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Bach Flower - Case Studies

by Barbara Stanhope-Williamson(more info)

listed in flower essences, originally published in issue 11 - April 1996

Mrs L. I first saw this lady in 1992. She is now in her middle 60s. She had an unhappy childhood. Her father died when she was young. Her mother was a hard, unfeeling woman who married again. Mrs L has three brothers, one half-brother and one half-sister. She was the “donkey” of the family, having to care for all her siblings. She has a very good husband and daughter, is happily married but has never overcome her feeling of inferiority. She has a very poor opinion of herself (LARCH was prescribed), she has constant panic attacks and is afraid to travel (ROCK ROSE was the Remedy of choice).

Her health has never been good and she has had several operations, her last operation was followed by a mild stroke. She is afraid she will have another stroke and for this MIMULUS was prescribed. She gets depressed from time to time for no apparent reason and MUSTARD was added.

She came for a repeat dose and said she was going away for a short holiday. She looked much better.

I saw her again in 1995 following another operation that was unsatisfactory; an infected stitch was later found and removed. Her fear of another stroke returned so MIMULUS was prescribed. She was very tired and wan and OLIVE was added to the treatment bottle, as well as MUSTARD as her depression had returned. After a second treatment bottle she felt more confident.  She tells me that there have been two bereavements in her family recently but she has coped very well and no further Remedies have been needed.

I saw T aged 5 1/2 at the request of an elderly philanthropic lady who was trying to help this problem family. I was reluctant to treat him. Having heard his history I felt that he was in need of expert psychiatric help but I agreed to visit the family, under pressure, having been told that his social worker and doctor were unhelpful.

His half-sister aged 9 was the product of a gang rape which was unreported. T had been expelled from a few schools for disruptive behaviour and violence towards other children. As his sister had been expelled from a special boarding school the mother was trying to cope with both of them at home.

When I first saw him he told me I was evil, everybody was evil and he hated his mother, although he clinged to her. He was obsessed with guns and knives but said he wanted to become a policeman. He was painting pictures with black paint.

His natural father turns up from time to time when he is always at him worst behaviour.

I gave him CHERRY PLUM for his disturbed behaviour, CHICORY as he was clinging to his mother and HOLLY and VINE for all the anger and hatred in him, in particular because he was bullying and biting other children.

A few days after his first treatment he went to a new school. The second time I saw him at home he asked me if I had come to take him away from his mother. After reassuring him he was very chatty: he never once used the words “hate” and “evil” and he was drawing pictures with a green pencil.

I treated him for 2 months. His mother told me that he had settled happily in his new school and was being placed in a higher class. I also treated mother and daughter.    

Mrs O, a middle aged lady was nearly drowned when she was very young and was still terrified of water, for which I prescribed ROCK ROSE. She was also constantly in fear that her son might get killed because of his occupation (MIMULUS).

She is divorced and her children elected to stay with their father. She was concerned for their welfare and for this she was given RED CHESTNUT. She gave the appearance of a very withdrawn lady but very capable, so WATER VIOLET was added to her treatment bottle. She contacted me a few weeks later to say that she had started taking swimming lessons and had accepted a job overseas. I have not heard from her since.

Mr. F was an academic failure. When younger he was obsessed with being “strong” and carried an offensive weapon. He had a criminal record, went abroad for several years and had some very unpleasant experiences.

He returned to England when he was 30 years old, determined to change his lifestyle.  He still awoke in terror on occasion and for this I prescribed ROCK ROSE.

He started an Adult Education Course but still carried a lot of anger (HOLLY), fear (MIMULUS) and a resentment against Authority (WILLOW). Because he had no peace of mind I prescribed WHITE CHESTNUT.

He had a good reaction to the Remedies almost immediately. He was so impressed he started to study them himself. He passed his Course, his rehabilitation is complete and he is doing well.

