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Proceedings of scientific conferences and research meets
7 (
1
); 89-93
doi:
10.25259/JISH_25_2024

Report: National symposium on mind and materia medica: Psychological dimensions in clinical practice

Department of Homoeopathic Materia Medica, Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Homoeopathic Institute, Palghar, Maharashtra, India
Corresponding author: Dr. Bhavik Ramesh Parekh, Department of Homoeopathic Materia Medica, Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Homoeopathic Institute, Palghar, Maharashtra, India. drparekhbhavik@gmail.com
Licence
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, transform, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

How to cite this article: Parekh BR, Nayak AD. Report: National symposium on mind and materia medica: Psychological dimensions in clinical practice. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2024;7:89-93. doi: 10.25259/JISH_25_2024

Abstract

The 3-day National Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) symposium 2024 was held from 16th to 18th February at Keshavrao Ghaisas Auditorium, Vile Parle, Mumbai, India. The Theme was ‘Mind and Materia Medica: Psychological dimensions in clinical practice’. It presented a model of man conceived by Dr. M. L. Dhawale where it is perceived that a man’s life is guided by a complex comprising of Thought-Feeling-Commitment-Action-Result (T-F-C-A-R). This model was used to examine 9 patients and evolve living images of 3 remedies - Stramonium, Natrum Silicata, and Lyssinum – one remedy each belonging to the plant, mineral and animal kingdom respectively. The symposium was attended by participants across the country and was received well.

Keywords

Homoeopathy
Psychology
Thought-feeling-commitment-action-result model
Natrum silicata
Lyssinum
Stramonium

BACKGROUND AND NEED OF SYMPOSIUM

Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) symposia always aim at exploring emerging concepts in homoeopathy. They open new vistas in clinical practice and research in diseases as well as remedies. A unique theme was selected for this symposium: ‘Mind and Materia Medica: Psychological dimensions in clinical practice’. The objective was to understand the patient and the materia medica through the Thought-Feeling-Commitment-Action-Result (T-F-C-A-R) model introduced by Dr M. L. Dhawale.

SYMPOSIUM TEAM

The national symposium was organised by Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Homoeopathic Institute (MLDMHI), Palghar, India. The organising team comprised of: Dr. Bhavik Parekh, Director, PG Education and Head, Department of Homoeopathic Materia Medica, MLDMHI was the Symposium Director. Dr. Vivek Kadam, Associate Professor, Department of Homoeopathic Materia Medica and Dr. Mansi Surati, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, MLDMHI functioned as coordinators.

The symposium advisors were as follows: Dr. Shirish Phansalkar, Dr. Kumar Dhawale, Dr. Bipin Jain, Dr. Manoj Patel and Dr. Anand Kapse. They shared their valuable input throughout the planning and execution of the symposium. Symposium digital media coordinators were Dr. Tamanna Chellani and Dr. Omkar Anavkar.

THE NEW MODEL OF THE MIND: T-F-C-A-R

The model focuses on the purpose, motivation and commitment arising out of our thoughts and the feelings. Thoughts and feelings are the primary directional forces which pull the mind (? man) toward the purpose, allowing him to achieve the commitment with which he releases actions. The actions lead to a result, which helps the person to learn and move ahead, or otherwise. The physician understands this whole process, and it helps in individualising the person. Multiple motivations at different stages of life can generate stress when expected results aren’t achieved. Overemphasis on one of the purposes to the relative exclusion of the others leads to compromises landing the individual into conflict which may result in ill health.

The result achieved through actions released gives the entire system a feedback - positive or negative. The individual’s ability to respond to the feedback will display the adaptation/maladaptation of the individual. T-F-C-A-R can be understood cross-sectionally through different life events and longitudinally over a period of time. It is important to go beyond the elements of thoughts, feelings and actions and identify the purpose leading to the cascade of T-F-CA-R, which depicts the core of the individual and is very significant in individualisation.

A significant observation of how childhood incidences impact the T-F-C-A-R of an individual was made during the symposium.

The model has been explored in detail in the book ‘Foundations of Psychology and Homoeopathy’. The book explores the various components of the mind such as thinking, or motivation, or the how and why of conflicts. A significant section discusses in great detail the various stages of growth, development and decline, giving numerous examples from live cases. Its central focus is the utility of the T-F-C-A-R model in giving meaning to the purpose of life.

It was thought appropriate to take the study of the model further through the symposium. While the mind is most important in homoeopathic prescribing, understanding it is a tall task! It is an important element of man which enables him to gain awareness and experiences of the world and accordingly set his purposes, think, feel and act accordingly. Materia medica enlists symptoms which appear like a maze. A tool like the T-F-C-A-R model can provide a conceptual understanding of the mind by making sense of the numerous symptoms narrated by the patient and those available in the materia medica. This tool can enable the homoeopath to make sense of the various symptoms, reach to the core conflicts of each case and help him differentiate and prescribe, not just on the haphazard list of symptoms but the sense he makes of the complex of thought, feeling and purpose which elicits actions from an individual.

