So, why the Therapeutic Pocket Book as opposed to any other repertory?
“………30 some years in homeopathic practice and case analysis, with 10 of those in serious research of Hahnemanns writings and casetaking, led me to the conclusion that most modern repertories have serious flaws both in content and methodology of use. Starting with Kents Repertory, it becomes apparent that it is a compilation of 5 other repertories, and consequently suffers from the inclusion of cross over rubrics, merged rubrics, different authors experience with remedies therefore different value judgements on numerical attribution of evaluation, and just plain wrong inclusion of remedies. As most modern repertories are based on Kent, it soon becomes very apparent that the whole foundation of the clinical indications for prescribing can be a 50/50 chance of getting to the right medicine.
This is not good enough. Can a person use Kent and get to a good prescription? yes.. but only if they know which rubrics to use and why use them as opposed to others. I discovered this by accident over 20 years ago whilst searching for a method in repertorisation to tighten up on my prescribing. What I did was just use the GENERAL rubrics instead of specifics. (Later I would find that the GENERAL rubrics were actually culled from Boenninghausens T.P.B. !)
In reading through original documents and english translations of Hahnemann, I came to the understanding that modern homoeopathy is but a bastardized version of Hahnemanns findings. So much so that Kent, through his perhaps well meaning but ultimately destructive input of religious Swedenborgian overlay of thinking, changed the whole methodology and comprehension of disease and treatment thereof into a spiritual exercise rather than a medical practice along sound and rational lines. The direction Kent gave for taking a case, are diametrically opposed to Hahnemanns instructions in his manual, the Organon.
Hahnemann realised at some point that a memory aid would be useful to allow a quick guide to the Materia Medica to shortcut the tedious work of looking through remedy after remedy for the right symptom, but his attempts to do so were not successful.
Boenninghausen entered into Hahnemanns life, and became a good student of the methodology. Boenninghausen listened and read and communicated with Hahnemann, and learned the discipline well. Hahnemann emphasised that knowledge of the Materia Medica was all important, and continually demonstrated the method of collecting symptoms from the patient so as to form a picture of the individual disease state, and then find the corresponding essential symptoms in the Materia Medica.
As a lawyer and professional Botanist, Boenninghausens abilities for accurate collation of details were suited for the tedious task of making a collection of rubrics to indicate which medicines had the symptom contained. However, as the books grew in size almost rivaling the Materia Medica he was trying to abbreviate, he realised an individual symptom naming procedure was not going to be useful in practical terms.
After thinking about it for a couple of years, Boenninghausen decided that he would take symptoms and split them into component parts and assign them individually to the new style memory aid he was creating. The intent was that if a patient had a symptom that was observed, and the parts of the symptom were recombined, it would indicate the correct remedy or remedies for consideration. In trialling this method it worked very well. He also observed that sometimes a remedy would be indicated that did NOT have the particular symptoms contained in its provings but……..it cured the patient. He noted that the remedy did have the NATURE of the symptoms, but perhaps the location of the symptom was not the same as where the suffering patient expressed their disorder.
In this way, The TPB became able to synthesise the information gathered from the patient, and be matched with a medicine that produced a similar effect, but extracted from the sensation and the modalities and associated symptoms that had not been considered before in treating a particular condition. In this way, Boenninghausen, through the repertorial work, managed to demonstrate practically the aphorism:
§ 153 Sixth Edition
In this search for a homoeopathic specific remedy, that is to say, in this comparison of the collective symptoms of the natural disease with the list of symptoms of known medicines, in order to find among these an artificial morbific agent corresponding by similarity to the disease to be cured, the more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms1 of the case of disease are chiefly and most solely to be kept in view; for it is more particularly these that very similar ones in the list of symptoms of the selected medicine must correspond to, in order to constitute it the most suitable for effecting the cure. The more general and undefined symptoms: loss of appetite, headache, debility, restless sleep, discomfort, and so forth, demand but little attention when of that vague and indefinite character, if they cannot be more accurately described, as symptoms of such a general nature are observed in almost every disease and from almost every drug.
Dr. von Bonninghausen, by the publication of the characteristic symptoms of homoeopathic medicines and his repertory has rendered a great service to homoeopathy as well as Dr. J.H.G. Jahr in his handbook of principal symptoms.
This aphorism is discussed fully in the I.H.M. seminars as it is a keystone to making a correct prescription in every case.
This repertorial system was the mainstay of homoeopathic work until Kent produced his own repertory. Kent wrote that he could not use the Therapeutic Pocket Book. I have given consideration to this statement, and have concluded that he could not use the book simply because he could NOT follow Hahnemanns directions in case taking as it differed from his own religiously overlaid comprehension of man sickness and spirit.
It did not stop him from using the contents of the Therapeutic Pocket Book within his own repertory. Sadly, the combination of several repertorial works, lost any useable methodology. What was created was a complete mix of several authors work, and a not too reliable inclusion of over 600 remedies for symptoms. Kents repertory lost cohesion and flow which was apparent in the individual authors repertories, but disappeared in this work.
If a foundation is weak or unstable, then the product built on that surface will always be suspect. In this modern age we have many ‘new repertorial works’ but sadly ALL based on Kent. In reading them, all I see is symptom after symptom plus extra remedies (many unproven) added with NO checking done with the Materia Medica to see if the symptom is accurate.
Homoeopathy is not about constant additions. It is about find a medicine that is similar to the symptoms produced in sickness in an individual. The T.P.B. has 125 medicines only. Many cry out that it is not enough!. I would say that those complaining do not KNOW what those 125 medicines can do because they simply do not know the scope or the breadth of action of each one of those medicines because they have NOT READ THE MATERICA MEDICA to see! What we have in the T.P.B. is the most accurate indication for usage of medicines in a given set of symptoms every time. I prefer that for my patients.
Vladimir and myself, did not spend the time and research on the Therapeutic Pocket with the idea for commercialising it. We did it for us. As we became convinced of the efficacy of its contents, we included it in the OpenRep SYNOPSIS program as the most useful repertory for patient management ever. Our team, comprising of Drs, Guillermo Zamora, Marco Colla, Vera Resnick, Vladimir Polony, Isidre Lara and Gary Weaver have translated from the original German into English, Hebrew, Italian and Spanish. We are working on Marathi and other languages.”