By Katja Bähr BFRP, Germany
Are Bach Foundation Registered Practitioners professionals or not? What is the difference between being and not being a professional? Does it even make sense to look for differences? For various reasons, I have been thinking about these and similar questions over the past few weeks.
Consider for example the idea of ‘work-life balance’. If we apply this phrase to people who do a nine-to-five job, it sounds as if we are asking them to cut time into several pieces and arrange the different pieces into a state of equilibrium. The idea of ‘work-life balance’ implies that ‘work’ time (and therefore work) is for some reason something different from ‘life’ time.
Let’s imagine two different businesswomen. Both have influence and are responsible for a lot of money and people. They are both smartly dressed and on their way into a meeting room. They are, however, very different people.
For Ms. A it’s important to be professional. She is fit for the fight and makes sure that her arguments are well prepared, based on hard facts, and free of emotion. At the end of the meeting this working person, doing a good job, leaves the office to head home – and for Ms. A, being at home means having privacy and feeling relaxed and safe. ‘I’m completely different when I’m by myself,’ she says. ‘I wouldn’t want my colleagues at work to see me like this.’
When somebody feels safer in private we need to ask where the danger lies. At work, perhaps? Maybe Ms. A feels she wouldn’t fit into her work relationships any more if her colleagues saw her as a private person. We all know people who put a lot of energy into keeping the mask on, people who concentrate hard on keeping control, people who try to get ahead of others no matter what.
Also, we haven’t even thought about fun yet! When does the working, private, relaxed person actually have fun? Perhaps being professional means being serious most of the time, even in private, and only having fun in selected and planned time slots – Friday nights, summer holidays, in the pub, dancing. Does this life structure really make sense, or money? Or lead to success, power, growth or whatever her aim might be?
We’ll leave this thought for a while and look at our other influential, well-dressed businesswoman. Ms. B walks into the meeting room ready to do her job well and with joy. She presents her well-prepared arguments, based on hard facts, but in her own authentic way, based on her genuine human personality. At the end of the day she leaves the office and goes home, looking forward to taking some time for herself and for her family and friends. For sure they will know her much better than her work colleagues do. But the knowledge gap won’t be so wide. Everyone who knows her, whether in her public or private capacity, knows the same person. They feel safe and relaxed with her because they sense her authenticity.
At any time it’s our own decision how much we hide from others and how much we show them. Being authentic doesn’t mean wearing a printed T-shirt advertising everything that happened to us since we were born. Instead it means taking advantage of our own strength, that constantly growing power that is inherent in our nature. With the support of the remedies when needed, we can incorporate our individual greatness into our work-life-process. Bach practitioners who are engaged in this process know that somebody who has high professional standards and is at the same time an authentic personality will be healthy, successful and convincing without the need for office intrigues or power-plays.
Progressive businesses also understand this. Most companies have the technical ability they need to offer an excellent product. But to give their customers an outstanding experience they need good people. Good companies pick the best people from the market, but they go further. They realize that their people are not ‘human resources’ but slumbering human potential. The most successful take the opportunity to waken that potential. Businesses that do this take a huge step towards outstanding and consistent success.
Our individual human potential is not a danger. It is a gift each of us got for free when we entered life. It’s our task to use this gift, no matter what our profession happens to be. The energy we use when we divide our life into bits – private relaxed person here, fun-lover there, professional somewhere else – is wasted energy. Just as when we let the tap run after washing our hands, we won’t realize at once how much that waste has cost us. But rest assured that one day the bill will arrive. So in a quiet moment it’s worth asking – am I being fair to myself if I waste my life energy playing a role, and ignore the gifts that only I possess?
Bach Foundation teachers programme å
The Bach Foundation Teachers Programme is aimed at UK-based BFRPs who want to improve their teaching skills and eventually run Bach Foundation-approved level 1 courses. The programme includes a two-day course at the Bach Centre followed by a period of supervised teaching, and access to support and training materials.
