If you are wondering how to become a homeopath, below are tips and advice on training for and beginning careers in this area of alternative therapy, as well as job prospects in the UK.

    The Job Description
    Homeopaths aim to cure physical, mental and emotional illness by stimulating the body’s own natural healing powers. The practice is based on the idea that ‘like cures like’. In other words, the substance that causes a disorder can, in small amounts, cure or alleviate the symptoms.

    As a homeopath you would begin a consultation by taking a detailed history from the patient. This would focus on a wide range of areas such as lifestyle, ailments, attitude to life, diet, sleep patterns and moods.

    Typical reponsibilities:

    use the information to build up a picture of your client’s symptoms
    if necessary, carry out a physical examination
    match the symptoms to the appropriate remedy
    dispense small, highly diluted amounts of substance to your client.
    Homeopathy is used to treat a range of ailments in people of all ages. It can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, for example, sore throats, fevers, arthritis, eczema and anxiety. Some medical doctors use a combination of traditional medicine and homeopathy to treat certain illnesses.

    Person Specification
    The key personal attributes of homeopaths include:

    be able to build up a rapport with patients
    have good communication skills
    be logical in your approach to problem solving, diagnosis and treatment
    be able to remain emotionally uninvolved
    recognise when to refer patients to a qualified medical doctor
    have an interest and ability in science, particularly biology and chemistry
    have commercial skills to help you run a business.

    How to become a homeopath
    To practice as a homeopath you will need to gain a qualification recognised by one of the main professional bodies. The Society of Homeopaths (SOH) approves courses that lead to a diploma or degree in Homeopathic Medicine.

    You can study a recognised qualification on full-time basis for three years or on a part-time basis for four years. You may also be able to combine part-time study and distance learning. Typically the course will be made up of workshops and lectures, which are likely to include the study of:

    professional principals and values
    emotional awareness
    communication skills
    patient diagnosis
    You will be assessed through assignments, projects, questioning and self evaluation. A large amount of supervised clinical practice will form part of the programme.

    Entry requirements depend on the level of study. For a diploma you will usually need four GCSEs (A-C), with at least one science subject, plus one or two A levels, again with at least one science subject. For a degree, you are likely to need five GCSEs plus two or three A levels, or equivalent qualifications. An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain programmes. Course providers will also consider your experience, enthusiasm and aptitude for study. Check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

    If you already have a degree the Faculty of Homeopathy (FOH) accredit postgraduate homeopathy courses aimed at qualified medical practitioners or state registered health care professionals such as dentists, pharmacists, nurses, midwives or podiatrists. See the FOH website for more details.

    You can become a student member of the SOH when you begin studying a recognised course. This can be upgraded to Registered Membership once you are qualified. See the SOH website for more details on membership and a list of approved course providers.

    Training and Development
    As a qualified homeopath you will be able to register with various professional bodies:

    Alliance of Registered Homeopaths (ARH) – offers professional membership to homeopathy graduates and practising homeopaths in the UK. You will need to present a portfolio of cases and pass an interview
    Homeopathic Medical Association (HMA) – to register, you need a qualification in homeopathy, plus 100 hours of supervised practise. You must submit a number of case studies, pass an interview and you might be observed at work
    British Register of Complementary Practitioners – accepts members who have completed an approved course of training including clinical practice, given a presentation on a number of cases and passed an interview.
    You will also be able to attend seminars and short courses to update your knowledge and skills. Many of the professional bodies run a programme of continuing professional development for their members.

    The Pay (a rough guide)
    Homeopaths typically charge an hourly rate, which can vary between £30 and £100 per hour.

    As a newly qualified homeopath you could earn between £15,000 and £20,000.
    With experience this can rise to £30,000.

    Job Prospects
    Homeopathy is a growing area of work, with more and more people looking beyond traditional medicine to treat their health conditions. As a homeopath you could work within the NHS or in private practice. You can also practise in homeopathic hospitals or private clinics.

    Most homeopaths are self-employed. Some are already qualified GPs.

    Useful therapies resources:
    Alliance of Registered Homeopaths
    Millbrook Hill
    East Sussex
    TN22 3PJ
    08700 736339

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