Case Taking: The Landscape of Homeopathic Medicine

Case Taking: The Landscape of Homeopathic Medicine

  • Alastair Gray


*Click here for details on ordering

About WHN Books

WHN has partnered with Nature Reveals to bring you every author and every text at the best possible price.

Why should you purchase through WholeHealthNow and Nature Reveals? Your money goes to support homeopathy when you spend it with WHN.

WHN provides many free services to the homeopathic community ~ our website is a rich resource ~ with Introductory Information for the Student, Information for the Professional, our Historic Homeopathic Timeline, Homeopathy Around the World ~ a groundbreaking documentary, hundreds of hours of FreeCasts, and our reasonably priced Courses with World Class Instructors. Our commitment remains strong to support you in your study and practice of homeopathy, and we appreciate your patronage!

Once on the Nature Reveals store page, simply search for the title you are interested and complete the purchase process there.


Alastair Gray has left no stone unturned in compiling a complete and pragmatic book that concentrates its lens on the art and science of case taking.

His patient-centered style of case taking is covered at length, having evolved from the great masters Hahnemann, Kent, Dunham and Schmidt etc, whilst always looking forward to the possibilities of newer models.

An encyclopedic work, the first of six volumes.

440 pages
ISBN 978-2-87491-009-8

From the Book

Case Taking p.240
It has been described as massaging information. How does one encourage a client to just speak?

Clearly they need to be comfortable with you and in the space that you practice. Therefore those qualities of creating rapport and making people feel comfortable to talk are crucially important.

Often it's information that comes without them knowing that they are giving it. Many homeopaths do this quite naturally and are maybe unconsciously competent in this area. But very few people are teachers who are consciously competent can teach the skills.

One of the ways a case taker can prepare themselves before a homeopathic session is to reflect on just what do I want from the session. It is a great way to prepare for a homeopathic consultation. Many of the people that we are talking to are not observant, give us monosyllabic replies, are closed people.


Foreword -- iii
Introduction to the Series -- ix
Acknowledgements -- xxi
Contributors -- xxiii
Publisher's Note -- xx

1. Introduction -- 3
The Need for Best Practice -- 5
This Book -- 7
Requirements of the Case Taker? -- 12
Literature Review -- 12

Part One: Information Gathering to Find the Medicine
2. Hahnemann -- 23
The Directives -- 27
Main Aphorisms -- 28
Other Aphorisms -- 39
Hahnemann's World - Why He Gave those Instructions -- 42
The Key Concepts - What Hahnemann Asks us to Look for -- 43
Totality -- 43
Peculiarity -- 52
What is Required? -- 55
Non-Prejudice -- 55
Sound Senses -- 61
Attention in Observing -- 62
Fidelity in Tracing the Picture of the Disease -- 64
Hahnemann's Directives for Case Taking in Specific Situations -- 64
Further Directives of Hahnemann -- 68
Summary of Hahnemann's General Directives for Best Practice -- 71
What to Do -- 71
What Not to Do -- 77
Hahnemann's Main Writings -- 77
Core Requirements for Case Taking from Hahnemann -- 78

3. Post Hahnemann -- 79
Consolidation -- 83
Clarity -- 84
Boenninghausen's Instructions on Case
Taking and Forming a Complete Image -- 85
Other Authors -- 89
Dunham -- 89
Bidwell -- 91
Guernsey -- 92
Farrington -- 93
Hering -- 93
Hughes -- 94
Burnett, Cooper and Clarke -- 95
Roger -- 98
Nash -- 100
T. F. Allen -- 101
H. C. Allen -- 103

4. Kent -- 107
Classical -- 112
Repertory, Types, The Person not the Disease -- 113
Swedenborg -- 114
Mind -- 115
Kent's Instructions on Case Taking -- 117
The Science of Case Taking for the Lower Plane of Homeopathy -- 118
The Art of Case Taking for the Higher Plane of Homeopathy -- 120
What the Homeopath Needs -- 123
Tact and Timing -- 126
Kent and Peculiarity -- 129
Hysteria, Exaggeration and the Irish -- 130

