Appendix II


Notes for for Supervisors


The role of the supervisors is to give the provers general support and to help them to make sure that they have noted all the details of their symptoms.

You should have spoken to the prover at least once and preferably several times before the proving and have gathered an impression of their base-line state. The symptom is represented by a change from this base-line state and is not independent of who the prover is.

At the beginning of the proving you should be in daily contact with your prover. This can reduce as the proving continues and symptoms become less frequent.

The act of supervising is analogous to that of case-taking and for students it is therefore a valuable chance to get case-taking experience in a safe but concentrated way. However, there is an important distinction that you need to keep in mind. In chronic case-taking you are trying to find some of the situation behind the disease state, what it is that has caused it, what is the patient's particular susceptibility. In a proving the cause is already known, it is the taking of the remedy, and the prover's susceptibility tells us nothing about the remedy though it may be useful information for the prover's homœopath. The situation is closer to that of an acute situation or epidemic disease, the cause is obvious and what is needed is an understanding of the details and especially the peculiarities.

The conversation between the supervisor and the prover should be a means of bringing the details and characteristics of a symptom into the awareness of the prover.

You should assist the prover to Clarify, Verify and Enlarge upon the details of their symptoms. Make sure that what the prover has written clearly and accurately reflects what has happened. Make sure that all the details of the symptoms have been examined and expanded upon in the same way as a patient's symptoms would be. Remember to ask for: Concomitants, Location, Aetiology, Modalities, Sensations. Another way of considering the symptom is to ask: What? Where? When? How? Why? This is done without making conjectures or asking leading questions.

As in general case-taking the most important symptoms will be indicated by the animation of the prover, by repetition, by their contradictory nature and by the fact that they are unusual. If any of these indicators are present you should make sure that the symptom is fully explored and recorded by the prover.

You should keep notes of your conversations and at the end of the proving you should look over the prover's diary and point out anything significant that is missing from it.

It is possible that you will "catch" the proving and experience symptoms. Generally these symptoms are useful expressions of your susceptibility and they should be taken to your homœopath. Sometimes, if your susceptibility is particularly close to the remedy, they constitute a useful proving. If they are very strong you should contact the proving coordinator.

A proving can bring out many feelings in the prover, including ones of isolation and anger and you may be a target for these feelings. You may need to be very understanding and non-judgemental in order to be supportive.