Being "Present" for your client -Part 2
The Magic of Case Taking
It is interesting that with the best of intention our patients just cannot give us all the information that is required during a homoepathic case taking process.
This was our first realisation as homoeopathic students when we struggled to fill pages of information into our thick booklets that we were required to complete as a part of our clinical training. Although it got easier to get the patient talking with practice, it was an uphill task to get quality information at times.
I remember how after spending an hour or so with the client and having ensured that we had extracted every bit of information that was possible we came back into the consulting room eager to get some feedback and watch the next part!
The supervisor would look at the notes and simply touch upon one or two key issue and suddenly the patient seemed to have reenergized! The case flowed once again. The whole dynamics changed and now the same patient gave so much more relevant information and keynotes!
This was possibly the best thing I ever got from those clinics. It was the inspiration to create similar magic in our own clinics. Something I would not get from books or theories but from just listening and watching that dynamics in action and having that interaction with our supervisors after the patient left.
What did we miss?
I often wondered what did we really miss during our consults. We asked the "right" questions and used the "right resources but something was missing. Slowly I started understanding the finetuning process of the casetaking process. Those subtle clues which the patients gave us repeatedly that we simply ignored because we were just not “present”.
We may have been caught up with our own insecurities or standards of perfection. We may have considered a certain area to be more important based on our own prejudice and the case may have gone in cricles without getting any deeper. So eventually we got pages of information but no real content!
I also learnt to pick the areas where there was a lot of juice in the case. These were easily overlooked if I did not clear that noise in my head and "truly" listened. It took time to be able to put that into practice before my case taking got better.
So when I was a supervisor myself it was interestingly to find my role reversed. It was a huge responsibility to offer what I got as a student! I could see similar confusion and frustration written on the faces of my students when I asked a particular question or chose a specific area to explore.
It was important for me to explain my own thought process behind every question I asked when we discussed the case later. It was hard at first to get my exact thoughts into words but I realised it was such a mutually beneficial process. Together we realised the pattern of what worked well and what did not.
Soon it became very clear that casetaking was not meant to be a linear process. Although there was a system and a framework at the foundation, you need to trust your instincts, "be" and let go. No question was right or wrong. It was all about what question was more efficient or not. Better still when was no question necessary. The best information came in the "pauses"
This has inspired me to create my ongoing video course on casetaking and analysis using many such experiences I gathered as a supervisor and a mentor.
Through this course I love sharing this fine tuning from my own real life cases. For me its all about finding the pattern in these hidden links and being aware of the juicy bits in the casetaking process beyond theory.
To give you an example let's have a look at the case of arthritis taken by a student during my supervision. We started with this case last time so I am thankful for all the comments I received through the month.
If you are watching this space for the first time, you may wish to click here to watch Part 1 of this blog where the case was introduced before watching this video.
This video is all about exploring the hidden links.