The next course takes place on the 20th & 21st June 2007 – so coming to the course would be a great chance to see the garden at its best and enjoy the summer sunshine! Contact us for more details and an application form.
Creating clarity in your practice å
By Lynn Macwhinnie BFRP, UK
As practitioners we are familiar with how and where we work. It is easy to forget that new clients aren’t. Longer-standing ones might need reminding too. The uncertainty of visiting a therapist can cause anxiety for some clients, who feel they are taking a courageous step into the unknown. Making this as easy as possible not only helps them but also helps us by encouraging clarity in our practice.
I always discuss the template opposite with my Level 3 students (see facing page). It was inspired several years ago by an Australian therapist, who found her practice benefited enormously once she produced clear guidelines for her clients. Her clarity generated clarity – and had a direct impact in reducing cancellations and no-shows too. You could compile similar information for your own practice, either in the form of an A4 sheet, or as in this example on a letterhead, or as a more personalized note.
This example suggests the type of things you might want to include, but there are no hard and fast rules. Just ensure whatever you write is appropriate to your practice. If you do decide to introduce this idea, why not monitor how it makes a difference to your practice, your work/life balance and how you hold boundaries around issues such as time and money (which many students feel are particular challenges)? Let us know how you get on!
Lynn Macwhinnie is an international Bach trainer and teaches the Level 3 and Bach Foundation Teachers Programmes at the Bach Centre. You can email her at lynn.macwhinnie AT btinternet.com.
Your name/role at the top of the page.
Dear (Client’s name)
Now you have made your first appointment with me for a Bach flower consultation, I am sending you the following information to help you plan your visit and gain an understanding of how we will work together.
Location: Address, landmarks, identifying features of the building, directions. (E.g., Bach Balance, 189 Harris Street, Brightwell. A red brick house with a blue door at the end of tree-lined avenue. It is just before a parade of shops. If you reach the supermarket, you have missed the entrance to my driveway.)
Parking: (E.g., park on the street. Please be careful to not block the entrance to the neighbour’s garage. Alternatively there is a local car-park across the road from our building – the meters cost £2 an hour.)
Arriving early: (E.g., I do not have a waiting room so please do not knock on the door before the time of your booked appointment. If you have travelled by public transport and are very early, there is a pleasant café a few minutes walk away in the parade of shops.)
If someone brings you: (E.g., they will need to wait in the car, or go to the coffee shop or library just along the street.)
Public transport links: (E.g., the number 63 bus stops at the junction of Lex/24th and is a five-minute walk to the clinic. When you get off the bus, walk towards the clock tower and take the first right into Harris Street and the clinic is the third building on the right.)
Access (NB: on first contact with the client it is worth checking if there are any mobility difficulties): (E.g., there are steep steps / an elevator / the building is wheelchair friendly.)
Session: what to expect. (E.g., a personal conversation with me to identify the emotions that you feel are uppermost in compromising your relationship with yourself and/or others, and help us choose the most appropriate mix of Bach remedies for you. The remedies are gentle, safe and simple to use.)
Duration of Session: (E.g., 1.5 hours the first time and 1 hour subsequent visits.)
Late arrival: (E.g., will result in the reduction of our time together, so please allow yourself sufficient traveling time to ensure you gain maximum benefit from your consultation.)
First session: (E.g., is longer to allow time for giving you an introduction to BFR and also to make a note of your relevant details. At the end of the first consultation you will take away with you: your personal mixture of Bach Flower Remedies, a booklet explaining the BFR, a bottle of Rescue Remedy – the cost of these is included in the consultation fee.)
Subsequent sessions: (E.g., you will have a freshly made bottle of your personal remedies to take home – the cost of which is included in the consultation fee.)
Fee: (E.g., £45 first session, £30 subsequent sessions.)
Payment: (E.g., please pay at the start of the appointment in either cash, cheque [payable to: Bach Balance Ltd and not post-dated] or credit card. I do not have concessionary rates, or accept barter/trades.)