5. Post Kentian Approaches -- 133
Schmidt -- 138
Tyler -- 153
Wright-Hubbard -- 155
Roberts -- 158
Close -- 160
Getting Mental Symptoms -- 164
Best Practice Post-Kentians -- 167

6. Best Practice Gathering Information -- 169
Before Opening Your Mouth Remember -- 175
The Purpose of Case Taking -- 178
Attitude -- 179
Method and Steps of Case Taking -- 181
First Serve -- 181
Observation -- 185
Questioning and Silence -- 189
Physical Examination -- 190
Recording -- 192
Own Words -- 193
Importance and Underlining -- 194
Legalities -- 195
Time Management and Endings -- 195
To Questionnaire or Not -- 196
Difficulties and Specific Situations in Taking the Case -- 197
The Last Word and Great Advice -- 209
Being a Beginner -- 211

Part Two - Getting to the Centre, Making Meaning and Learning from Other Disciplines to Find the Medicine
7. Post Jungian Approaches to Case Taking: Homeopathy and Wounded Souls -- 217
Introduction -- 221
Historical Context -- 224
Post-Jungian Approaches to Case Taking in Homeopathy -- 226
Dream Work -- 229
Tattoos -- 232
Psychology and Psychotherapy -- 233
Art Therapy and Sandplay -- 233
Archetypes, Myths, Fairy Tales, Stream of Consciousness and Metaphor -- 235
To Jung or Not to Jung -- 236
Questioning -- 240
Disclaimer -- 244
Developing the Necessary Case Taking Skills -- 244
Looking for Clues without Scaring your Client or Acting too Weird -- 246
Conclusion -- 247
Doing Nothing -- 247

8. Learning and Borrowing from other Disciplines -- 251
Introduction -- 255
Police -- 257
Human Resources -- 257
Borrowing from Psychological Approaches -- 258
A Relationship Not an Event -- 259
Rogers -- 260
Empathy -- 262
Unconditional Positive Regard -- 264
Congruence -- 265
Authenticity -- 266
Other Strategies and Techniques -- 268
Humour and Provocation -- 268
Borrowing Further -- 270

9. Sankaran and Sensation -- 273
Introduction -- 277
Debate -- 279
Case Taking from the Beginning; Spirit of Homeopathy -- 281
The Purpose, the Method and the Techniques 282
Sensation and Going Beyond Delusion -- 293
The Levels – 294
Sensation is Non-human Specific -- 297
Case Taking in a New Light -- 298
Conclusion -- 299
The Requirements of the Case Taker using Sensation Method -- 317

Part Three - Patient-Centered Medicine and the Relationship
10. The Therapeutic Relationship in Homeopathy - Ben Gadd -- 321
Why a Therapeutic Relationship? -- 325
What Patients Want from a Consultation -- 326
Common Elements in the Therapeutic Relationship -- 327
Homeopathy and Psychotherapy -- 330
Homeopathic and Allopathic Consultations -- 332
Placebo -- 334
Empathy -- 337
Patient-centredness -- 339
Therapeutic Alliance and Compassion -- 341
Impact of Homeopathic Process and Philosophy of Disease -- 344

11. Conclusions -- 351
Healthy Schizophrenia -- 354
Linear Case Taking -- 354
Best Practice -- 355
Beautiful Silence -- 357
Spontaneity and Transparent Responses -- 359
Projections, Assumptions, Speculation -- 360
Closing the Texbooks and Analyze Later -- 361
Sleuthing for the Case -- 362
Other Case Taking Concepts -- 363
Fishing -- 363
Poker -- 365
Steaming the Mussel -- 365
Clear Education and Answering Questions -- 366
Getting to the Centre of the Case -- 367
Psychoanalytic -- 369
Jungian -- 370
Synthetic Case Taking Skills -- 371
Improving Clinical Case Taking Skills - Predilection and Practice -- 372
The Role of Intuition -- 373
Random Directives before Case Taking -- 374
Reflective Questions for the Homeopath -- 375
Reflective Questions for the Client -- 378
Patient-Centred, Person-Centred and the Relationship -- 378
Self Disclosure -- 380
Final Conclusions Case Taking -- 382
Appendices -- 387
References -- 419
Index -- 441

Alastair Gray
MSc (UK) BA Hons (NZ) ADH (NZ) DSH (UK) PCH (UK) PCHom (Malaysia)

Alastair Gray heads up the homeopathy department at Endeavour College of Natural Health in Australia. He has lectured undergraduate homeopathic medicine in New Zealand and Australia for over a decade.

