Practitioner Bulletin no. 56, July/Aug 2004

Bach Foundation International Register
The Bach Centre
Mount Vernon
Bakers Lane
Oxon OX10 0PZ
Telephone +44 (0)1491 834678
Fax +44 (0)1491 825022

Bach Centre website and bulletin en español

We’re pleased to announce that the Bach Centre’s website and back issues of the Bulletin are now available in Spanish. This is all due to the dedication and hard work of BFRP Alexandra Landgraf. Alexandra has single-handedly translated all the material – and there is a lot of it! – in order to help spread the word more effectively.

You can get to her site by going to, or you can click the Spanish flag at the bottom of each page of the main Bach Centre web site. To access the translations of the Bulletin go to

Alexandra has lots of other ideas as well: see her letter in this issue!


by Stefan Ball

In 1962 the psychologist Abraham Maslow set out his ideas about human needs in a book called Towards a Psychology of Being. According to Maslow, needs can be understood as a hierarchy, something like a pyramid. We start at the bottom of the pyramid and move up through the levels as our circumstances improve.

At the bottom, Maslow put the fundamentals such as food to feed us, shelter from the elements and air to breathe. These needs are basic because we die if we can’t meet them. If we have a problem at this level – say for example we struggle to get enough to eat – we will not be able to think about anything else and so will not move up the hierarchy.

Once we have satisfied our basic needs our focus moves away to the next level, where we begin to think about safety and comfort, then to our need to find friendship, love and a place in society. And once these needs are met our focus changes again to the need for esteem. We want to be able to respect ourselves and to have the respect of others. We want to feel confident and useful and valuable. At each stage the satisfaction of one set of needs shifts the focus to the next highest storey of the pyramid.

Maslow placed the ‘self-actualisation’ needs at the top of the hierarchy. Self-actualisation includes two complementary components:

  • First, finding one’s particular path in life, or self-development.
  • Second, feeling connected to something greater than oneself, or the transcending of self.

The great self-actualisers in history have been religious leaders such as Mohammed, Jesus and Buddha, but we find the same combination in great artists, musicians and poets, political leaders and campaigners of all kinds.

Maslow pointed out that the failure to meet felt needs results in unhappiness and restlessness regardless of the level of the pyramid we have reached. If we fail to find love and affection we will be unhappy. But finding love and affection will not in itself lead to permanent happiness because we will then look for the next thing.

Continuing happiness is therefore a process in which we shift the focus up the pyramid and meet successive needs as we get to them.

Our natural tendency to move up the hierarchy explains why the consumer culture fails to satisfy our hunger. Its workings remain geared to material comfort while our higher needs are elsewhere. This is where the remedies come in: they can help us meet our aspirations to self-actualisation, so giving us that sense of continuous happiness and fulfilment.

‘These remedies have assisted us to grow, to learn, to understand, to expand, to develop, to cope, to enjoy and to be, in a way that I never thought possible before,’ a practitioner once wrote. ‘My sense of spirituality has completely opened up. The remedies are the food of the spirit when it hungers.’

Book review: The Origin of Everyday Moods

by Nicola Hanefeld BFRP, Germany

I would like to recommend the book The Origin of Everyday Moods: Managing Energy, Tension and Stress by Robert E. Thayer.

Thayer is a scientist who has researched into mood and emotion. His book was for me most inspiring. He reports, among other things, on how people regulate their bad moods – although taking remedies was not among the strategies. The most common responses were social interaction such as calling, talking or being with someone (54%), controlling thoughts (51%), avoiding the thing or person causing the bad mood, or trying to be alone, or listening to music (all 47%). At the bottom of the list ranged behaviours such as drinking alcohol (15%) or coffee (12%), having sex (9%), smoking (8%), and using other drugs (5%) to influence and change a bad mood.

Thayer makes a distinction between states he calls calm energy and calm tiredness (which we often experience through taking the remedies), and tense energy (when we may reach for the Impatiens or Vervain bottle etc.) and tense tiredness (Oak / Elm etc.). He looks into conscious awareness of moods, and into the evolutionary advantage of having moods and how they influence our behaviour and planning of future activities. For the more scientific of us, he also discusses the biochemistry of brain and mood relationships.

The book was published by the Oxford University Press.

Your letters

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.




A few ideas for some remedy songs:

  • Tears of a Clown – Agrimony
  • I am a Rock, I am an Island – Water Violet
  • Rainy Days and Mondays – Mustard / Hornbeam
  • Crying – Sweet Chestnut
  • When I’m Sixty-Four – Clematis
  • Memory – Honeysuckle
  • Jealous Guy – Holly

Jill Woods BFRP, England

I would like to inform you that the Bach Centre’s website is now available in Spanish under front page – Ed.)

I would like to form a practitioner discussion group in Malaga / Spain. As I have no experience with groups I would be grateful for any guidelines. Maybe we could define topics and areas of work, which would help in our development as practitioners and maybe contribute to our Continuing Professional Development.

