Homeopathic Treatment of Hyperactivity by HENNY HEUDENS-MAST
This book contains annotated transcripts of eight cases that appeared live in seminars in Germany and Belgium, most with many years of follow up. The transcripts include patient interviews and Henny Heudens-Mast’s explanations of her case analysis and treatment plans. While hyperactivity is a theme, these are complex cases that demonstrate the homeopathic method as it is applied in all chronic conditions.
How to use this book 7
Chapter 1: Jonas, age 5 9
Chapter 2: Patrick, age 4 ½ 61
Chapter 3: Stefan, age 10 77
Chapter 4: Mathew, age 10 121
Chapter 5: Richard, age 3 ½ 159
Chapter 6: Catherine, age 13 205
Chapter 7: Michael, age 8 231
Chapter 8: Henry, age 6 289
By Ann Jerome, PhD, CCH
Through these pages we welcome you to Henny’s classroom. Thousands of students the world over have benefited from studying with Henny, many of them returning year after year to deepen their knowledge and skills. As one of our living masters in homeopathy, Henny guides us into the future with a vision deeply grounded in experience. Elegantly clear at first glance, unfathomably deep when fully appreciated, her approach mirrors both the simplicity and the profundity of homeopathy itself.
About this book
If you are a homeopath, it will not surprise you to hear that this is primarily a book about homeopathy and in only a small way a book about hyperactivity. Homeopathy is holistic: we treat people, not conditions. To discuss the homeopathic treatment of a particular condition is to create at best a verbal shortcut and at worst a distortion of the whole enterprise.
In this book, therefore, is a treasure trove of insights about using homeopathy in light of any health condition, physical or other-wise. There are skills here for case taking, case analysis, the use of the repertory, and materia medica differentiation that can be applied in any and every case. As a sort of bonus, because the cases presented here cluster around what modern diagnosis has dubbed “hyperactivity,” there are specific tips for approaching cases with this condition, especially in children. But readers seeking universal protocols for treating hyperactivity will do better to look elsewhere than homeopathy, and elsewhere than this book.
We present here the transcripts of eight cases that appeared in seminars in Germany and Belgium mainly during the 1990s. Henny teaches live case seminars on a regular basis, with her students bringing their difficult cases to the seminar for super-vision. To demonstrate the homeopathic process, Henny conducts the interview and then afterwards leads the class through the analysis and prescription. Some cases are presented partially or entirely on video. The case remains in the practice of the student homeopath during the intervals between seminars.
This volume was constructed from notes taken by students in the seminars. It appeared first in German titled Hyperkinesie – Leitfaden zum heilenden homoopathischen Arzneimittel Band 1, and this edition is a revised and expanded translation. The original text has been edited and amplified to make the cases and Henny’s teaching clearer. The case transcripts have been kept as close as possible to verbatim to preserve the flow of the case taking and the uniqueness of each patient. Names and details have been changed to protect the patients’ privacy.
This book reproduces the live classroom with all of its interplay, serendipity, and informal discussion. Unfortunately the printed page cannot capture all the nuances of vocal tone, gesture, facial expression and body language. Sometimes the conversation may seem to skip a beat where a gesture is used for explanation, or to take a tangent, perhaps in response to a signal that is not available in a written transcript. Sometimes a joke will need to be inferred, lacking the raised eyebrow or the twinkle in the eye. We ask the reader’s patience and imagination in navigating these moments. We have preserved them intact to retain the texture of the live classroom. Language differences make for quaint expressions sometimes; asides and tangents bring in gems of insight; we see students reaching to grasp the cases and concepts just as in real life. Those who have received the great gift of studying in person with Henny will recognize her personal style of expression and teaching; those who are new to Henny will, we hope, find enough information here to gain an experience as close to live study as the printed page allows.
About Henny’s teaching
Henny’s goal as a teacher is to guide her students to think deeply and accurately so as to do justice to the power of homeopathy. The transcripts in this book reflect how she turns the seminar into a kind of apprenticeship: the classroom becomes a consulting room where students watch over the teacher’s shoulder through every step of the process. Henny often engages the Socratic Method by posing questions to spark independent reasoning. She wants her students to learn to apply homeopathic principles in thinking for themselves. Some questions may seem to go unanswered, but the context of the discussion contains the information needed to answer them.
