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This book review is reprinted with the permission from the Winter 2010 Edition of The Homeopath.
The Society of Homeopaths
The Child's World
By Linda Johnston
Saltire Books, Glasgow. Softback, 218 pgs.
Reviewed by Janet Snowdon
There are many homeopathic books concerned with different aspects of philosophy and materia medica but few concerning the treatment of children. This book goes a long way to filling that gap. It is divided into different sections, a discussion of the traditional and newer methods of treatment, child development in general, case taking and cases, relationships between mother and child, interaction with the prescriber and the environment and finally the relationship between the homeopath and the parents.
Linda recognises the success there has been for generations in the treatment of children. She carefully describes these methods, repertorisation, keynote prescribing etcetera. She notes the common and most important factor in the treatment of children, in all methods, past and present, that of observation. The sensation method is clearly described, showing how it is a development of what has gone before in homeopathy and is rooted in the basic, unchanging principles on which our therapy was founded. However many cases elude us and Linda demonstrates the need for delving deeper into the unconscious processes of the patient to elicit the source of the symptomatology.
The second section deals with the emotional and physical development of the child. This is informative and helpful but if I had a criticism of the book it would be that this section is repetitive in parts and implies a dearth of understanding on the part of the reader.
By far the most useful and exciting section deals with cases. The symptoms of each case are clearly described in the patients' words. The practitioner's method of case taking and cognitive process are explained in detail. The analysis is clear and the progression to the remedy is convincing and informative. Repertory rubrics and provings are used to further substantiate the reasons for the prescription. All the cases were difficult and required great skill to reach the source of the problem. Cases of Dr. Sunil Anand, an expert in the treatment of children are included and contribute greatly to the usefulness of the book. Most practitioners will have experienced that sinking feeling when confronted with the suffering of a small baby covered in eczema. Linda showed how skilful and thorough examination of the mother's state led her to the remedy, Cenchris, the three month old baby required for the eczema that entirely covered her body. Interestingly Kent's proving of the remedy includes the symptom, "Itching allover the body, flying allover the body".
I have already found this book to be of practical use in my everyday practice. It has informed and encouraged me in my case taking of children. It is accessible and easy to read. I just wish there were more cases as I found them enormously instructive.