This article, written by Antonie Peppler, the inventor of Creative Homeopathy, speaks about homeopathic treatment for psychological conditions following rape or sexual assault. She starts with one of her case studies that changed her perspective on approaching such a topic.
Patient case with repertorization and analysis
Several years ago, a homeopathic seminar was held on the island of La Gomera in the Canary Islands. The hostess of a local inn, a bed-and-breakfast, an old acquaintance from Germany, asked me as a homeopath to meet with another guest who had health problems.
This was a woman of 34 years dressed rather inconspicuously. The bus trip from San Sebastian to the inn did not sit well with her; it was 45 minutes after her arrival, and she still suffered from nausea and dizziness. She appeared weak and restless. I gave her Arsenicum album with a potency of C 50,000. I also noticed a triangle of light coloration in the region of her nose and upper lip since this is very typical for Sepia succus. I gave this remedy as well also in the potency of C 50,000. After taking these two remedies, she felt immediately better, and within 5 minutes, her symptoms were completely gone.
Acute Symptoms of Rape
The exact method of treating these acute symptoms: nausea and dizziness after a bus ride, is easy to understand if you transfer this situation to a dynamic picture of the psyche. Put shortly, the bus trip and its effects symbolize that another person has been given the power of decision over the dynamic of one’s personal development. It makes you want to vomit that you have given away control over your situation.
In my seminars, I call this approach of looking at the symptoms: finding the psychological significance of the symptoms. When you understand that the symptom is an expression of the body based upon a mismatch between a person’s needs and actions, it becomes effortless to interpret it. Just as each symptom makes a clear statement, every homeopathic remedy also makes its unique statement. When you answer the languaging of the symptoms with a homeopathic remedy, the body no longer needs to produce them to express a desire for change.
Arsenicum album has the following psychological significance:
“Fears his existence; would rather die than change.”
Psychological imprint corresponding with Arsenicum album
Arsenicum album addresses the statement that another person has given control.
Sepia succus has the following psychological significance:
“The longing for harmony which must match own picture of it.”
Psychological imprint corresponding with Sepia succus
Sepia succus addresses the statement that one cannot entrust a situation to someone else and give them free rein without risk. You can no longer enjoy the spontaneity of the moment; everything must be continually controlled to be sure that it corresponds to one’s ideal of a harmonious life.
I was called from my lunch break to an emergency five days later. This woman had been threatened with a knife by an older man in a banana field and had been physically abused. Her blouse had been ripped, but just before the final act, she had been able to escape.
When I came to her, she was a complete wreck. She had blue patches around her wrists and began to tell me with a thick lump in her throat that a small, rather hideous old man had followed her in a banana field. Suddenly he drew a knife and grabbed her by force. She tried to say something to him in German, but he only grinned and said something back, probably in Spanish. When she understood his intentions, she found the strength to pull herself free, jump up and run away. She left a very puzzled old man and part of her blouse behind. She had run the whole way back to the inn and had still not caught her breath.
Most of the time, the description of a patient only allows the therapist to follow the threads of the story blindly and to show compassion for the situation rather than working in a focused manner. When the actual situation is taken as a symptom or a clear message from the subconscious, something particular can be understood. Then the correct response can be found and given.
Direct confrontation is always the only effective way to free a patient from a condition of shock. Healing comes when a person becomes aware of his or her own responsibility for the situation. Everything that happens around us is a mirror of our inner self. Another way of saying this is: What we inwardly desire happens outside of us.
The fear of something happening is also a formulated desire. As a consequence of this thought, we see that the patient had called out for the man to rape her. Of course, this is an unconscious process and cannot be understood in the light of what is usually thought that the victim is good and the perpetrator evil. At this moment, the victim is at the same time, actually the perpetrator, and the perpetrator is at the same time victim, for both want to bring a subconscious issue to expression and have made an agreement, so to speak, to do this together.
My first question to the patient was:
“Why did you want to let yourself be raped?”
At first, this seemed to be very callous, but the patient’s attention was immediately directed to the content of what I had asked. She considered for a moment whether or not to be insulted by the question but decided to think over what I wanted from her. The offender now appeared to her simply as the old man that he was and had lost his threatening aspect. She said she had always had a heart for senior men and found them cute.
I delved further:
“Why don’t you want to express your sexuality freely?”
In the meantime, she decided not to distract me from the real issue and concentrated on thinking about my question and how to answer it. She said she was the lover of a married man who came to her when he wanted to. Also, she had no influence over when he came over. Often she was there alone with her relatively strong sexual drive.
