Practitioner Bulletin no. 11

Little things first…

At the end of the last Bulletin, I (Judy) asked you to be patient while you waited for the next one because motherhood was imminent and I might be gone some time…

My twins, Sam and Fay, arrived on 13th December weighing in at 6 lb 1/2 oz and 5 lb 13 oz respectively, and although it is very hard and tiring at times, they have given me more joy than I can possibly put into words.

Now, almost six months later, I am just beginning to filter back into mainstream work. However, as I arrive at Mount Vernon each morning with two babies, buggy, and about ten bags filled with bottle warmers, food, change gear, toys, and various other provisions for the day, I get the feeling that my presence is more of a hindrance than a help!

Chris too is juggling motherhood with work, and consequently we are rarely at the Centre together, although sometimes, like heavily-laden ships in the night, we pass each other hurrying either in or out with our respective babies, buggies and luggage. But with the remedies, particularly the crisis mix (or just plain Cherry Plum!), Olive and Elm never far away to keep us sane, awake and able to cope, we are still smiling… (usually).

Next, an introduction…

Those of you who have been in touch with the Centre during the last couple of months may have spoken to Stefan Ball who joined us recently. Stef’s background includes a BA in languages, computer expertise and a passion for literature.

As you may have guessed, he is Chris’s husband so already had a sound knowledge of the Bach remedies long before he joined us. This was further inspired when he was commissioned to write a book on the subject – Flower Remedies, due for release at the end of May by Blitz Editions. It is an attractive and comprehensive book, providing excellent easy to read descriptions of the remedies and their indications, along with how to use them in a variety of situations. I can certainly recommend it.

Stef will be involved in all the activities of the Centre, but in particular he will be working with Chris and me on educational issues. You will be pleased to know that he is very keen on the idea of practitioner refresher courses, so hopefully, with Stef’s help, we should be able to get things moving in that direction soon. Watch this space – again!

The International Bach Education Programme

As you know, the UK education is structured on three levels – introductory seminar days for those new to the subject, week-end workshops for those who wish to take things further, enhance their personal knowledge of the subject and get to know the remedies in more detail, and the practitioner training courses for those who wish to use the Bach remedies in their therapeutic work.

It is our aim, working in conjunction with Karen Chapman of Nelsons (Manager of the IBEP and co-ordinator of the activities overseas), to introduce a similar three-tiered educational structure all over the world.

The first country, outside the UK, to see the full programme in operation has been the USA, with the first practitioner course having been run at the end of April. The course was conducted by our US trainer Karen Maresca, together with Registered UK practitioner and appointed Bach trainer, Lynn Macwhinnie. Some changes to the UK course were implemented in order to suit the new audience, and they made a valuable contribution to the curriculum. We may therefore introduce some of these ideas to the practitioner course at Mount Vernon from September 1997.

At the end of May, practitioner training will take place in Spain, and later in Holland. Both countries have already established the seminars and workshops which were very well received and welcomed. There has been so much confusion and misunderstanding recently, we do feel that a professional training programme and sound educational structure throughout the world is desperately needed. Once it is up and running world-wide, thereby creating a network of knowledgeable enthusiasts and an International Register of Bach Practitioners, it will represent a wonderful tribute to Dr Bach.

Practitioner addresses

When approached for referral by prospective clients, we are often asked for practitioners’ addresses. It has so far always been our policy not to divulge addresses to clients, unless specifically asked to do so, providing them with only town, county and the telephone number of individual practitioners. We are also approached by a number of organisations requesting a complete list of Registered Practitioners – presumably for a mail-shot. Again, we have respected practitioners’ privacy and have not provided any such list.

Are we acting in accordance with your wishes?

We have assumed that you prefer us NOT to disclose addresses. However, some (maybe most?) of you may prefer that we do give these details out. Each practitioner will have personal views on this matter, depending on individual practices and circumstances. In order to protect the interests of you ALL, would you please complete and return the enclosed questionnaire. We will then amend our records accordingly. Thank you.

Case histories

It has been suggested to us by John in Middlesbrough, that a book containing a wide variety of case histories would be an extremely useful source of reference. John points out that many people enjoy reading how other people with similar conditions to themselves have been helped by the remedies. Indeed, it is generally reassuring to know there are others in the same boat and that one is not alone with a certain problem.

At present, the only book which provides case histories related to all the remedies is the Handbook, but more detailed case descriptions and related remedy used may, perhaps, be welcomed. It is certainly a suggestion worthy of consideration as we appreciate how helpful such a reference book might be, and it is something which has indeed already occurred to us.

Many of the case studies presented in Part 2 of the practitioner course were extremely well presented – thorough as well as detailed and informative. Even though, in some instances, the outcome was not conclusive, the follow-through and reasoning being the choice of remedies is the important factor, helping the reader to appreciate how the remedies were applied in each case.