Cancellation policy: (E.g., unless there is a minimum of 24 hours notice, you will be invoiced for the full amount, which will need to be settled within 3 days.)
Follow-up: (E.g., at the end of your first session we will arrange, if felt necessary, a date for approximately 3 weeks later. I will send you a text message and/or email reminding you of your appointment 3 days beforehand. If I do not hear back from you I will assume it is confirmed. Should you wish to cancel, please bear in mind the above cancellation policy.)
Clinic hours: (E.g., Mon, Tues, Wed 8.30 am – 12.30 Thurs & Fri 2pm – 5pm and the second Saturday in the month [except August] 10am-2pm.)
Telephone (number): (E.g., I have an automated and secure telephone answering service. Please leave me a message with your name, number and time of your call, and when it is best to contact you and I will get back to you as soon as reasonably possible. The best time to reach me to make an appointment is during clinic hours.)
Email (address): (E.g., I check my emails regularly and will reply to you as soon as reasonably possible. I do not undertake email consultations but can arrange appointments this way.)
Website: (E.g., for further information on the Bach remedies please visit my web site www.bachcentre.com.)
Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
I am looking forward to meeting you on…………………..(day)………………(date) at (time)……………
Research into the remedies å
Nelsons in the UK have put together a document that summarises and appraises research into the efficacy of the remedies. It is a useful and timely overview that will be of value to students, health professionals, and anybody who needs evidence that the remedies are more than placebos. To obtain a copy of the .PDF file, email stefan AT bachcentre.com.
Getting on – an appeal for case studies å
By Hermia Brockway BFRP, UK
Getting On is a UK-based non-profit association that aims to create an international community at grassroots level amongst mature people, irrespective of age. We publish a 32-page newsletter and run a web site, both of which allow exchanges of information regarding the direct experience of ordinary mature people in different countries. Right now the newsletter contains articles on travel, on living abroad and on inter-culture experiences. We use it to share news from many different countries on health and wellbeing, communication and so on. Once we have enough countries involved we hope to build on these exchanges.
Each bi-monthly issue also includes two or three pages devoted to an account of a specific holistic health approach or technique, together with a case study. We have already covered Dr Bach’s system, but would like to throw these pages open to any BFRPs who offer their clients other modalities (although you can include Bach as part of the study if you want). If you have a written case study that illustrates how your modality works we will put it in the newsletter together with your own text advertising your services. Cases written in French or Spanish are possible too.
The text of these pages will be emailed to you before publication for a final check, and you will of course receive that issue free of charge. Also, anyone with email who nominates a friend currently living outside UK (also with email), will themselves get a year’s free membership, as also will the person nominated.
Revisiting practitioner supervision å
By Lynn Macwhinnie BFRP, UK
My recent posting in the bulletin to assess any interest in online supervision generated three enquiries from practitioners in Europe. Subsequently I have also heard that a couple of Bach Teachers/Trainers have started to offer, or consider offering, face to face supervision, but the take-up has been very low.
I first wrote about supervision in the May 2003 bulletin (no. 49, available online at www.bachcentre.com/found/bulletin/). It continues to be something of a hobby-horse of mine, as I am of the view (in that Vervain way that I am sure resonates with many of you) that if we are engaged in enabling others, we need to be sure we are professionally enabled too. Having a counselling and coaching background, I realize that supervision can mean different things to different people – so I would be interested in what it means to you? Do you already have a support process in place – and if so, what does it look like? Is it 1-2-1 or in a group; or with a more experienced practitioner or perhaps working in a peer-support way to support best practice, again either as a pair or in a group? And if you don’t have support in place, why is that? Do you think it unnecessary? Or is there another reason?
It would be really interesting to hear your views on the subject – and I am certainly open to being educated! Maybe there is a different solution out there – or perhaps it is not perceived as a problem that needs a solution.
We are also discussing holding a case study/supervision day at the Bach Centre. If you are interested and would like to be notified by email of the date options, please let us know by emailing lynn.macwhinnie AT btinternet.com or stefan AT bachcentre.com.