The conversation then turned in other directions. The attempted rape was not the problem. It was a trigger for bringing up other issues that wanted to come to an expression and be worked out. The situation in the banana field provided a mirror for a latently building process that was directed against the development of the patient to become a consciously self-responsible person.
She had become entangled in a situation where bodily needs and her decision not to see someone else prevented the possibility of finding any solution. And in fact, she had already tried to break off the relationship with the married man twice but could not bring herself to do it. She felt so sexually dependent on this man that she could not carry out her decision. This man had wanted to go on vacation with her but had canceled out at the last moment. So now she had come alone and under other circumstances than expected.
She would have instead tried to create such a strong bond with him in this relaxing atmosphere that he would have made it possible to spend more time with her in the future. But this goal was no longer a possibility. That is why when she arrived on the island, she felt that she had fooled herself concerning her friend’s intentions, which made her “want to throw up.”
The computer repertorization of the symptoms with HOMÖOLOG® 2000 yielded the following results, which I will go into briefly to create an insight into the symbolic languaging of the symptoms.
Treatment of attempted rape
Giving Kreosotum makes the actual event of the rape conscious independent of whether this is of a physical or psychic nature.
A person acts intensely against her needs when she thinks she must bond with something or someone. Often the resulting inner conflicts have been present for a reasonable length of time and entirely suppressed. This type of blocked inner potential is spontaneously activated by an external influence – most often by force.
Giving Arnica montana makes the actual hurt conscious, independent of whether this is of a physical or psychic nature.
Because of being hurt, a person has decided to retreat from the world into seclusion. A confrontation with the injury and communication with others is rejected. Conflict is avoided by pure power of thought. Other solutions are refused.
Opium papaver somniferum
Giving Opium papaver somniferum opens the border between the conscious and unconscious mind.
A person has suppressed conflicts to continue living without being burdened by them. One turns to daily business because a new beginning has come. Opium symbolizes death and rebirth.
Giving Lyssinum makes the helpless rage conscious.
A person feels tortured independent of whether this is of a physical or psychic nature. One strives for peace and quiet. The person wants to be loved without thereby having to engage in conflict.
Giving Arsenicum album makes the fear of meeting a violent death conscious.
A person has a fear of dying violently. The decision is made to die so that it is not necessary to change. An inevitability that cannot be influenced is assumed in the context of a dangerous situation.
Treatment of a latent rape
Giving Lachesis muta makes the suppression of individuality conscious.
A person would rather conform to circumstances than be alone. A pretense is played out for the benefit of oneself and others. Feelings are not shown, but each person is presented with what he is most likely expecting. This situation is filled with the fear of separation and loss in case the pretense is discovered, and you don’t get what you’re after.
Giving China officinalis makes conscious of the feeling of being enslaved and dependent on someone.
A person feels thrown back and forth and cannot determine whether rejection or subordination is the right decision. In the battle against the feeling of being dependent, the content of one’s own life is repressed and finally forgotten. The need for security was the original reason for making oneself dependent.
Giving Hyoscyamus niger makes one conscious of the feeling that one’s life has been taken away through deception.
A person is firmly convinced that he cannot do what he wants. The feeling of inferiority becomes helplessness. One remains in a situation with no escape waiting to be deceived. If the person still has enough strength, she deceives others as compensation for not being allowed to unfold her own potential.
Giving Sepia succus makes conscious of the excellent longing for personal harmony.
A person attempts at any cost to realize his or her own picture of what should happen. The opportunities that present themselves are not taken advantage of because they cannot hold up to the standards of how one imagines it should be. She cannot relax; her fantasies are kept alive, come what may.
After a patient consultation of about 45 minutes and a dose of the homeopathic remedies listed above, the potency of C 50,000, the woman made a balanced impression. Now she began to consider what she could do for herself. She received a bottle containing these remedies for the rest of the treatment. A dose was to be taken twice daily.
The next day I learned that she had gone to the old man alone. She no longer saw him as a threat and demanded 50 German marks to pay for her torn blouse. He was so surprised that he immediately paid her what she had demanded. With this for her, the incident was finished. She even surprised the other guests with the fact that the “gray mouse,” who had never drawn any attention, was now colorfully dressed and seemed to be enjoying her vacation immensely.
About half a year later, I received a letter from her. She wrote that, in the meantime, she had broken off the relationship with the married man. She had also found a lovely man who loved her as much as she adored him and was open and honest with her. I was pleased over this turn of events and wished her and her friend all the best for their future.