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Jenny Grist

Full time homeopath since 2002

“I work five days a week out of two practices. I live on a rural farm so the patients that come here are from the local area which means they don’t have to travel into town. My other practice is in the town of Bideford with other practitioners so I have the best of both worlds.

I was previously self employed in the arts and crafts world but discovered homeopathy by going to see a student homeopath for myself. She involved me in the whole process and my interest was piqued so I began to read every homeopathic book I could lay my hands on. I started using it on the animals on the farm and did this for about 10 years before I realised it was something I wanted to develop further.

I trained with Misha Norland at the School of Homeopathy for four years and then went onto Jeremy Sherr’s Dynamis school for a further two years.

Making a successful practice depends on how much energy you are prepared to put into what you are doing. You need to work very hard to make it work and you need to have lots of self belief. It is important to find regular peer support so you need to create those links or they just won’t happen. I find my support with a group of peers and we meet often to discuss cases, any issues we have over case management and how our cases are impacting on us personally. I simply couldn’t work at the pace I do without this.

I think the main problem for homeopaths ‘burning out’ happens when this support isn’t set in place; it can be very isolating as a job otherwise. Peer mentoring means that you can recognise if you are being drawn too deeply into a case, which can lead to burn out.

I manage my time well and I reinforce my boundaries regularly by doing fairly simple things like taking country walks and making sure I don’t work too late. Keeping myself fit and well enables me to feel prepared to take on whatever is sent my way.

If someone asked my advice about becoming a homeopath I would advise them to be realistic about what you can expect to achieve in the early days. I made the decision early on in my career not to specialise as I felt it would restrict me too much; I know that this works for some homeopaths but it’s just not right for me.

It takes time to build up a patient list and this is perfectly normal. It is certainly possible to make a living from homeopathy but you need to work hard and market yourself effectively. This has adapted for me over the years: I produced leaflets and distributed them and gave talks to anyone who would have me. I wrote advertorials and articles for local newspapers as I wanted to raise my profile and get my name and the whole idea of homeopathy ‘out there’. Since the advent of websites this has been much easier but I generally find that patients come to me through word of mouth and that suits me fine; if I’m doing a good job then people talk about it!

I think the future of homeopathy is really bright, we have so many positive studies showing its effectiveness and the scientific world are discussing it more and more which I think is a great thing to raise awareness.

How enjoyable it is when you are interested in people and solving puzzles, to find a career which covers both aspects; for me homeopathy is endlessly fascinating.