Brian Kaplan MBBCh FFHom

Homeopathy has been an important part of my practice since 1983 when I graduated as a member of the Faculty of Homeopathy. I consider homeopathy to be a powerful form of holistic stimulus capable of catalysing the body’s inherent healing ability.

Homeopathy was initially appealing to me because of the way homeopaths are obliged to listen to their patients in order to make an accurate homeopathic prescription. The patient’s subjective experience of his or her illness is all-important in homeopathy. So everything a patient says about their illness and how they experience it, is important. This to me shows enormous respect for patients and the narrative of their illnesses and lives. Homeopathy has taught me to treat patients as subjects rather than the objects of medical science and that has made a world of difference to me.

I don’t really like being called a ‘homeopath’. I am a doctor who uses homeopathy in his practice. I have not turned my back on orthodox medicine – far from it. I tell patients that it is my job to deliberately sit on the fence between homeopathy and orthodox medicine in order to find the best option for them and their particular situation.

For me homeopathy is one of the main tools I use in my practice – not an over-riding medical ‘philosophy’. In some ways it can be regarded as a passive holistic stimulus to the organism’s natural self-healing ability. Passive in the sense that all that is required of the patient is to be honest in the interview and remember to take the remedy. Thus I try to recommend an appropriate active holistic stimulus to the patient. That means something they can do for themselves that will act as a stimulus to the whole organism. Examples of active holistic stimuli include: exercise, yoga, meditation, dietary advice, psychological work and making changes in their life choices. I find teaching patients Autogenic Therapy, a powerful stress-proofing and stress-releasing technique, a perfect complement to my medical and homeopathic practice.

I also use a form of brief psychotherapy called Provocative Therapy which is the clinical application of reverse psychology and humour in medicine. Because of its contrarian ethos, I have dubbed it a type of homeopathic psychotherapy.