The most common question I get from students is’ “How do you repertize that? Or whats the rubric for that?” This question comes up more often than any other in the cases we do in class. The student hears something that they consider to be important to the case and wants to know how to find a rubric to describe it. Most often there is not one. The repertory is grossly incomplete but by no fault of all the hard work that has gone into it. It is simply a work in progress.
Because each case is unique and no two people will describe their symptoms the same we have to interpret and translate their words into the language of the repertory. I tell students that the best thing they can study is the mind section of the repertory. Getting to know all of the words that describe conditions of the mind is the biggest asset any homeopath can have when it comes to the use of the repertory.
For any serious student or professional homeopath it is almost mandatory to use a computer program for repertization. I realize that in some parts of the world something like a computer is a luxury beyond belief. But for anyone that can afford a computer and program it is the only way to go. This does not preclude the use of books. I started homeopathy before there were computer programs and the books were enough. But as new additions were being added to the repertories the books soon became inadequate. There is no way I could do the work in the speed or volume that I do without my computer program. The same will be true for any professional homeopath.
The best tool of the repertory is the search function in the computer programs or the word index in the most repertories. When you have only one word to go on but cannot easily locate the rubric, doing a word search is the easiest way to get started. In the computer version you can type in the word and see all rubrics that contain that word. I use the Complete Repertory most often in the MacRepertory program. I use this feature often as a shortcut to finding a rubric if I do not know were it might be.
Another feature that is invaluable is the cross-reference feature. This feature will show all rubrics that are similar. This is especially useful in fine tuning rubrics and choosing the one that very best fits the case.
The mind section of the repertory is the biggest and probably the most important section. There are a few tricks to finding some of the more obscure rubrics that describe some symptoms. These may be found under delusions. A great example is the person says, “I feel poisoned.” In fact they may have been poisoned but the rubric still falls under the subrubric; Mind, Delusions, poisoned, has been, he.
Sometimes the rubric of Dreams in the Mind section will hold hidden ways to describe a theme or idea about the case. It is sometimes a stretch to see the metaphor and must be used with great care. If you see that the conscious mind has been able to describe something that the subconscious mind of the dream world could have described, then finding a dream that describes the case could be very beneficial.
An example is the person says, “I have a fear of having a body part cut off.” If you look in the mind section under fear there is no rubric for Fear of amputation. Yet in the Delusions section there is Mind, Delusions, Hands, cut-off, amputated. And in the Dreams section there are 5 rubrics that are about amputation. By selecting the best sub-rubric, or even combining two or more, it could lead to a group of remedies that may support finding the simillimum.
Another great tool of the computer programs is the ability to cross two remedies and by process of elimination see what remedies are common to both of the rubrics. This can be useful in creating a third rubric that is not in the repertory by bringing two ideas together. This can be used to also combine all of the remedies in two different rubrics to create a new rubric that better describes an idea about the case.
These techniques or tricks are advanced, but become necessary when we want to get the most from the great tool that the repertory is. By being able to extend the ideas of the rubrics, however limited they are, we can use the repertory creatively and sometimes find the rare remedy for the case.
Be careful not to enter into speculation. The idea you have about the case must be described in the rubric. When what the person is talking about becomes a theme in the case it is okay to then extend our use of the repertory. By studying the repertory we become more proficient and able to navigate our way around it. Use some of these pointers and it will be easier and easier for you to find that perfect rubric that describes the case.