When clients consult me for the first time about their health, wellbeing or happiness, especially if they've never had homeopathy before, I always ask what they already know about the therapy, and I try to explain the process of working with me as clearly as I can.
My own first experience of homeopathy wasn't like that at all. I was a 20-something litigation solicitor, working at hot-shot London firm Mishcon de Reya, loving life, but stressed beyond belief, and I had eczema, which the doctor's steroid creams were only palliating, not curing.
My Mum had dabbled in homeopathy for her pedigree flock of dairy Friesland sheep (with the help of the farm vet, she'd used homeopathic Belladonna for cases of mastitis with some success), so I decided to book in to see a homeopath.
As this was in the time BS (before Skype), I had my consultation face-to-face - well, face to top-of-head, as the homeopath made little attempt at rapport-building, and kept her head buried in weighty-looking books, as she scribbled down my answers to her questions.
At the end of the consultation, she gave me a little plastic packet with three spherical pills in it, and told me to come back in three months' time. I wasn't impressed. In fact, I was so unimpressed that I'm fairly sure I chucked the pills in a rubbish bin outside on the street, thinking "that was rubbish; she obviously doesn't know her stuff, as she was looking in books all the time; three little pills? What good is that going to do? It doesn't even say what it is on the packet! And three months' time? Doesn't she realise I want to get better as quickly as possible?" I didn't go back.
Now I know that, whilst the homeopath's interpersonal skills might have been somewhat underdeveloped, the books she was looking at were almost certainly a Materia Medica and Repertory, any good homeopath's tools of the trade, and she was most likely carefully cross-referencing my symptoms and characteristics to find one remedy that matched both me and my individual eczema symptoms. And I also appreciate now that she was an ultra-classical homeopath, keen to allow plenty of time for any effects from the remedy she gave me to run their course before reviewing me.
Because I remember this disappointing first experience so clearly, and because I'm sad that, in my ignorance, I never even tried the remedy (which might have been a perfect one for me - who knows?), I always strive to explain, educate and empower my patients, involving them in the process as closely as they will let me, and trying to make sure they always know what's going on in a consultation, and why I've selected what I have for them. If you consult with me, for more modern and dynamic 21st century homeopathy, I hope your first impression will be better than that!