It was a good idea from Caroline Kenyon to compile a list of music that portrays different remedies (see March issue – Ed.). Another idea would be to gather images or caricatures for each remedy, like the ones included in Stefan Ball’s book The Bach Remedies Workbook.

Cards with images like this would be very helpful for clients, as they could easily identify themselves with one or more cards which would make selection easier. On the back of each card, we could include a picture of the flower and the general description. What do you think?

By the way, can we send letters ‘FOR PUBLICATION’ to an e-mail address?

Alexandra Landgraf, BFRP

Practitioner Support Groups are an excellent idea, Alexandra, and can indeed generate discussion and reflection that ends up on our CPD forms. Local groups are very easy to start, as well. It’s as simple as going to the list of practitioners on the website (click the Help button at and looking up who is in your area. There are email addresses and phone numbers there, so you just need to set up the first meeting and let people know about it.

Correspondence for publication can be emailed to Stefan at the Bach Centre – just mark it ‘for publication’ and it will end up in the right place.

The cards sound like a great idea, and if anyone has images along this line that could be used send them into the Centre and we’ll see if we can get something together. – Ed.

Welcome to…

Since the last (May 2004) issue was prepared, 68 new practitioners have joined the register:

  • in Argentina, Lucrecia Edna Busch Barreda;
  • in Australia, Robyn Rechner and Libby Kinna-Carew;
  • in Brazil, Edith Uzac Lancksweert, Silvia Scherma, Antônio De Brito Neto, Rita De Cassia Kruth Verdade, Meire Aparecida Gomes, Marcia Cristina Freese de Carvalho and Ana Cristina Teixeira Monteiro;
  • in Costa Rica, Rose Marie Peralta Volio;
  • in Denmark, Birthe Magelund, Lis Dannenberg and Birgitte Bredsdorff;
  • in England, Mary Richardson, Julie Wood, Margaret Edwell, Victoria Rawle, Irma Sobesto, Claire Cook, Elissa Pepper, Maria Fleet, Melanie Lagan, Stefania Langiu, Lisa Minyara, Judy Yeo, Alyson Allen and Annemette Hoegh;
  • in Finland, Ulla-Maija Borg and Anne Jouhtinen;
  • in France, Marie-Pascale Legeleux, Carole Bourdarot, Christine Vautrin and Chris Besnard;
  • in Germany, Irmtraud Besier;
  • in Italy, Maria Elena Rayneri and Stefania Masi;
  • in Japan, Aya Tanayama, Teiko Inamoto, Wakako Yamaki, Kazuko Akabane, Miyuki Ohzeki, Mizuho Nanase, Akiko Oota, Hidemi Fujimoto, Tomi Kitagawa, Miki Sawai, Hiromi Kato, Yumiko Naruse, Ayako Tsubota and Setsuko Kobayashi;
  • in Malaysia, Toh Gaik See;
  • in the Netherlands, Wilma Boterenbrood and Martin Krol;
  • in Northern Ireland, Ann Kerr and Sandra Quinn;
  • in Norway, Susie Byskov Grimsrud, Heidi Welander Wallum, Ranveig Undis Ellevog and Anne Berit Rønningen;
  • in Spain, Anna Serrano Rochera, Mabel del Rosario Gentili, Eilish Holden and David Fontova Navarro;
  • in the U.S.A., Sheryl Rae Marquez, Joyce Barker and Charlotte Mandell;
  • and in Uruguay, Beatriz Leicht.

There are now 1,461 practitioners on the register.

BFRP Elaine Hollingsworth emailed us about a website and newsletter that highlight research into animal intelligence, emotion and behaviour – topics that will be of interest to any BFRP who works with animals – or simply struggles to get the right remedy for the family cat.

The site,, is sponsored by the Compassion in World Farming Trust. There is a forum so that you can ask questions and contribute ideas and experiences of your own, and the ‘news’ features alone are worth a visit: the issue we saw includes research from the University of Texas proving that dogs have personality, news on a gorilla that can communicate using sign language and the Bristol University Veterinary School’s research into pessimism in rats.

‘Please tell your friends about the site,’ writes the editor. ‘The more people discuss the amazing inner feelings of animals, the better chance we’ve got of improving their treatment around the world.’ We agree, of course, and are happy to pass on the information.

What would you do if…?

Here is a challenge for you: something to think about by yourself or discuss with other practitioners.

A new client, A, tells you during her first consultation that she is having an affair with a married man. As she talks she mentions the name of the man’s wife, B, and a few other personal details. You realise that B is also a client of yours.

A few days later B comes for her regular consultation. She starts off by saying that she still needs Holly because she gets suspicious every time her wonderful husband phones to say he is working late.

Write and tell us how you would deal with this situation. We’ll print a selection of replies in a future edition of the Bulletin.

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