Careful reading will also reveal Henny’s thinking during the interviews themselves, where every question has a reason and where she is consciously setting an example for students to follow. Henny addresses some questions to the parent and some to the child, always aware of the delicate social and psycho-logical dimensions of the interview process as well as of the need to establish a clear picture of the symptoms. Often Henny’s responsive attentiveness allows the child to participate significantly in conveying his or her own case. Reading between the lines of these cases is very instructive as to the delicate task of eliciting a full case from both parents and children.
Henny’s name for her students – “colleagues” – is a telling expression of her approach. All are equal in her classroom; some are of course more experienced than others, but everyone who brings integrity and dedication is welcome, and all questions are answered with care. Henny’s demeanor is respectful, encouraging, and gentle. The insights that dazzle her students are in her estimation available to any hardworking, honest homeopath; she claims no special powers beyond experience and hard work. For Henny, homeopathy truly is as Hahnemann describes it in Aphorism 2 of his Organon of the Medical Art: a modality that cures “according to clearly realizable principles” – principles she elucidates in her teaching and in this book. She offers herself as a mentor and guide, with full confidence that her students can master homeopathy to the same level as she herself has done. All kudos for success go to homeopathy itself. There is no magic here, and no grandstanding – only hard work in the service of homeopathy.
It takes only a short time in homeopathic practice to appreciate how diverse patients can be even when they carry the same diagnosis. With less-defined diagnoses and with ones whose parameters may have shifted over time, the diversity is even greater. The cases in this book are a representative sample: some patients come to us with a diagnosis in place, and some with symptoms that point to a diagnosis that has not yet been assigned. Parents may bring a child specifically for treatment of ADD or ADHD or for treatment of something else, and then receive the pleasant surprise that homeopathy can help with hyperactivity too. Since homeopathic care is not diagnosis-driven, we approach all these cases in the same way.
However, as Hahnemann insisted, remedy selection must be based on the characteristic or individualizing symptoms and not on those commonly shared among people affected by the same condition. It’s essential, therefore, to know the common symptoms and to distinguish them from the symptoms that individualize each case. Whether or not a child has an actual ADD or ADHD diagnosis, when symptoms of the syndrome are present, the homeopath must be aware of the diagnostic category so as to recognize common symptoms and identify characteristic ones by contrast.
The responsible homeopath researches the criteria for diagnosis but also recognizes that these may not be sufficient to describe the common picture. Certain symptoms may be normal and natural for children affected by the syndrome identified more narrowly as ADD/ADHD, even if those symptoms are not among those used diagnostically. For example, social isolation is not an ADD/ADHD diagnostic symptom, but it is common among children who struggle to focus and center. Because homeopathy is not concerned with diagnosis but rather with distinguishing common from characteristic symptoms, we may need to develop our own list of symptoms to associate with a given condition – a list of “expected” or “usual” symptoms rather than diagnostic ones. For the seminars collected in this book, Henny generated a set of symptoms that loosely define the syndrome, and she refers to them in analyzing these cases:
Difficulty with concentration
Aversion to mental work
One of the arts of case analysis is to recognize how each child expresses these in unique ways, since even the common symptoms may have characteristic aspects.
We’re so happy to welcome you to Henny’s classroom. We hope your time here will be fruitful for you and for all those who will be helped by what you learn.
We are especially thankful to “Henny” for consistently encouraging us to continue with our work which is challenging in many ways and involves great responsibility.
She recognizes our difficulties from her own experience and is sensitive and caring in her endeavors to make the path smooth for us. Her confidence in, and excitement for, homeopathy knows no boundaries.
– Kristina Lotz,
From the introduction to the original book in German
How to use this book:
This book is structured to encourage readers to imagine being in the live classroom. Our goal is to open the classroom to all readers. In the classroom, the students disperse briefly after the interview to organize their notes and begin to analyze the case, and during the discussion students have repertories and materia medica books open to find rubrics and compare remedies. We suggest replicating this experience by keeping reference books and software open while reading, and even taking breaks from this book to work on a case independently when appropriate. Also, in the classroom students compare information and experiences with the remedies being considered. After reading Henny’s remedy selection, it may be helpful to consult several materia medica sources to understand the remedy’s suitability for the case.
Symbols used in interview transcripts:
PH Presenting homeopath
Conventions used in this book:
Plain type and italics: Transcripts of conversations in the live classroom are printed in plain type. Italics are used for conversations that were presented on video, and also, in brackets, for descriptions of actions.
Follow up reports: Follow up is listed by the amount of time that has elapsed since Henny’s first prescription. Time spans between interviews are indicated in the text.