Your questions answered å
What are the key differences between Vervain and Vine?
The essential difference is that even in a negative state a Vervain person cares what other people think, whereas a negative Vine person doesn’t.
For example, imagine two people who both start campaigns to clean up their local park. One is in a negative Vervain state, the other a negative Vine state.
The Vervain person’s problem is that he can’t switch off or let go of the subject. He will want to persuade other people that this is important. He will hold public meetings and encourage people to talk through the issues. He will be passionate about what he is doing because it is part of a wider principle – i.e. the need to take care of the environment.
The negative Vine person will act differently. She will not be interested in talking through the issues and won’t much care what other people think, and the wider issues are less important to her. She simply sees that this is a job that has to be done. She will tend to give people tasks, and as long as they do as they are told she is not worried if they think she is wrong.
Of course, if somebody has a mix of these characteristics then they need both remedies.
I heard somewhere that the first twelve remedies Dr Bach found are all type remedies. Is this true?
No, it isn’t true – in fact many of the obvious type remedies (Elm, Beech, Oak etc.) were not among the original twelve, while some of the original twelve (Rock Rose, for example) are not really type remedies at all. They reflect reactions to external events rather than fundamental personality traits.
The misunderstanding comes from some of Dr Bach’s earlier writings, where he put forward a theory that each one of the first twelve remedies reflected a basic personality or type.
Later, when he wrote up his final findings and presented the complete system of 38, he made no distinction between the first twelve and the later remedies. However, he continued to talk about some of the remedies – including some of the first twelve and some of the later remedies – as ‘type’ or ‘personality’ remedies. This is what we still teach at the Bach Centre, as it reflects Dr Bach’s final thoughts on the matter.
Bits and pieces å
- Bach Foundation-approved Level 3 Animal Practitioner courses run every year at the Natural Animal Centre in Wales. The course is in three parts: Stage 1, a two day introduction; Stage 2, a 3-day course; and Stage 3, a 4-day course followed by a period of home study and supervised case studies. For more information contact the Natural Animal Centre, Penhill, Trawmawr, Carmarthen, SA33 6ND, Wales: Email natural AT globalnet.co.uk or phone 0870 991 3334.
- Se habla español – The Spanish version of the Bach Centre’s web site is at www.floresbach.com, or click the link on the Bach Centre’s main home page www.bachcentre.com. Spanish translations of the Bulletin are at www.floresbach.com/found/bulletin.htm.
- Parlamos italiano – a group of Italian practitioners have put up an Italian version of the Bach Centre’s web site. Again, look for the link on the Bach Centre’s web site or go direct to www.bachcentre.it
- Tessa Jordan’s Suffolk-based Bach interest group will next meet on Tuesday 26th September from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm. Tessa is also organising afternoon and evening Bach supervision sessions aimed at supporting practitioners in their work. These will take place on Wednesday 13th September, and a session in a small group costs just £20. For more information contact Tessa via her web site www.tessajordan.co.uk.
- The UK’s Bach Practitioner Network North West has a meeting scheduled at Barton Grange Hotel, Preston, on 4th November 2006. For more information telephone 01253 885512.
The Bach Centre web site includes back issues of the bulletin and guidelines on subjects like giving a talk on the remedies and working with animals.
The addresses to go to are:
We want you to use this bulletin to keep in touch with each other. If anything wonderful, funny, interesting or plain typical has happened to you in your work with the remedies, or if there are questions that have been nagging away at you, or you simply want to say hello, please write and tell us.
Send your contribution to the Foundation, marking your letter clearly as being ‘FOR PUBLICATION’.
While recently relaxing at our local spa baths (and vaguely pondering why it is so difficult to get there more often than once a year) I suddenly realised the following: The different personalities will habitually choose to use their leisure time in different ways.