If a source of reference such as this were to come to fruition – as a published book, to support an article or general publication, or purely for the use of students and practitioners – it would naturally be extremely helpful to include some of the case studies you have presented. If we were to use them, confidentiality would of course be respected, and names etc., would be changed in order to maintain anonymity and protect clients’ privacy. They would also be written up in a discreet and sensitive manner.

We appreciate that even with these safeguards in place, not everyone will feel comfortable with the publication of certain clients’ case studies – this we understand and respect. We would be most grateful therefore if you would please let us know how you feel by answering the questions in the second part of the enclosed questionnaire. We will then know whether or not such a project is feasible. Thank you.

Clients’ testimonies

We are often asked by the media if we can provide “real life” case histories or testimonies. What is usually asked for is someone who would be available and willing to be interviewed and describe the help he or she received from the Bach remedies. Sometimes this would be a straightforward interview with perhaps a photograph for publication in a magazine to support an article about Dr Bach and the remedies, but more recently, we have been asked whether we know of someone willing to give such a testimony in front of a TV camera (for a series about complementary medicine on “This Morning”).

It would be extremely helpful to know of willing people in a variety of locations around the country, and we are therefore asking you whether you might give it some thought. If you know of any clients who might be willing to give a brief account of their experiences, we would be most grateful if you could let us know. We would then know who to contact when these requests come in.

It goes without saying of course that there should be no breach of confidentiality – it would be with the client’s full consent and cooperation, the removal of which would always remain their right.

Treatment of clients taking mind-altering medication

Earlier this year we had a letter from Jill in Romford asking a question which has, in a variety of ways, been asked many times before. We therefore felt it would be helpful to give some guidelines as it is a situation likely to be encountered by most practitioners at some time. Jill’s question was:

Have the remedies a much harder job to do if taken alongside many of today’s mood/personality-changing drugs? I am currently treating a lady who is on eight different drugs including anti-depressants, and two people on Prozac.

Basically, the remedies will work regardless of what other remedies/drugs a client may be taking. However, in the case of tranquillisers, sedatives, stimulants and other powerful drugs which act on the central nervous system, the capacity of some of these drugs to either suppress or enhance emotional states and synthetically provide a false sense of peace or euphoria, may indeed interfere with the client’s apparent response to the remedies.

This does not necessarily mean that the remedies are not working – their effect may simply be masked by the effects of the drug. In time, the positive action of the remedies will help the client come to terms with the underlying problem and why he/she was prescribed the particular drug/s in the first place. This in turn will, we trust, reduce the client’s dependency or need for the drug/s.

One might imagine the see-saw analogy once again, with the axis, as always, representing equilibrium or the “true self”, something the Bach remedies help us achieve and/or maintain. If necessary, treatment with the remedies can then be continued on a longer term basis in order to address and settle any unresolved underlying issues.

Please note; The side effects of withdrawal form certain mind-altering drugs can be uncomfortable and sometimes extremely hazardous. Withdrawal must always be gradual as sudden cessation can be dangerous. It is also vital that clients who express their wish or intention to withdraw from such medication seek the advice and support of their doctor.

It should also be noted that because tranquillisers etc. in effect suppress unpleasant emotions, when intake is stopped or reduced the emotions which were otherwise kept at bay will naturally be given a new lease of life and, as a result, re-surface. If the underlying problem has largely been “forgotten”, the return of particularly painful memories, anger or guilt, for example, may be quite alarming, and for some people, perhaps a harrowing experience.

In order to reassure your client, you will need to explain how the remedies work and that they cannot create negative emotions. Sometimes negative moods and feelings are experienced during the healing process because the remedies enable the release of stifled inner feelings, but in no way do the remedies actually cause the emotion – that is always there already. This is an important point to remember because the remedies are sometimes blamed for causing a “bad reaction” even when the reaction is, in fact, symptoms of uncomfortable withdrawal from medication.

Nevertheless, it is important to remember that fear plays a major part in both cases, and may of course be the reason behind the client’s need for treatment in the first place, so careful explanation from the start and lots of reassurance along the way are vital components of what everyone concerned hopes will be a successful outcome.

Support groups

Feedback from some of the Support Groups now up and running has been extremely positive. The impression from everyone I have spoken to is that everywhere should have one and that everyone should join! Yet, sadly, they are still few in number, although we know this is not an accurate reflection of need.

There might be a feeling that joinging a “support group” implies “I can’t cope – I must have group counselling!” The Bach Practitioner Support Groups are NOT in this category! They are basically there to help practitioners in the same area get to know one another so no-one feels isolated. What you talk about is up to you – it may be difficult cases or situations, uncertainties, or dissatisfaction and problems which may be referred on to us… Equally you may prefer to simply get together and forget work, using the opportunity to discuss other things in life and generally get to know each other.