He presents regular Seminars in Kuala Lumpur, Toronto, Boulder, San Francisco, Galway in Ireland, Preston and Nottingham in England and Bangkok.

He continues to teach the residential Fusion Sessions, a post-graduate program in natural medicine offered in New Zealand and Australia online.

He works to bring out the best of enthusiastic natural medicine graduates through fostering enthusiasm, yet grounding it in the dual realities of modern complementary medicine professional standards and ethics, and the necessities of running successful natural medicine businesses.

In addition, Alastair runs a general natural medicine practice in the inner west and east of Sydney Australia. Clinical practice remains a significant feature of his work with a focus in the treatment of anxiety, depression, addiction and men's Health.

Alastair's ongoing commitment to quality research in homeopathy and natural medicine underpins his work. He has published four books and numerous articles on provings including:

  • Kauri
  • Moreton Bay Fig
  • Tea Tree
  • Waratah
  • Tar Tree
  • Liquorice
  • Cactus
  • Kowhat
  • Tuberculinum
  • Bacilinum
  • Mosquito
  • Cockroach
  • Toad
  • Seahorse
  • Pearl
  • Irukandjii
  • Medusa
  • Box Jellyfish
  • White Tailed Spider



"When an author begins a thoughtful and thorough work on a complex topic with the statement that the book is the first of seven, the reader knows that they are dealing with someone who is tenacious, with vision, and with a genuine passion for their subject. Alastair Gray has all of these qualities, and more. He is an outstanding practitioner, a teacher with international credentials, and an accomplished author.

"This book offers the reader both a thorough description of the history of homeopathy, and a glimpse into its future. The author faces contentious issues directly, and questions existing standards with rigour.

"He begins his seven-part series with the topic of case taking which, in my opinion, is completely appropriate. If a practitioner cannot take a complete and accurate case, if the true intellectual, psychological and physical characteristics of the patient are not discovered, and if the fundamental causes of the patient’s condition are not found, then a successful prescription cannot be guaranteed in chronic conditions.

"The author offers the reader an insight into homeopathic case-taking that is conceptually as well as practically complete. The book leaves the reader impatient to discover what gems the remaining six books in the series will contain."
– Dr. Isaac Golden
Endeavour College of Natural Health Australia

"Al Gray has produced a thorough and magnificent new resource for students and practitioners of Homeopathy on the art of case taking.

"The scope is ambitious! He weaves together the insights of homeopaths to those of the psychotherapeutic tradition in a way that is both accessible and mind expanding. He navigates the often turbulent waters of allegiances to different homeopathic gurus in a refreshing way.

"No doubt those whose system he describes will find a sympathetic yet critical examination of their approaches. He even gives them 'voice'/right of reply by including extracts from extensive interviews with contemporary leading lights. This is a breath of fresh air — it is not the voice of the apologist or sycophant but rather a considered critical examination of some of the greatest influences upon modern homeopathic practice."
– Susanna Shelton, Principal
Bay of Plenty College of Homeopathy
and New Zealand, Director of Operations
for Endeavor College of Natural Health

"Even for those of us who disagree with newer approaches this is an impressive overview of thoughts on case taking and an interesting source of questions."
– Dr. Joe Kellerstein, Canada

"Alastair Gray's new book should be required reading for ALL students of homeopathic medicine. Gray provides an exhaustive overview of the history and diversity of homeopathic case taking, with the academic citations to the original sources, with references to the slight and significant changes in case taking that have evolved over the past 200 years, and with specific and practical applications tot eh varying styles of homeopathic practice that have emerged since homeopathy’s inception.

"Besides being of value to students of homeopathy, this book is also a valuable resource to practicing homeopath who often need to be reminded of the origins of the case taking process as well as its most recent developments as a means of creatively and effectively understanding the patients who we see."
– Dana Ullman, USA