The most common question I get asked by students is, “where do I find that in the Repertory?” In the course of receiving a case the client will report many things. Some of them are easily repertizable and easy to find in the repertory. Others simply do not translate to the language of the repertory and must be used as vital information to the case but no rubric to help find a remedy exists. This is when holding the theme of the case in mind when searching for remedies is ever so important. Sometimes the whole case will be about a concept that is not repertizable.
Putting the case in perspective and holding these ideas in mind is essential to finding the remedy. Having a metaphor that speaks to the case and the essence of the remedies can be most helpful.
Other times there may be several rubrics that describe a similar state or condition. This is when it is imperative to be very clear what the person means and to choose the correct rubric. Let’s go over a few statements and discuss the rubric and differentials to that rubric that may be applicable. We can not go over every mental rubric but you will get the idea and how to use this information.
- The person has given their case and upon reflection you notice that everything they have reported and how it was reported came with a level of enthusiasm that is remarkable. Somehow you feel this must be a part of the remedy the person needs. What is the proper rubric? It could be Mind; excitement. Or it could be Mind; exhilaration. These states are different though. Excitement is a general state of arousal and strong feelings. exhilaration is a more defined state in regards to a particular subject and attached to the emotion of joy. One may be excited about many things but to be exhilarated is to express a strong joy.
- Little Johnny ALWAYS argues with is mother as well as his friends. Sometimes he gets angry if you do not agree with him. If his mom says the sky is blue little Johnny will say, “no it isn’t, it’s green!” This is Mind; Contradict,disposition to. But if the pattern is to always get angry then the rubric would be Mind;Anger, Contradiction from. This would indicate that if Johnny had an idea and you didn’t agree with his idea it makes him angry which is slightly different that always disagreeing with everyone. If each time Johnny had an idea and someone disagreed and it always effected him the rubric Mind;Contradiction, Intolerant of or Mind;Contradiction, ailments from, agg. might be a better choice of a rubric especially if he responds in ways other than anger. Another rubric that could be applicable is Mind; Contrary, this indicates that most of Johnny’s views of the world a simply different that others. Being contrary though does not necessarily mean that Johnny would always take such a strong position in regards to the ideas of another. He is simply coming from a contrary or different perspective that is in opposition to the generally accepted norm. Another idea is Mind:defiant, which would be a state that is seeking independence from one in a position of power. It is a specific response to the denial of being influenced by a more powerful person or authority.
- Susie comes into the office and reports she’s a space cadet. Her friends make blonde jokes about her and she admits that at times she just can’t keep herself together. The rubric Mind; Absent-minded may well be the rubric. This is a state when the mind does not stay focused and either changes subjects often or wanders from subject to subject. This can be seen is many aspects of a person’s life and not just in the mind. This could also be described as Mind; Thoughts, wandering. If the state of mind comes up when she tries to concentrate or attempts to use her mind then Mind, Concentration, difficult may be a better selection.
- Bill states that everything is good in his life. It’s the little things that bug him. It’s the details that really get him. Mind;Anxiety, trifles , about may be the rubric. If it causes him to worry then it probably is the best choice for the rubric. If he must always pay attention to those details it could be Mind; Conscientious about trifles. If his anxieties are always related to the order of things in either their position or cleanliness then the rubric Mind; Fastidious may be useful.
- Simon has come to the office and complained about his life. He is now the vice president after 30 years of loyal service to his company. He thought he would have been president 10-15 years earlier but spent many years changing departments every few years. His wife complained that he never finishes any project he starts. Several rubrics come to mind. The first is Mind;inconstancy. He can not hold constant to his projects or his work goals to become president. The other rubric is mind; Succeeds, never. He just can not seem to succeed at any task or goal. This is slightly different in that it is directly related to goals, tasks and accomplishments. The other rubric to consider is Mind; Undertakes many things, perseveres in nothing. This is a rubric for having many plans and projects and never finishing any of them. His wife complained about this but his greater pattern of not staying with his goals/project includes his work as well.
As you can see it can be difficult to choose the correct rubric at times. Some are very close and may overlap in describing the case. When this happens it is useful to combine the rubrics into one rubric and use all of the remedies combined to form a new rubric. At other times if a rubric that is being considered has only a few remedies in it, most likely is too specific to be useful unless it describes perfectly the case at hand. Sometimes the strange, rare or peculiar symptom matches perfectly the small sub-rubric and when is supported by other general type rubrics that the remedy is included in; you have been given the case on a silver platter.
Most important than the rubric selection is understanding the case. It is important to ask open-ended questions so they can describe in detail more about the particular part of the story that you may have several rubrics to describe. Always ask them to, “tell me more about……” In their answer they will often tell more stories about the subject. This will give you more understanding of what is asking to be healed. If you are not 100% clear about what is asking to be healed then it will always be difficult to select the most accurate rubric.
Study the mind section of the repertory and get familiar with all of the different terms used. Look them up in the dictionary if you do not know their meaning. Consider intimately what each differential rubric really means. Your understanding of the repertory and cases will increase dramatically as you spend more time with this one simple exercise.