If there is no support group in your area, all you need to do to start one is give us a ring or drop us a line. We will then send you a list of all the other practitioners in your district or county so that you can make contact. The rest is up to you!

To bring you up to date, here is a list of the support groups initiated so far:

AVON – Nanda Walsh

BEDFORDSHIRE – Judith Brooke

BERKSHIRE – Helen Rowe

BUCKS – Ann Bruce

ESSEX – Jill Woods


HERTS/NORTH LONDON – Sally Anne Hutcheson

LANCS – Susan Layne

OXFORDSHIRE – Patricia King

OXFORD – Wayne Adams

SURREY – Cynthia Prior



YORKSHIRE – Sylvia Spence

NORTH WALES – Rita Kerfoot-Owen

SCOTLAND – Robin Bate

The Green Directory

We have recently been approached by The Green Directory who would like to pass on the following information:


In recent years, public interest in holistic medicine, healthy eating and ‘green’ issues has flourished. However, many people have difficulty in finding practitioners, products and services to support a more conscious lifestyle. This major flaw has highlighted the need for a free, national directory. This is the inspiration behind The Green Directory which is to be launched in October.

The Green Directory will list, on a national basis, complementary practitioners and teachers, suppliers and manufacturers of health products and services, as well as businesses and groups involved in organic farming, recycling, environmental protection etc.

To allow easy public access, the directory will be distributed free to health food shops, supermarket customer service areas, chemists, libraries, tourist information centres and selected retail outlets who will each display a Green Directory window logo. We, the publishers, are currently negotiating with many hight street groups e.g. Safeway, Tesco, Holland & Barratt and Superdrug. All practitioners and organisations listed will also receive a free directory.

We would like to include as many registered Bach flower remedy practitioners as possible so health food shop staff can guide their customers wishing to consult a local practitioner and help promote the remedies. The directory is supported by a minimum subscription of £25 per year for a listing.

If you wish to find out more, send your name and address to Susan Morgan at The Green Book Publishing Co Ltd. There is no obligation to subscribe and your details will be treated as strictly confidential. We look forward to hearing from you.


Another insurance scheme has come to our notice. Robin Bate, a Bach practitioner in Scotland, wrote to us at the end of last year (sorry for the delay, Robin!) with the following information:

I spoke with Lisa Parrs, CE Heath (UK) Ltd. She tells me that she could organise a collective insurance policy for 30+ practitioners (30 is the minimum number needed, but we could have as many as we like in the scheme). The benefits being that it would cost about £60 per year, per head, for a malpractice insurance package, as opposed to £125 per year that it would cost for an individual policy. There would also be an admin. Charge of £5 per year. Anyone can volunteer to do the administration, but if no-one objects I will administer the scheme. Anyone interested should write to me, Robin Bate, Edinburgh.

Thank you, Robin, for the information, and good luck – we hope it works well.

Guild of Complementary Practitioners

We have been approached by this association and have been asked to inform practitioners of its existence. They are “a professional association for qualified practitioners in complementary medicine” and offer membership, insurance and the opportunity to join a referral register. We do not know enough about the aims and objectives to give a personal endorsement, but if you would like to know more, they will be happy to send you an information pack.

Rescue Cream

In the last Bulletin we mentioned that the new packaging for this was about to be launched, alongside a campaign of advertising. We would welcome any comments you might have, either about the adverts or the cream’s new look, so we can pass them on to the makers. Do let us know your views.

General information leaflet

We feel sure that by now you will have seen the new colour information leaflet which is available to shops, clinics and practitioner for customers and clients to pick up. It has since been revised with various amendments to enhance its purpose and make it more informative.

Congratulations are in order for…

Barbara Watkinson, Angelina Kelly, Attracta Bradley, Jennifer Mourant, Valerie Walker-Dendle, Jane Bassett, Ann Percival, Maureen Seely, Carol Kemmis, Maggie Jamieson, Anju Poxon, Lizzie Hill, Jan Vernon, Barbara Tremain, Iona Muncaster, Bronwyn Carson, Marion Webb-de-Sisto, Prue Murray, Robert Holborow, Aileen King, Frances Barnes, Donal McDaniel, Rosemary Austin, Jan Moore, Andrea Haley, Janet Bridgeman, Lynne Loftus, Angela Davies, Angela King, Sharon Lloyd, Judith Brooke…

who have all successfully finished the course since the last Bulletin (seems such a long time ago now!). We wish you all every success and happiness in your work – and welcome to the team!

And finally…

Apparently we have just experienced the coldest May on record – or at least for a good number of years. Here’s hoping the summer will provide us with much needed rain, but also a generous helping of warm and sunny weather. Whatever it is you have planned, enjoy your summer and make time for a happy, restful holiday.


This archive material has been edited to remove some out-of-date advice and information.