Appendix V


Notes for the Supervisors of Provers who are not Homœopaths or Students


The role of the supervisor is to give the prover general support and to ascertain from them all the details of their symptoms.

You should have a meeting with the proving coordinator to make sure that you understand your role in the proving process.

You should have spoken to the prover at least once and preferably several times before the proving to 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.

You should arrange several meetings with the prover, at least once a week for the first couple of weeks and then one or two more. There will also be group meetings for the provers and supervisors. You should also be available, a daily call in time is a good arrangement, should the prover need to contact you between meetings,

The act of supervising is analogous to that of case-taking. 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 prover and supervisor, so they can be described and noted.

You should assist the prover to Clarify, Verify and Enlarge upon the details of their symptoms. Make sure that you can clearly and accurately record what has happened to the prover and how they feel about it. 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. The best way to examine the proving symptom is to use Boenninghausen's CLAMS.
Concomitants Any other symptoms that accompany the main symptom and have a relationship to it because: they appear together; they affect or worsen each other; or they have a common quality.
Location The place that the symptom occurs. This includes the centre of the symptom's effect as well as extensions, where else it affects, and sidedness.
Aetiology The things that cause the symptom to appear or the things that reignite a symptom after it has been lying relatively dormant.
Modalities The things that make the symptoms better or worse. These can include weather, food and eating, exercise, rest, emotions, concentration, etc.
The nature of the symptom, what it feels like, any metaphors that make its nature clearer, anything that would help a reader understand the precise nature of the symptom.
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 particularly well explored and recorded.

You should record your conversations with the prover in as much detail as possible. It is usually helpful to record or video the conversation if you can. The conversations and symptoms should then be written up us as outlined in Appendix III. The symptoms are likely to have a narrative nature to them and it is often more important to maintain this narrative than to split the symptoms too much. If possible the date, time and type of symptom should be noted. When the report on the prover's experience is complete it should be sent to the proving coordinator.

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.