, an idea of essence, problem and sensation. The latest cases are prescribed on the classification as presented. This shows the development of homeopathy, the understanding of remedies. The Element theory has helped to do that for the Mineral kingdom. But it also helped to discern the essential themes that belong to series and Stages and these can be applied to the Plant kingdom too. The development of essences of remedies, Series and Stages makes it possible to do a much better case taking.
There is a discussion in the homeopathic community about whether a patient needs only one remedy, the constitutional remedy, or that he needs more than one. It goes too far to discuss that theme in length here. In my opinion, patients usually need more than one remedy in the course of their life. It is a fact that most patients in practice get more than one remedy even when the first was very good, so the practice shows that several remedies are needed in most patients.