New England School of Homeopathy

Featured NESH Alumnus: Sean Congdon ND

Sean Congdon, ND
Seattle, Washington
NESH Alumni Practitioner Directory Listing (pending)

I came at medicine tangentially. And it seems my undergraduate education had other designs for me. While attending Hampshire College, in Amherst, Massachusetts, intending to study Architecture (ironically a few miles from future NESH), I took a class called Comparative Medical Traditions. Taught by a professor who had spent five years living in China, and with TCM as a dominant medical model, she inspired me look at health and disease through the perspective of what I later studied as Medical Anthropology. In my youthful exuberance to learn about as many diverse medical systems as possible, I recall writing a paper on homeopathy. I was intrigued but put it aside for broader pastures. I thought if I could study as many medical traditions as possible, I could find a common thread, a through-line to a unified understanding of health and disease.

After graduating from Hampshire I was clear that I wanted to practice medicine, but the question was what type? When considering conventional medical school, I learned about Bastyr University and the profession of naturopathic medicine and I knew I had found the path forward for me.

After nearly a decade of private practice, I still felt that something was missing in my ability to understand my patients’ health and how to help them conceptualize treatment. And I had hoped to help more of the people I worked with – I simply wasn’t seeing a majority of my patients able to overcome the chronic nature of their health imbalances with core naturopathic medicine. Sometimes I saw people end up in blind corners. Where to go next?

After seeking help for my own chronic health issues I decided to revisit homeopathy, first as a patient, then as a student and practitioner. While I had been generally open-minded to this healing modality when in naturopathic school, I had some skepticism and serious misgivings about how I saw it being practiced. However, after spending some time revisiting Hahnneman’s writings and the work of those after him that form the basis of homeopathic theory, I began to understand that homeopathy was not just a modality, but a holistic conceptualization of health and disease. In fact, in my mind, it represented a substantial piece of that through-line I sought of a unified understanding of health. What an elegant model to understand the development of disease, to predict the action of medicines and the path to health!

Now my private practice includes homeopathy as a primary driver of what I do. While I feel I provide general health care for my patients, I do this using the concepts and treatment of homeopathy, which I see as the foundation of good health care (and really the foundation of naturopathic medicine). Whether I’m doing primary care, focusing on digestive imbalances, or working with other forms of chronic disease, homeopathy helps me to provide holistic care for my patients.

After years of remote study with several terrific teachers, I had the great joy of finding NESH. Not only was I going to work with two excellent teachers (NDs to boot) with a novel and holistic approach to homeopathy, but finally, in person! (The great irony here was I was in the West Coast Class of 2020 – we had only two in person classes before Covid had other plans.)

At Rocky Mt Nat’l Park in Colorado. Nature is my charging station.

NESH has deepened my homeopathic practice immensely. Paul and Amy are as dynamic as homeopathy itself and really helped the medicine to come alive for me. From a fully three-dimensional understanding of materia medica to the Cycles and Segments model, it has supported me to help far more of my patients surmount the hill climb of chronic disease.

Other of my professional intersections include time spent in research. I had the great pleasure of working on a multi-year study in complementary medicine in Palliative care, in addition to a few other smaller studies. I also enjoy teaching immensely and have intermittently worked with students in the general ND and homeopathy realms at Bastyr University, where I maintain a private practice. What does the future hold for me? I think research in homeopathy is critical. Two of my professional loves, digestive disease and palliative care, are ripe for research in this area (funding anyone?). And we always need good quality teaching for students of this art.

So many other things make my life meaningful besides this professional path. I have a wonderful family and three dynamic children, who helped me to pause a full-bore professional focus, and we do our best to spend as much time in our beautiful outdoors as possible, hiking, skiing, and biking. I love to cook and have spent countless hours remodeling our 80 year old home. I also have studied the Japanese martial art Aikido for more than 30 yrs, which is the homeopathy of martial arts. What an incredible parallel these two very different arts make, another lifetime of study!

From NESH: When Sean took the NESH 2020 Seattle Course, he probably had more experience with homeopathy than most others there. But his earnest curiosity and focused presence were really noted and more than that, appreciated. His keen attention led him to ask a lot of questions, good questions, the kind that reflect a clear understanding of the material and urge a teacher to make things clearer, take the information further. We both appreciated what Dr. Congdon brought to class and can only imagine his same compassionate curiosity infuses his private practice in Seattle.

Professional Highlights:
• ​2001-present: Private practice various locations in Puget Sound; 2007-present; private practice BCNH Practitioner Care
• 2013-present: Clinical supervision at Bastyr Center for Natural Health (BCNH) teaching clinic as a fill-in
• 2012-present: 100s hours (and growing) of continuing education in Homeopathy
• 2020-2021: NESH 2 Year Course + additional Case-based Courses for Alumni
• 2005-2007: Quality of life and immune status in women with estrogen and progesterone hormone negative early stage breast cancer who have completed standard medical treatment. Research coordinator
• 2004-2007: A Randomized Trial of CAM Comfort Care at the End of Life. Research coordinator, study clinician, and contributing author of associated publications
• 2001: Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University

Sean is our January 2022 Featured Alumnus. Return to NESH Alumni Spotlight page to learn about other distinguished NESH alumni.