New England School of Homeopathy

NCH Summer School 2002, Course 102 Evaluations

“Amy is dynamic, uses animated examples, and clearly loves to teach.”

“Amy was fabulous. She possesses the rare ability to take complex materials and present them to beginning students in a way which opens mental doors rather than creating a confusing maze.”

“A great way to start demystifying the complexities and intuitive contradictions of the world of homeopathy. The professor was professionally astute, entertaining and empathetic when stepping into the shoes of the neophyte to help us learn. Thank you for a deeply inspiring week to jump-start my practice and reduce the fear of initial acute prescribing.”

“Her ability and willingness to answer questions, use examples from real life. Her energy level was perfect to keep the class engaged. The singing was also very uplifting!”

“Instructor is energetic, fun, enthusiastic, very experienced, knowledgeable with a great personality. Could have been tedious but Amy broke it up with song, laughter, antidotes, and stories.”

From a participant of the 2004 NCH Summer School Program
where Dr. Rothenberg has taught since 1988:

“Would you please convey to Amy my deep appreciation for the three days she presented Homeopathy 102. I travel internationally and do a considerable amount of lecturing, and so I am privileged to hear numbers of excellent presenters. Without a doubt, Amy is at the very top tier of educators! It was a wonderful experience to be taught be her. I am hopeful that I will be able to secure further training from her in the future.”
Therese Rando, PhD BCETS BCBT
Institute for the Study and Treatment of Loss
Warwick, Rhode Island

Amy Rothenberg, ND, DHANP,
by Jean Hoagland

While not an Affiliated Study Group, Licensed Medical Professionals for Homeopathy (LMPFH) has a seven-year record of encouraging licensed professionals to learn and practice homeopathic care. In addition to the presentation of cases at their own meetings, many LMPFH members have lectured to study groups in Florida; in turn, study group members may refer inquirers to LMPFH members. This Annual Meeting and Breakfast, sponsored by Standard Homeopathic Company; was the first of the group’s 1999 quarterly meetings. [Note: LMPFH has recently changed its name to the Florida Homeopathic Medical Society.]

Dr. Amy Rothenberg, naturopath of Enfield, CT, was the featured speaker. She has recently been appointed to the Pharmacy Board of Massachusetts because of her practice in homeopathy. This is an unusual act by a traditional medical board, and shows the interest that homeopathy has stimulated in the conventional medical community.

Dr. Rothenberg’s practical style of speaking and her enjoyment of her work made her an impressive teacher for the morning. She gave some hints as to how to get medical professionals into homeopathy and also addressed the treatment of depression.

Newcomers to homeopathy can begin by knowing about 75-100 remedies very well, which Dr. Rothenberg believes will get you through a lot of cases in the normal course of events. Take a pathology with a limited range of remedies and you’ll see how well this method works. She generally uses about 100 remedies regularly in her practice and recommends becoming very, very familiar with the materia medica of these basic medicines. She feels that this will enable you to do a good job with most people in acute and chronic prescribing.

Many times the problem for today’s homeopath is due to insufficient patient education; patient education is a must. Even if you provide reading material, tapes, or other educational pieces, however, patients often do not read the material or listen to the tape. Whether they’ve used the material given or not, it is still wise to make the effort at having them understand the philosophy of homeopathic treatment, since it is so diametrically opposed to their allopathic experiences. At one time, Dr. Rothenberg and her husband, Paul Herscu, ND, wrote down all the questions they heard in a year, and used this as background for a tape they made, “What every homeopathic doctor wants their patient to know.” They use an intake form which asks for medications being taken, and it is not unusual for someone to neglect writing one or more down. Medications are so much apart of patients’ lives that they don’t even think about them.

Amy went on to talk about taking the case, particularly in patients with depression. She stated that there are many with depression, and that two types seek medical help. One type does not really recognize the condition is one of depression – they come in with another complaint. The other type comes because they are depressed; that is their chief complaint.

