Asking Questions

philosophy Mar 25, 2021

Sometimes when we receive a case it comes to us on a silver platter. This happens when the person delivers their story and it is so rich and full of descriptors that it makes our jobs very easy in understanding what is asking to be healed, selecting rubrics, and coming to the remedy. But it is not always so easy. Sometimes the person is not accustomed to sharing their life and will report just names of their physical diseases. This does not offer much to the homeopath in the way of understanding the subtle nuances that are necessary for correct homeopathic prescribing.

Many times the person will be able to describe their disease in allopathic terms and know much more about it than you; the homeopath. It is helpful to let them speak and not stop their flow even if it seems that the information you are receiving may not be that useful in prescribing. When this occurs, I listen closely to how they are delivering their story and for any ways that they refer to their experience of the suffering.

I call these moments "cracks" in their story and I make a note to come back and ask more. I will ask an open-ended question in reference to this part of the story. Then it is necessary to ask how they feel about what they have reported. This starts to get them talking about themselves instead of a clinical report of their disease.

At every level of their sensation, the next question will be: "And how does that feel?" Eventually, they will be providing many rich descriptors of what their dis-ease is about. Many times it becomes very apparent from which kingdom the remedy will come based on the stories and sensations they share. If you persist long enough, they will always tell you their core disturbance. They will speak in the language of their dis-ease. You may very well hear them describe the very remedy by the words they choose. Always pay close attention to the metaphor of what they are speaking about. It will show up everywhere in the case.

When it seems that a person is stuck, I will often ask them to tell me a story. They often ask, "What kind of story?" My response is, "Any story. Just tell me a story." It is amazing that without any more prompting, I will learn more about their dis-ease and their suffering by the story they will tell than any other place else during the consultation.

Sometimes it is beneficial to ask ourselves a question in regards to the case. "If this person were completely well in all ways, what would that look like?" Often this will point out quickly what is asking to be healed. It helps get us out of the repertizing mindset and into the realm of simply seeing the case in a more simple manner. 

I often see my students miss the big picture because they get too focused on the details. Always step back and feel the case. Never ask leading questions unless it is to confirm a remedy, and always make them open-ended so there is no expected right or wrong answer. Hear the case as a story of fact, as an expression of feeling and the sensations they speak about. With these synthesized properly, a complete picture of the dis-ease can be formed. By probing deeper into the sensations of the case, you will hear the language of the remedy speak.

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