These are the approximate lines upon which my inner dialogue then proceeded: Water Violet would prefer a lonesome walk in a wood and Impatiens will enjoy a few hours surfing high-speed Internet. Agrimony and Heather would enjoy a trip to the pub (for very different reasons) and Centaury might spend free time in voluntary work. Oak spends free time working but may also “relax” alongside Rock Water at a fitness centre (with Rock Water perhaps keeping to a strict training schedule for the next local marathon). Vervain goes campaigning or to political meetings in his or her free time — or is reading the book “How to Change the World” – which really has been written!
Nothing occurred to me regarding how a Vine person might prefer to use his or her leisure time, but I am sure that colleagues have some ideas.
Nicola Hanefeld BFRP, Germany
Last weekend I taught a Level 2 Course in Wellington, New Zealand. During the exercise where students are given a type remedy to work through a list of scenarios, one group wrote the following poem. I thought it was great and that maybe others would enjoy it too.
You’re going to be a gran she said
As my hand goes slowly to my head
I love my grandchildren I really do
And with five already on the list
I think of the relaxation that I will miss
I endure, I persist, I’m patient to a fault
I’ll struggle to the end until I’m laid in a vault
– by Level 2 Students, Wellington
Jane Brenan BFRP, New Zealand
Tracey Deacon wrote (Bulletin no. 61, Spring 2006) about a client who was worried about taking her driving test with alcohol on her breath due to taking Rescue™ Remedy. Tracey’s solution was to tell her client to put the remedy in a bottle of water instead of taking it from the stock bottle. I was a bit puzzled by this because I was taught always to put four drops of Rescue™ in a mixing bottle to dilute it, and only use undiluted Rescue™ for sudden emergencies when nothing else was available.
Anyway, I was reminded of a personal experience when my car was torn on the passenger side by a trailer that came off a truck as it turned the corner where I was parked. Fortunately, I was outside the car, saw it coming, and stepped back.
The accident partly blocked the main road. The driver was in complete shock. I was quite calm, at first, and helped him fill out the insurance papers. Then he called the police, who came quickly, and the Fire Department emergency truck and men arrived a few minutes later. I began to tremble as crowds gathered and the emergency workers checked me over to see if I was injured.
Rescue™ Remedy! I took a stock bottle out of my purse and took two drops on my tongue. Then as the group turned away I was able to get into the driver’s seat and open the compartment where I always kept a mixing bottle of Rescue™ – four drops diluted in spring water. I put four drops of this on my tongue and relaxed, breathing quietly.
The four firemen were about 6 foot 6 inches tall. They, together with the sheriff and country people who came out of the grocers with advice, dragged the car to the parking lot, but nobody knew how to change the tire. (The rim was torn metal.) So I took over – directing them, smiling, even laughing.
The end result was a prayer answered. The insurance paid for an old Honda that gets 38 miles to the gallon of gas, instead of 14!
– Mallory Cross BFRP, USA
Mallory is right that Rescue™ Remedy can be diluted into mixing bottles, and that this is just as effective as taking undiluted remedy straight from the stock bottle. The reason most people use Rescue™ in stock form is that it’s more convenient. Also, the stock bottles stay fresh longer than a water-based treatment bottle, being preserved in brandy. Remember though that for simplicity’s sake the dosage from a Rescue™ Remedy stock bottle is always four drops, whether on the tongue, via a glass of water, or as here via a mixing bottle. And in times of emergency, as here, taking two or more doses in a short space of time is often the most effective way to obtain relief. – Ed.
I purchased a ticket to the Cromer Conference months ago and now find I cannot attend due to moving my residence and business.
I know the ticket is not returnable but I wonder if it is possible to post it for sale at face value or less?
Carolyn Clapp BFRP, USA
If you want to contact Carolyn about her ticket her email is ricey.clapp AT rcn.com – Ed.
I wonder if there are any Bach Foundation Registered Practitioners who have experience of working with people with eating disorders using the Remedies?
I am hoping to join a support group in the near future and would be really grateful for any input from any therapists who might have used the remedies with Eating disorders.
Tracey Deacon BFRP, UK
If you have any experience in this area email trace_deacon02 AT hotmail.co.uk. – Ed.
