The Homeopathic Conversation: The Art of Taking the Case by DR. BRIAN KAPLAN
[From The Homeopath Summer 2001, Number 82]
The Homeopathic Conversation, The Art of Taking the Case
By Dr Brian Kaplan
Reviewed by Gabrielle Pinto
This is the first book from Natural Medicine Press, and I am really pleased I bought it. In truth, it is rare that I read a work book from cover to cover. I took it on holiday along with some novels and (I know it’s a cliche), “I could not put it down”. Kaplan makes this book so personal that it really is a conversation.
He writes the book in common language and it is packed with advice on how to improve case-taking skills. He’s created a perfect guide for students and postgraduates.
The chapters on taking the chronic case, receiving vital information and the use of techniques in the consulting room show Kaplan’s approach to case taking. He openly shares his difficulties with us, discussing, for example, how to manage a situation where we inadvertently do or say the wrong thing. His sincerity, warmth and love of homeopathy are apparent in the reading of the book. Even with all his training and experience, Kaplan’s book is never condescending or intimidating to the new homeopath.
Kaplan is medically trained, as well as being a homeopath. in the book, he uses the work of Buber, Reich, Jung, Freud, Rogers, Hal and Sidra Stone, and brings in the methods of other disciplines, such as NLP, in order to show their relevance to us as homeopaths.
I am always trying to encourage students when they sit in with me or study practitioner-development, to learn from counselling and psychotherapy techniques. It has made such a difference to the way I practice, especially with complex cases. Kaplan provides us with plenty of examples from his practice, and those of his students, where understanding the dynamics in the consulting room has benefited patients. He then also shows the reader how that might lead to better prescriptions.
I loved the chapter on Carl Rogers and was also pleased to see a mention of Hal and Sidra Stone’s, ‘Voice Dialogue’ technique. (see www.delos-inc.com), I have used Stone’s work on dreams and inner voices and have linked it in with my prescribing. This has been so successful with my patients over the years, that I value my studies with them as an essential part of my continuing professional development, easily as important as attending homeopathic seminars.
I hope that this book will become recommended reading on the practitioner development courses as well as just a good read on case taking skills. Plus I look forward to more titles from Natural Medicine Press.