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Review: Advanced Guide for Professional Homeopaths

Originally published in The Homeopath, Winter 2008, 27:3 (p107)

The published version is available in the pdf download.

Advanced Guide for Professional Homeopaths by Luc De Schepper

Advanced Guide for Professional Homeopaths
A companion book to Hahnemann Revisted and Achieving and Maintaiining the Simillimum
by Luc De Schepper MD, PhD, CHom, DIHom, Lic.Ac.
Publ. Full of Life Publishing, Santa Fe, NM. 2008.
Hardback, 240 pages, ISBN 0-942501-15-2. £39.00

Luc De Schepper is a well known Belgian homeopath, author, scholar and teacher, resident in the USA since 1981. He is a staunch Hahnemannian, advocating a methodology based on the 6th edition Organon, while bringing aspects of Jungian psychology and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) into his teachings.

The book is printed in the US with sturdy binding and a substantial and beverage-resistant cover. Text is large and legible though pages are crowded and typographically confusing.

Its purpose is to create a bridge between De Schepper’s earlier works – Hahnemann Revisited and Achieving and Maintaining the Simillimum – and his next book, Beyond Jung: Delusions, Dreams and Homeopathy. There are two parts: Advanced Case Taking and Advanced Management, with the first part taking up roughly two thirds of the book.

The opening premise is that there are a number of questions homeopaths fail to ask in case taking which, if they did, would solve any challenge they are likely to meet. Each of these 11 questions are then dealt with in turn through the subsequent chapters, bringing in common vs characteristic symptoms, layers, aetiology, core delusion, constitution, Jung’s psychological types, miasmatic states and the relevance of pregnancy to childhood pathology.

The second part covers potency selection, miasms again, and a discussion of Hering’s observations on direction of cure, introducing a TCM perspective.

This book is comprehensive, informative, well researched and distilled, and clearly explained. It is full of good solid advice, both theoretical and practical, very much in the mould of Hahnemann, Kent, Close and Vithoulkas. Yet it is also a book of disconcerting contradictions which intrude uncomfortably on the narrative. De Schepper talks of avoiding conceptual boxes, of ‘going with the flow’, which he claims comes naturally and instinctively to him, yet for much of the book he is writing in a highly prescriptive, systematised vein, talking about what a homeopath “must” do. Glowing testimonials on the book cover to his warm, deeply caring nature sit uneasily with text that barely misses an opportunity to dismiss the work of other homeopaths. His thorough research into Hahnemann’s methods is let down by frequent comments like “most homeopaths do not …”, which appear to be unsupported assumptions.

Advancing the perceived superiority of your own perspective and experience by denigrating other, often equally valid, approaches is a well-established tradition in homeopathy (eg. Hahnemann, Kent, Vithoulkas) but good work should be capable of standing on its own merits.


© Wendy Howard, October 2008
reproduced from The Homeopath, Winter 2008, 27:3 – Homeopathic Articles: Review of Advanced Guide for Professional Homeopaths by Luc De Schepper