I recently saw the leaflet ‘Animal Magic – a guide to happy pets’ and thought your practitioners might be interested to hear a slightly more unusual example of treating animals with Bach remedies.
I am the Commissioning Editor for an internationally best-selling series of children’s books called ‘Heartland’ by Lauren Brooke. The series follows a fifteen-year-old girl called Amy as she struggles to run a stableyard for troubled horses following her mother’s death in a car accident.
Right from the start (over twenty books ago!) Lauren and I wanted to describe alternative treatments for the horses that would be totally authentic, as well as introduce our readers to a new way of looking at their four-legged friends. I have always had an interest in the Bach system and was thrilled when I met Sheila Elmer BFRP who turned out to be an expert and
inspiring source of help. Now, as soon as Lauren and I start planning a new story, I contact Sheila so that we can discuss the best Bach remedy for each equine hero.
For example, the neglected pony that had been poisoned by ragwort required Star of Bethlehem, Crab Apple and Gorse for depression, while the show-jumping champion who tried too hard for his owners and suffered a crisis of confidence needed Larch and Centaury. Sheila also provides me with information about how the horse would respond to the remedies so that the story can track its recovery realistically.
I am delighted to see that using Bach remedies to treat animals is becoming more widespread, and I wish you every success in educating pet owners all over the world. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Sheila Elmer for her contribution to the series. I have learned so much thanks to her boundless knowledge and enthusiasm, and our readers clearly feel the same, judging by the amount of fan mail we receive each week asking where they can find out more about the remedies. I direct them to your web site with a warning that professional advice should always be sought before starting any sort of treatment. If any of your practitioners would be interested in reading about Amy’s work with Bach remedies and other alternative therapies the ‘Heartland’ books are widely available on the internet or in bookstores.
Thank you for preserving Dr Bach’s precious legacy for the benefit of so many people and animals.
Welcome to… å
Since the last issue of the bulletin was prepared, 58 new practitioners have joined the register:
- in Argentina, Sonia Raquel Senz and Maria Ester Del Campo;
- in Austria, Margarete Waha and Nikola Trauner;
- in Belgium, Dewaele Fien and Arlette Thirion-Vandewiele;
- in Brazil, Johnny Eduardo De’ Carli and Débora De Souza;
- in Canada, Sonja Schramm;
- in Denmark, Ole Dahm, Michela Dargenio Svenningsen and Dinna Rye Jørgensen;
- in England, Laura Stowe, Sue Naylor, Jacqueline Delort, Leila Abachi, Ulrike Daukandt, Jackie McBride, Debbie Ireson, Fiona Shanahan and Afua Addei;
- in France, Pascale Birck, Annie Silliere, Chantal Urbach, Simon, Colette Heron, Christine Simon-Vallas and Andreá Lucas;
- in Germany, Rimma Ilyasova;
- in Japan, Chieko Morimoto;
- in Liechtenstein, Isabella Sele;
- in Mexico, Maria Fernanda Cáceres y Jiménez O’Farrill and Francisco Jose Ahumada Diaz;
- in Northern Ireland, Jennifer Adamson Farrell;
- in Norway, Ellen Solberg and Kirsti Fjesme Truggestad;
- in Scotland, Shenagh C. Leiper, Lorna Murray Willumsen, Kerry Teakle and Una Beaumont;
- in Spain, Montse Casals, Traci Jenkins, Mar Bellido, Trina Campos Navarro, Raquel González Córdoba and Julie Harris;
- in Switzerland, Katharina Kieber, Sonja Borgeaud, Karin Läubli and Marlene Grossenbacher;
- in the U.S.A., Lisa Price, Timothy Kocher-Hillmer, Diana Zacharin, Melinda Furcht and Sabrina Mara Bologni;
- in Uruguay, María Laura Aguirre Morales;
- in Venezuela, Nagibe Coromoto Barbera Silva;
- and in Wales, Liz Toll.
There are now 1,677 practitioners on the register.
Remember to tell us if you move or change your contact details