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Deborah T-S, Barbados
I have spent much of my adult life pursuing the development of my skills as a healer. I made a commitment at a young age to becoming a psychologist. Over the years, I have had a lot of intellectual exposure to theories about personality, the impact of social factors on peoples’ psyche, physiological, neurological and endocrine function and dysfunction, intergenerational family influences and a broad myriad of life experiences that people face and how those impact behaviour, mental health and general health. However, it was my younger son’s diagnosis with autism, accompanied by chronic enteritis and esophageal reflux disease that inspired me to go deeper and to consider the interaction of all the before mentioned factors in a context of body, mind and spirit interaction; and to seek out methods of complementary support which could result in deeper levels of healing with the least possible negative side effects.
My first exposures to homeopathy were driven by my need to help my son. Over the years, I have utilized the services of a local homeopath Hazel Gill, D.C.H., for several acute conditions such as tooth infection and pain management after dental procedures, management of allergies, treatment of eczema, to name a few, but I have also benefited from homeopathic support for stress management, vaccine clearing and for support with coping at times of personal struggle.
As a result of my continued efforts to support my son’s autism symptoms, I was also fortunate to be able to attend presentations at autism conferences by homeopaths who are successfully treating children and adolescents on the autism spectrum using the Sequential Homeopathy approach. Additionally, as part of the larger international autism community, I was inspired to research and read books on the CEASE (Complete Elimination of the Autistic Spectrum Expression) approach by Dr. Tinus Smits and to have a conversation with Pierre Fontaine, RSHom, CCH, CEASE Certified, a Classical homeopath specializing in the treatment of children with autism in New York, USA.
I am especially interested in working with children, those with special needs, people with special difficult cases and supporting the mental and emotional suffering of people through homeopathy. I realize that the traditional medical establishment has abandoned many people whose conditions are not easily managed by just treating symptoms and I do not believe people should be left suffering without hope for peace and the possibility of better health and quality of life. This is not to say that I believe homeopathy can solve all of that, but I believe I can make a contribution to the journey towards better health for some of these individuals who also deserve a better quality of life.
While a student at secondary school and university, I covered a wide range of subjects spanning the sciences, arts, humanities, philosophical and religious studies. I believe that I have the capacity for the kind of cognitive complexity, critical thinking, analysis, flexibility and reflection required for this field.
Having graduated from the University of Toronto with a BSc Specialist degree in Psychology, I think my psychology background will help me to be sensitive to patterns in life histories, inter-‐generational and constitutional issues and symptoms, presented by potential clients. This background, along with my training in Guidance and Counseling, has given me listening skills, counseling skills and patience to compassionately work with clients, as we collaborate on their healing process. Most importantly, my counseling psychology background supports my caring personality and desire to help others with the skills necessary to really make a difference in people’s lives.
All in all, I believe that the confluence of my life experience, my intellectual background and my exposure to homeopathy thus far, have all converged to put me at this right point in my life to study homeopathy. As much as I have been brought here to this point of readiness at this time in my life, I realize that I am also at the beginning of a new journey in my self-‐development. I am also cognizant of the fact that if favourably considered, I will become part of a new community, at an important time of questioning of the traditional medical approach and in the transformation of health management all over the world.
One of the biggest challenges I face is that in my country Barbados, there is still a preference for traditional medicine and some uncertainty about the contribution complementary medicine can make to better health and better quality of life. However, there are signs that that is changing. I have been fortunate to be at the front line of changing the paradigm for how autism is understood in Barbados, and to have facilitated a path to communication with traditional pediatricians about new ways to understand autism as a whole body disease and not a mental disorder, and therefore to prioritise attending to and treating the whole person. It is my hope that I can further that relationship towards a truly complementary practice with allopathic doctors and homeopathic practitioners working together, when necessary. That is at least my hope.
In today’s stressful fast paced world, where we are all exposed to an increasing variety of toxins and environmental and psychological stressors, the temptation to find quick fixes for our problems is always there. It is easy to ignore the possible side effects and possible long-‐term implications of such quick fixes while focusing on immediate comfort. I love that homeopathy offers something different: a deeper peace and better health is possible when we choose a different lifestyle and different values in the direction of caring for our whole selves. If we take the time for our whole selves and each other, we can find the ways to support our bodies to heal themselves.
I eagerly look forward to becoming a member of the worldwide homeopathy community and to making a difference in the lives of others in Barbados, Canada and across the world. I think it is much more than a wish I have to study homeopathy, I believe that homeopathy has actually called me. With the support of the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine, I am ready to answer that call.