METHODOLOGY

Three cases each of Natrum Silicata, Lyssinum and Stramonium were selected. The results of each case were verified through various measures by a team of clinicians. The interesting aspect was representation of one remedy each from the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms. The cases were circulated beforehand and were made available on the website for reference. During the symposium, understanding of the T-F-C-A-R model of each case was attempted through group discussion followed by presentation of a standard solution by the guides. 14 guides and co-guides presented three cases every day covering the nine cases over 3 days. Post every case the participants wrote the feedback report including their learning from the case. The symposium received an overwhelming response with over 240 registrations from all over India.

The learning that was seen through the reports in various aspects through all nine cases has been summarised below.

CORE CONFLICTS OF CASES

During the symposium it emerged that, whether the complaints were ‘simple’ like hyperacidity or ‘difficult’ such as vitiligo and pemphigus, all the patients suffered due to conflicts at the core. We will have an overview of these conflicts.

Case 1

The lady reported with the coexistence of two auto-immune diseases, pemphigus and vitiligo, a rare combination, forcing on the group the question ‘why’. The early childhood parental rejection due to being a female child, triggered the motivation to become better than her brothers, led to lot of aggression and channelisation wherein the emotional aspect and the femininity were compromised by almost becoming male of the family. Emotions came to the fore when there was a need for a child in the later part of life. The disease condition was precipitated when she blamed herself for the subsequent failed marriage of a girl from the office to whom she had become attached. The concept of yang and yin – the masculine and the feminine forces in a person – was brought out with the need of their balance and the emergence of devious expressions when they are not balanced. This case was unique in that a live demonstration of the interview enacted by Dr. Shradha Manwani and Dr. Rajesh Yadav was able to recreate the T-F-C-A-R model in action. Dr. Manoj Patel shared his understanding of arriving at the remedy Natrum silicata with the extreme channelisation seen in the case followed by guilt and other physical generals.

Case 2

A young professional had hit a road block in his career due to the pandemic landing into depression. It demonstrated the T-F-C-A-R model in a different light, demonstrating the concept of open and closed systems, the load the closed system takes and its breaking point which leads to suffering. The patient faced early parental rejection from a strict mother and grandmother and, quite similar to the case 1, channelised himself to reach a good position in a corporate job. However, the pandemic jeopardised this, and he landed into depression with the affect bearing the brunt of the stress and Dr. Latha Devrajan was able to help him with Natrum silicata and some counselling.

Case 3

This case of Stramonium, guided by Dr Vivek Kadam and Dr Bhavik Parekh, demonstrated the evolution of the patient in a very conducive and secure environment with expressions of fear and fright. Post marriage, however, due to fear of husband and he staying away due to work, her insecurity increased leading to the suspicion that her husband was having an extramarital affair and to expressions of anger. The T-F-C-A-R model helped in understanding the threat faced by the patient and the need for support and security from her husband.

Case 4

This case, guided by Dr Saloni Mehta and Dr Gayatri Patel, was subject to sexual abuse which was also suffered by her younger sister in childhood. The parents chose to downplay the incidents which left the patient feeling betrayed. When an adult she became a votary of women rights and lent her voice to sexually abused women. Her Ph.D. thesis too was on similar lines. This was a different shade of Lyssin – obvious aggression was not seen due to her cultured background but aggression was available through the multiple vivid dreams which could be correlated with the life situation of the patient. The important rubric of Lyssin, Sympathetic, felt the pain his brother complained of, came up quite well in the case which to some extent was seen in case 9 as well.

Case 5

Dr. Rajesh presented the conflict of a passionate athlete striving to achieve his ambition while complying with his mother’s wish of completing education, suppressing the resultant anger and suffering from epilepsy. The strong motivation-will-drive of the patient was considered one of the important points of the case, clinching the prescription of Natrum silicata.

Case 6

This case, guided by Dr. Sayyad and Dr. Kapse, highlighted how nature and nurture together play a key role in the evolution of an individual. Early childhood deprivation and forsaken feeling fueled the individual to work hard to make her children succeed and to live her own dreams through her children. The costs paid were at the level of her relationship with husband who developed an extramarital affair, this leading to further insecurity and somatisation in the form of asthma aggravated in the dark. These aspects were brought out well through the T-F-C-A-R model and Stramonium was the remedy derived. Industriousness, the hitherto unknown aspect of Stramonium, was also brought out in this case.

Case 7

This case of Stramonium, guided by Dr Bipin Jain, was a short demonstration of the T-F-C-A-R model. The same theme was seen as in the previous case, the need of security from husband and suspicion on the husband having an extramarital relationship and with multiple fears indicating the threat from which she sought security.

Case 8

This case of Lyssin, guided Dr Akshata Nayak and Dr Bhavik Parekh, touched the important issues of the middle child syndrome, parental favouritism toward one child, the internal demand for love and attention versus what is available, leading to a strong sense of having suffered wrong, continuing even when the environment becomes conducive. The precipitation and maintenance of disease due to the fixed thinking and inability to change according to the time and circumstance (thereby highlighting the concept of ‘Yukta’ appropriateness to changing time and circumstance and related to the final purpose). The physician played a crucial role in this case, accepting the patient and empathising with her suffering. Remedy differentiation especially between Stramonium and Lyssin helped understand that even though with similar actions the thought, feeling and purpose are different in both the remedies.