Mrs B, aged 40, came to see me in great distress following a catalogue of disasters within a very short period of time. Her marriage had broken down, she had lost her home and most of her belongings. Her temporary accommodation had been broken into and she had to fight off an intruder the same day as a much loved child in her family had died in tragic circumstances. Her business that she bad built up was at risk and her own 4 year old daughter started to develop behavioural problems.

There was a history of mental instability in the family and she had kept everything together, but she was now exhausted. OAK was the remedy of choice for this. I also gave her SWEET CHESTNUT for her utter despair. STAR OF BETHLEHEM was prescribed for the shock of her niece’s death (I saw her before the funeral had taken place). HONEYSUCKLE to help her cope with her bad experiences in the past, WHITE CHESTNUT to calm her mind and WALNUT to cope with all the changes taking place in her life. She made a quick recovery. I also prescribed Remedies for her daughter who is now a loving child. I repeated the dose three times for both mother and daughter.

Mrs I, aged 30 came to England from an eastern European country. She entered legally and shortly afterwards married an Englishman. The marriage was a disaster, she became pregnant and had to go to a Woman’s Refuge when her husband became violent. Although her husband had never attempted to see his daughter he threatened to have the child removed from her and to have her deported to her country of origin.  She lived in terror, but with proper legal advice obtained a divorce and is legally settled here. She is a highly intelligent University graduate, with perfect English which enabled her to work as a translator, and is now running a successful business.

She still experiences emotional stress as her mother is constantly phoning and writing to her repeating that she is worthless and is not living up to her (mother’s) expectations, telling her to return home as she is unwell. Mrs I feels guilty about this, for which I prescribed PINE. (I saw her mother when she came to England. She brought along with her a list of ailments in case her daughter did not translate correctly and these numbered 21 - from childhood to adulthood. I was in no doubt that daughter had correctly described her mother.)

I gave her HONEYSUCKLE to help her cope with her past terrifying experiences, also ROCK ROSE as she occasionally had panic attacks, and LARCH to maintain her confidence in herself. This lady has kept in touch. Her adored daughter (who is a well adjusted happy child) is her top priority and she is managing to run a very successful business, mainly at home. I still continue to prescribe Remedies from time to time.

Miss M
is a German student (aged 23) doing a Foreign language course in Germany and she wants to travel abroad. She visits England to say with friends.  Her home life is not happy. Her parents divorced, two of her sisters electing to go with their father and two, including M, stayed with their mother. Her life was reasonably happy until the eldest sister decided to leave her father and return to mother after very many years, demanding a financial interest in the family home. She was a stranger to M. She has totally disrupted family life and now M has no motivation to get on with her studies and is missing a number of lectures. For this I prescribed HORNBEAM. She has an intense hatred of her eldest sister (HOLLY). I gave her GENTIAN for her depression, OLIVE for her general tiredness and WALNUT to cope with the changes in her life, and protection.

One mouth after her return to Germany I received a humorous postcard with 2 contented cows in the picture and her message read “And now there are 3”. Her prescription was repeated once.

Mr N, aged 34. This man is recovering from ME. He has a long history of drug abuse. He has a good family background – an only child educated privately at a progressive school. He refused to conform and left school with no academic qualifications. He became a squatter and had convictions for drug offences. He still feels very guilty, particularly when passing a Police Station. He was prescribed PINE for these feelings. He was badly beaten up and still experiences terror. ROCK ROSE was given for this.

He underwent psychoanalysis for 3 years but said he did not benefit from this.

OLIVE was prescribed for his tiredness and lack of energy. He was determined to change his lifestyle and WILD OAT was added to his Remedies. He needed three treatment bottles in all.

He is now working hard playing a musical instrument. He has established an excellent relationship with a very talented young lady and also has a very good relationship with his parents.

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About Barbara Stanhope-Williamson

Barbara Stanhope-Williamson MAR BRCP Registered Bach Flower Remedy Counsellor and Reflexologist. Practices at West Hampstead, London NW6 and Regents Park Stress Clinic, London NWl. Telephone No. 0171 625 6925

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