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Continuous Professional Development
In all kinds of professions some form of Continuous Professional Development, or CPD, is becoming the norm. This includes health care. In the UK, for example, nurses have to attend courses to improve their skills as a condition of keeping their registration. Increasingly CPD applies to complementary practitioners as well.
The Bach Centre is committed to raising the professional standard of practitioners on its Register, and for this reason we will be setting out full guidelines on CPD in future Bulletins. What we want to do here, though, is sketch out how we see CPD forming part of what every Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner does.
The first thing to say is that you are almost certainly already doing CPD-related activities, although you may call them something else. This is because CPD does not just mean going on courses – it means anything that helps you build skills that are relevant to your practice. For example, CPD could include any of these activities:
- reading books about the remedies or their use;
- reading journals that deal with ‘professional’ activities like listening, conducting consultations etc.;
- dealing with clients who present you with new situations, problems and challenges;
- writing up and reflecting on case notes;
- getting together with other professionals and sharing information;
- explaining and justifying your work to clients, friends and relations.
The thing that turns these activities into CPD is your willingness to record, reflect on and learn from your experiences in a structured way.
In common with many other registering organisations, the Bach Centre will be asked in the future about its commitment to CPD. In particular complementary therapies will more and more be expected to follow the lead of the orthodox professions and make CPD a condition of continued registration.
We believe that we should take a lead in this area, because in the end CPD is good for practitioners and good for clients: the more we know the better we can help people. For this reason our intention is to move over the next few years to a position where we will only refer clients to practitioners who can demonstrate their commitment to CPD.
However, we don’t want to become so rigidly ‘professional’ that we exclude those whose only qualifications for practice are (in Dr Bach’s words) love and sympathy. Practitioners who do not want to engage in formal CPD will therefore stay on the Register, but they will be listed as ‘inactive’ practitioners and so will not be eligible for referral. We will give you more details of how this scheme will work over the coming months. And of course your comments and input are always welcome.
To sum up, at this stage there is no requirement to engage in CPD. But we urge you to think now about how you develop as practitioners (if you are not already doing so) so that you can start to identify how CPD fits into your existing practice. Full guidelines will follow later in the year.
My talk at a University Conference
by Jane Flaxington BFRP, U.S.A.
I would like to share a recent experience I had in February which was encouraging and exciting. First of all I should tell you I was one of the participants in the first animal day offered at Mount Vernon in 1998. Heather Simpson, who taught the class piqued my interest in using the essences on animals and made me think along new lines at how we approach choosing essences. Since that time I have read all I could on animal behaviour, normal and abnormal.
Last year the college of veterinary medicine school at the University of Illinois asked if I would come and speak to the student holistic group. It was such a success they invited me again last semester to repeat the talk. I was also invited to be a guest speaker at a holistic veterinary medicine seminar they were organising in February.
Although experienced in public speaking and teaching, preparing and presenting a paper is usually my husband’s domain as a professor. He was very helpful in suggestions on how to present the information and helped me with the printed overview they required.
As the date grew nearer I had qualms when I saw I was to be the first speaker of the two day conference with many nationally known holistic vets speaking on such topics as homeopathy, acupuncture, animal massage and chiropractic care. I persuaded myself that this was OK, I could present first then sit back and enjoy the next two days without comparing myself to others and having to glug back Larch!
When the day came I opened my talk with the basic historical background of where the essences come from, then introduced the participants to the idea of energy, and the similarities of the various modalities they were going to hear about during the course of the two days.
I was honest and explained my having to go back to school to learn as much as I could about animal behaviour in order to be a good and professional practitioner. This went down very well to the audience of 50% students, 50% veterinarians. The point I wanted to make was that learning does not stop just because we have a certificate. The beauty of the essences is that we learn new subtleties of using them all the time.
I then gave situational uses of the essences including my own case histories and several I got from Judy and Stefan’s Bach Flower Remedies for Animals book. I finished with the crisis combination and asked the audience of about 50 how many of them used it in their practice. Many hands were raised which was encouraging to me, and endorsed my suggestion that there are many people promoting holistic health quietly and effectively and that the essences have stood the test of time, albeit a difficult task with present legalities.
Several good questions were asked after the talk and I was relieved and elated to see that I had finished on time. During the course of the day several of the other presenters mentioned my talk in theirs and at the end of the day I felt as if I had had the privilege of participating in a really holistic event.
One of the vets introduced herself as being a member of the American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association, an 800 member group, and told me their annual meetings were usually held in Hawaii or Florida and would I be interested in speaking!
I would encourage all practitioners to speak from the heart when presenting the essences, its what we do best and its what we know.
I would like to thank my teachers in the UK, Lynn Macwhinnie and Heather Simpson for giving me the necessary encouragement, my teacher in the US, Elisabeth Wiley, who is always there to give me suggestions and offer calming thoughts, and Stefan Ball at Mount Vernon along with Neke Stergioulis at Nelsons in the USA for providing me with extra case histories.