Case 9

This, the longest case of the symposium, was guided by Dr. Bipin Jain and Dr. Vivek Kadam. The operational aspect of the T-F-C-A-R model was practically demonstrated by Dr. Bipin Jain through evolving it through the discussion. The group derived the evolution of the need of love and approval developing into possessive attachment to family with violent responses in the form of harming self as well as others followed by quick repentance. The possessive attachment, the analogy of rabid dog, madness of rabid dog leading to biting and striking in an animal who otherwise is quite loving and protective to its master was demonstrated well leading to the prescription of Lyssin.

The cases, their core conflicts, their resolution and the handling done by the respective physicians brought out some important points. They could be summarised thus –

  1. There was an early feeling of rejection, of betrayal in many of the cases.

  2. The individuals still coped, often achieving excellence and positions of prominence in their selected fields.

  3. However, terrible costs were paid in terms of suffering, both at the physical and the mental levels.

  4. The physicians needed to sensitively understand the core conflicts and the precarious resolution achieved. The group could understand the importance of alignment in thoughts and feelings aiding a proper action and result complex. The significance of the feedback based on the result and the subsequent impact on the thoughts, feelings, the purpose and the commitment helped in a better understanding of how the patient has struck the balance in his/her life.

  5. Through the cases the understanding developed that conflict could arise between the thoughts and feelings, OR

  6. There could be fixity of thoughts and emotions leading to incorrect/altered perception of feedback with no necessary change in actions undertaken and thus no effective resolution. From this, the important concept of ‘Yukta’ was highlighted as to one which is appropriate to time and circumstance, needing mobility in the system to adapt to change and the result produced, OR

  7. Either the thought or the feeling may overpower the other leading to imbalance. These cases very well demonstrated the concept of open and closed systems, their capacity to deal with stress and their breaking point. This helped in learning that maintaining a balance between thoughts and feelings is essential to maintain balance in life.

  8. A significant observation of how childhood incidences impact the T-F-C-A-R of an individual was made during the symposium. The symposium highlighted the role of parents and parenting styles, their expectations from the child and the child’s expectations from the parents and the resultant conflicts. Thus, though rejection was seen in many of the cases, the T-F-C-A-R of each of the three remedies was different which helped in individualisation and also in better understanding of the remedies.

  9. The symposium also touched on important aspects of understanding diagnosis and prognosis of mental and well as physical diseases.

EXPERIENCES OF PARTICIPANTS

A good grasp could be evolved over the technical aspect of the T-F-C-A-R model and its individual components. The significance of the feedback based on the result and the subsequent impact on the thoughts, feelings, the purpose and the commitment helped in a better understanding of how the patient has struck the balance in his/her life was well understood.

The symposium highlighted the sensitive handling of patients by physicians (case 01, 02, 04 and 08). It also helped in understanding the utility of repertorisation and learning to convert symptoms into rubrics. Rubrics such as frenzy causing him to injure himself, delusion infidelity, delusion suffered wrong and injustice cannot support are a few examples of this learning and also helped to enhance the understanding of the homoeopathic materia medica.

The successive discussion of cases of Lyssinum on Day 02 crystallised and broadened the understanding of the remedy. The synthetic prescription of Natrum silicata with identification of 2 blocks of symptoms as well as the individuality of Natrum silicata was well appreciated. The fear and fright aspect of Stramonium was highlighted in one case, whereas the suspicion and delusion coming out of insecurity and want of support was highlighted in all three cases of Stramonium.

The post-graduate students of the department of Homoeopathic Materia Medica, Dr. MLDMHI, integrated the data of all three remedies from source books, commentators and different repertories and presented a comprehensive T-F-C-A-R model of the remedies integrating with the cases discussed in the symposium. The presentation consolidated the understanding of the three remedies and was appreciated by all the participants.

CONCLUSION – UTILITY OF APPROACH

The 3-day symposium was a fruitful exercise to explore a novel way of understanding patients and the homoeopathic materia medica through the T-F-C-A-R model. The concept helped in getting a comprehensive understanding of the patient, his T-F-C-A-R and its effective correlation with the materia medica. It helped to have a better and comprehensive understanding of the remedies Lyssinum, Stramonium and Natrum Silicata which could now be applied into practice. There is a scope for further exploration of more remedies through this model and evolving a differential materia medica. It has also been suggested to have a follow-up symposium on the same topic to consolidate the understanding of materia medica through the T-F-C-A-R model.

A monograph of these remedies can also be attempted to have a comprehensive study of the remedies.

Acknowledgement

We thank Mrs. Rohini Belsare for her help in editing this report.

Ethical approval

The Institutional Review Board approval is not required.

Declaration of patient consent

Patient’s consent was not required as there are no patients in this study.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

Use of artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted technology for manuscript preparation

The authors confirm that there was no use of artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted technology for assisting in the writing or editing of the manuscript and no images were manipulated using AI.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

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