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Sue Smith

Qualified 1.5 years

“As a graphic designer I was used to telling stories through my work; now as a homeopath, I listen to them.

Trying to uncover a patient’s story requires a similar skill-set I think but I see my role as looking for the untold story, finding the voice as a soul rather than as a personality.

I found homeopathy because many years ago I had left my partner and I began having palpitations. I was very fit and one day I was on an exercise bike and this incredible feeling came over me. I went to A&E and they couldn’t find anything wrong with me so I decided to see a homeopath and that’s how it all began.

I knew then that I needed to go into healing in some capacity, I just wasn’t sure what. It felt like a calling to me, a vocation not a job. I wondered briefly whether osteopathy was the right path for me.

People have always told me their stories, I think that’s just the kind of person I am and each time, I would refer them to my wonderful homeopath. They would discuss their ailments with me but each time I sent them away. One day I realised that this was something I should be doing myself; they were coming to me in the first place, and I should be treating them with homeopathy not osteopathy. It felt right for me personally and it felt like I could treat a wider range of symptoms as a homeopath.

In homeopathy I have found the most incredible power of being able to speak freely, openly and without judgement and that’s what patients seek in you.

I read and read and read; I get inspired by incredible teachers like Martin Miles and I couldn’t agree more when he said that you don’t have the luxury of deciding when you’re ready, you are ready when your patients arrive! On the first weekend of my first year I had seven patients asking for treatment and despite that little voice saying ‘it’s too soon’ I just went with it and realised that I had been learning every day through my own homeopathic treatment, I just hadn’t been aware of it and patients just kept coming!

By my second year in college, I had 40 patients and it was at this point that I knew I needed to take a detour and leave London otherwise my practice would keep growing and it would be harder to leave.

I think you get the patients that need you and that you can handle; I don’t seem to attract simple cases, I think people intuitively know when you can help them. You can’t learn this from a book and being passionately interested in your subject helps a great deal.

I know that many practitioners find patients through advertising and I now that I would get more patients if I did but I tend to agree with Martin Miles in that you attract the patients that you need. I find I’m too busy to do formal talks but I love talking to people about homeopathy and spreading the word. It usually brings me patients too.

I think we have a role as homeopaths to educate people about homeopathy; it can be very frustrating when people are misinformed but I think the profession as a whole is getting better about this.

I do think it is possible to make a living out of homeopathy but you need to guard against that initial explosion when you first leave college otherwise you can very quickly burn out. It is essential to have tools in place to help you deal with the tougher cases. You have to have total self belief and you need to be committed to it. I don’t believe you can survive as a homeopath without that.

There is a lot of self-healing that happens right from the beginning of training so taking care of yourself is incredibly important; you are definitely not the same person as you were when you started this road and practitioners need to surround themselves with proper support. This could be friends or family or professional and personal supervision; whatever it takes to keep your boundaries strong.