David Witko, FSHom (Hon), DiHom, FBIH
I have been developing homeopathic software for nearly 30 years and while I have received wonderful feedback telling me how my work has aided practitioners I am always striving to do better. As I travelled the world listening to many teachers explaining their systems and methods, something has become very apparent to me: they all achieve good results!
This suggests to me that many different approaches to case analysis work and while some practitioners get good results focusing on one method or system only, there are also practitioners who use a variety of different methods (depending on the case) who also get good results (so there's room for versatility)
Who I created Families for
When I developed the Families software I kept in mind two distinct groups of homeopaths:
Those who like to work primarily with a families approach to case analysis - these types of practitioners would want to see the themes of the case pointing to the Ranunculacea family before giving Pulsatilla, for example.
Or they may decide a patient needs a mineral rx, want to see the themes of the Kalis in the case before prescribing Kali-s (a similar rx to Pulsatilla)
The second group are what I would call the 'more traditional' homeopaths.
Much of the time they will break up the words of the patient into specific rubrics and repertorise their cases.
This second group might use the families approach as a supplement to more traditional methods (and homeopathic software) rather than using the families approach exclusively. This group would see the families approach as 'another string to their bow' as it were.
In other words when the more traditional approach either doesn't lead to a remedy that seems to fit well, or when a remedy prescribed in the more traditional way doesn't bring good results - other approaches are then considered.
Certainly one of the problems with repertorisation is that the polycrests will always dominate the smaller remedies.
The following quotation from David Mundy (an eminent homeopath in the UK) explains this well:
"Rather than jumping to specific symptoms I first decide the Kingdom, Sub-kingdom and Miasm of the case . This can be done by looking at the themes and language of the patient. This is where the 'Families software' helps. Then I repertorise and only consider remedies within the group/family that I had narrowed the patient down to. The problem with repertorisation is that polycrests always come up high - the more symptoms you put in the more likely Sulphur, Lycopodium, Calc etc come up. And if you pick the wrong rubrics you get the wrong remedies coming up.
However, I (do) always place the greatest importance on symptoms with definite Modalities, and that includes physical symptoms. These can and should be repertorised. I think that these days, where much of the case history is emotional suffering, it's a minefield and it's easy to get confused. But.. "Headache relieved by urination"... that's a great symptom! "
When Families might be used
The following scenario shows why being versatile could be very useful!
Just imagine..a client walks through your door. He is 6 feet tall and heavily muscled - it is obvious he works hard in the gym! A few minutes into the case you have quickly found that he has come for help with his asthma. You find out that he has a thick yellow nasal discharge, he is made much worse working outside in the sun but that he also prefers open (fresh) air. He also tells you that he drinks very little.
Now, what are you thinking? Like me you might quickly say - this has all the classic keynotes of a Pulsatilla case.
Some practitioners would prescribe Pulsatilla. Others would say - "I need to take more of the case. Let me find out what kind of person he is...how does this illness make him feel,,,is he weepy and tearful and mild".....and so on
Further conversation reveals that he is actually a very angry person with history of repeated violence. Although he has a very successful regular job he chooses to work 3 nights a night as a doorman at a local nightclub. His is racist, sexist and every other 'ist' you can imagine. He curses and swears all the time when talking to you. He is openly motivated only by money and sex - which he pursues all the time. He tells you that 'everything is about money and how to get it - "at least I am open about it - most people just lie and hide". You feel uncomfortable with him as you sense the violence is 'real'.
Now what? Would you still give Pulsatilla?
As a homeopath I would expect that you don't prescribe rx (like Pulsatilla) simply on a few keynotes no matter how 'obvious' they seem. If you possess computer software no doubt you would repertorise the case which would lead you to Pulsatilla and hopefully some other 'Pulsatilla-like' remedies for you to consider.
As you know, however, there are many situations when the patient may return (if you are lucky) after a month to report no improvement from the Pulsatilla you gave. What do you do then?
Many homeopaths are now realising the value of using different case analysis approaches. The Families software allows you to view your cases through the prism of a families based analysis.
How does the Families analysis work?
One very important thing to understand is that the Families software does not use rubrics or modailities or symptoms. Rather the software leads you through a Guided approach to case analysis.
You are then prompted to ask the following 4 things:
- What are actual deep seated PROBLEMS that need to be addressed?
- How does the client perceive their own SITUATION?
- How do they FEEL about the situation they find themselves in?
- How do they REACT to their issues (what conditions do they have and how do they react)
....and for each of the above many choices are given - all you have to do is select each one that applies. The software will then match these choices to its large database and display for you the leading Remedies, Families and Miasms.
Using Families will certainly make your case analysis more versatile and will hopefully improve your results. I also took time to include lots of educational material about each family/group in the software. This means you can also deepen your knowledge about families as you use the software
How I created Families
Over the years I have been collecting many of the various themes and expressions that homeopaths have observed as related to certain families.
The pioneering work of Jan Scholten and also Rajan Sankaran has widened our understanding tremendously. As more and more new remedies have been proven and themes of more and more families understood our collective knowledge has grown.
I believe homeopathy is indebted to the work of Scholten and Sankaran - without these brave pioneers our work would be poorer. Where Scholten unlocked the elements and minerals for us, Sankaran opened up the plants and animals! By utilising the knowledge of both of these masters the Families software allows you to easily analyse your cases across all the kingdoms.
More recently, these and several other authors have published amazing and informative works that explain the themes of the various families.
I created a large database of words, themes and expressions of all the families - drawing on the findings of many modern day masters. And then I created the Families software to examine the words and issues of the patient and to match them to the words assocoiated with al of the families!
The result is a tool you can use alongside your favourite repertory software if you traditionally repertorise your cases or you can use it as a primary tool to help get you quickly into the 'right area'.
Families will allow you to work with the Lanthanides as easily as the Solanacea and the Snakes as easily as the Kalis!