Whether we present in church halls, health food stores or university auditoriums the message is the same and we are all capable of delivering it: keep it pure, keep it simple.
We want you to use this Bulletin to keep in touch with each other. If anything wonderful, funny, interesting or just plain typical has happened to you in your work with the remedies, or if there are any questions that have been nagging away at you, or if you simply want to say hello, please write to us at the Bach Centre, marking your letter clearly as being ‘FOR PUBLICATION’.
We can’t promise to print every letter in the Bulletin, but even if we don’t use your contribution we always love to hear from you.
I had been looking for a definition of ‘saint’ that children would understand, something more inspiring than ‘a holy man’. A discussion ensued in the staff room. A few days later I received the following note from another teacher:
‘Heard a lovely definition of a saint on the radio on Sunday morning. A little girl was taken to visit a great cathedral by her auntie, and as she was looking at all the stained glass windows she asked who all the people in the pictures were. “Ah, they are the saints,” said her aunt.
‘When she was telling her mum all about it she asked the little girl who the saints were. “Oh, they are the ones who let the light shine through,” she said.
‘As the commentator said, I couldn’t have put it better myself. Thought of you at once after the conversation on Thursday.’
– Evelyn Munro BFRP, UK
My own personal introduction to the remedies came at a sad time in my life, about 4 years ago. I was struggling with coping with my husband’s terminal illness and our beautiful German shepherd dog, who was ten, became ill. Within a very short space of time she sadly died. The devastation we felt was indescribable.
It was at this time I used the crisis formula for the first time, for me and my son. From that day onwards the remedies became part of my life. They have helped us throughout the remaining four years of my husband’s tragic illness, and everything we had to bear. When his condition deteriorated drastically in October last year we continued to nurse him 24 hours a day. In his final tragic week as he slipped into a coma we continued to rub Rescue™ Remedy on his wrists and temples to ease him through to his next journey.
As he passed away peacefully in the early hours of Thursday 12th October, last year, we were still using the remedy. I know this helped him to let go, and be at peace as he passed away.
The remedies, of course continue to be a major part of our journey forward alone, without him.
– Susan Owen BFRP, UK
If anybody has any experience of giving Bach consultations in company settings please contact me – I’d love to hear from you!
– Michael Lindsay BFRP
I discovered Elm when I developed lower back pain and felt as though I’d seized up completely. This coincided with a time at work when I felt particularly stressed. I tried analgesic rubs and anti-inflammatories and then I had a mental picture of a tree bent over in the wind and I used Elm. I don’t know how long it took but I suddenly realised the pain had gone.
Chicory was humbling – isn’t it always! On holiday I sprained my ankle and dutifully rubbed some cream on and managed to hobble back to our hotel. It soon became apparent that it needed strapping and my husband offered to find a pharmacy.
There are considerate husbands who would return in five minutes. There are others who finding themselves in Paris with their wife safely immobilised in a hotel – well, who could resist the temptation of a beer in the sunshine … Suffice to say that after two hours waiting for him to return I fell asleep – and dreamt of a bandage winding a figure of eight, one loop around my ankle and the other round my husband. Although I didn’t have Chicory with me I’m convinced that my realisation that I needed it sped up my recovery!
– Theresa McInnes BFRP, UK.
Since the last (May 2001) issue was prepared, 51 new practitioners have joined the register:
- in Argentina, Ana Maria Favole de Arena;
- in Brazil, Rita Maria Rangel Cerqueira, Douglas Gregorio Miguel, Willmichela Toledo Gomes Tenorio, Irami Pinheiro Tavares, Eliana do Rocio and Guerra Macuco Miranda;
- in Canada, Kathleen Thomson-Richer;
- in Denmark, Karen Mansa and Lisbeth Eriksen;
- in England, Lulu Chammas, Ann Stringer, Leah Entwistle, Kamal Nathwani, Kathy Gardner, Renate Nallinger, Jan Roberts, Glenda Dougherty, Alison Clark, Pauline Passmore, Linda Newman, Jacqueline Kavanagh, Beverley Mason and David Marsh;
- in France, Dominique Maligner, Sylvie Delfosse, Valérie Elsenberger, Alfred Ludmann, Dominique Simeoni, Diana Yedid, Edith Samson, Hélène Anglesio, Manuel Bodin, Cindy Huard and Christine Louveau;
- in Germany, Patricia Reeve-De Becker;
- in Israel, Orit Burstein;
- in Italy, Fiamma Zambrini;
- in Kenya, Michele Ostertag-Bagot
- in New Zealand, Lea Sturmer, Rosalind Bingham, Bill Ryan and Lynda Battah;
- in Northern Ireland, Margaret Douglas;
- in Spain, Núria Páez Galera;
- and in the USA, Barry Rosenstreich, Sandy Meyers, Anne Uemura PhD, Eric Amberg PhD, Sylvaine Stocker, Lauren Mirkin and Mary Ann Dittmeier.
There are now 984 practitioners on the register.
This archive material has been edited to remove some out-of-date advice and information.