The first type has headaches, premenstrual symptoms, migraines, etc. But the physician can see they appear depressed. Look for evidence of flatness. The voice may be flat or the manner of speaking may be flat. Posture can indicate lack of interest. Observe how they are dressed. They may not shake your hand or make eye contact when you meet. She stressed the idea that taking the case begins when you first meet. This may be in the waiting room where you can observe how they sit, stand, or observe the expression on their face.

Begin by reviewing the physical case. Dr. Rothenberg approaches the case a bit differently from some physicians, as she looks at the mental before the emotional. Look for poor memory, slow comprehension, possible periods of forgetting. The last thing she asks about is the emotional state-depression or anxiety.

There is great need to develop good rapport so you don’t offend the patient. It is important to make them comfortable. Dr. Rothenberg has found that giving them the remedy for the migraine or their chief physical complaint, will often cover the emotional problem. Often the treatment needed for the physical ailments will cure the case. She does not dig for emotional details that the patient does not want to mention.

Dr. Rothenberg may look to see how patients behave with their animals-it can give clues. (We have a lot of veterinarians in the LMPFH group.) She may also ask “What was your day like before you took these drugs (antidepressants)?” Some may not know and can’t remember. Sometimes they get a glimpse of early problems that they did not recognize.

If the patient is on medication it is often useful to find someone who knew them before they were on the drugs, especially if they have been using them for a long time. Otherwise you do not know what they would be like without them, and you do not have a true picture of the case. If Dr. Rothenberg has given a homeopathic prescription for a few months and not gotten good results, but feels the prescription is correct, she asks the patient to bring in someone who has known them for a long time, before they had the present symptoms.

Homeopathic remedies can help over years to bring patients out of depression. In the case of the “flat” personalities mentioned earlier, anxiety may begin to show. This is not a failure. At least it is an emotion. You move on from there.

The first thing she does in depressed cases is determine the intensity. If the patient gets talking, Dr. Rothenberg always puts her pencil down so the patient sees her “relax.” Her patients sit at her side, not across the desk. She keeps tissues and water on a nearby table. You must show interest, and do not take phone calls while the patient is there. Practice calm breathing to keep yourself in the right state. Use a statement like, “I know this must be hard for you,” so you do not intimidate or show signs of judgment.

If Dr. Rothenberg feels she is unable to handle the case of a new patient, she refers the patient elsewhere. And she does not charge them for that first visit. A practitioner can only take at one time, a given number of extremely needy patients. If she feels she can’t serve them in a way they need to be served, she feels it is better not to take them as patients.

At the end of her talk, Dr. Rothenberg asked “how do you gain closure” after taking a case? This is important, especially after a deep discussion regarding a depressed patient. Dr. Joe Demers responded by saying he touches the patient; you’ve got to break the space between you. Say something light that has nothing to do with the case. Dr. Rothenberg sometimes asks a few questions that are less important about the illness in an effort to exit the emotional atmosphere. Another suggestion is to ask if there is another physical ailment, or ask about circulation, or just something less important. Don’t end by leaving the patient feeling emotionally vulnerable.

Acknowledging that some days are better than others, Dr. Rothenberg feels that homeopathic practitioners should be content with themselves and their work at the end of their day. There is great satisfaction in the help that can be given to people who are and have been suffering.
This talk was part of a full day for Dr. Rothenberg. In the morning she made this presentation to the LMPFH. In the afternoon she addressed the Annual Luncheon for Study Groups in Florida, then led a workshop.

The contributions of homeopathic physicians to the education and encouragement of study groups is immeasurable. Our thanks to all of you.

Thank you to the National Center of Homeopathy for their permission for us to re-print this article from their June 1999 issue of Homeopathy Today. For more information about membership to the NCH or subscribing to their publication, you can contact them at:

National Center for Homeopathy
801 North Fairfax Street, Suite 306
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 548-7790