Complementary Therapists Association - Forums
Posted by Edith Maskell, Jul 19 2007 6:03PM

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CASE STUDIES

I am a little concerned about a snippet in the latest CThA N4ewsletter asking members to share their experience on what treatments have "worked" for particular conditions.

1.
Angela Rawlins
Jul 19 2007 6:16PM
With so much negativity in the press these days, surely we would only want successful cases, and anyhow, it is not proffessional to promise cures!
Edith Maskell
Jul 19 2007 6:28PM
Don't know what happened - was cut off in my prime with my first attempt at commenting!!

1. The purpose of CAM is not designed to "work" - or not - on a particular condition. That is not the aim. The purpose, as all us professionals know is that CAM treatments enable the body to function optimally. Treatments bring homeostatis thus the body will be able to repair itself. We do not cure and we do not diagnose.

2. There should never be any "expected" outcome. Each individual is a complex human being. The treatment may not give a "desired" result - that won't necessarily be because the treatment has not worked; more likely that there is "something else" that the practitioner has not considered OR that the client has not divulged certain information, that could be hindering progress.

3. I would advise that practitioners be very aware in getting involved in publicly presenting case studies. This is exactly how researchers get hold of information to rubbish our work. I can just see it, all that work, building up a library of how CAM has not worked and then taken completely out of context and published as "evidence" that it doesn't work. There is a certain gentleman who resides at Exeter University who would love to get hold of such information. Hopefully that is not what is behind this interest in research? I am not being cynical - we have shot ourselves in the foot before and frankly, this request smacks of his hall mark.

4. I say again, practitioners please don't get involved in presenting information publicly to anyone, without any formal support and structure in putting it together. Unless you want to dig a hole for yourself and damn others in our profession.

5. Research needs to be done. However, I believe t needs to be led formally and professionally structured. Presenting case studies as an interesting article to read is merely more anecdotal evidence for people to comment on possi bly without any specialist skills and there are Bodies out there who would love to get hold of this material and publicly belittle us stating that we have made a claim that Shiatsu (for example) can CURE asthma, when we have made no claims of tht sort. If the ASA were to get a whiff of it - and it only takes ONE person to complain to involve them - the practitioner will be (not could be) held to account for misleading public perception. That is a fact not a personal opinion.

6. It is great that this professional association is starting to get interested in our work but we need to be very careful of the language we use. There are still too many out there ready to shoot us down and I don't believe, presenting informal case studies is the way to improve our professional and serious image. We know it works but unless we present it formally in an acceptable manner to the academics. They simply will not acknowledge it as being credible.

7. I appreciate wer are merely being asked to present some cast studies for publication in a Newsletter for interst but who is building the library? What will happen to it? In whose hands might that information fall? Who owns it? THOSE are my ultimate concerns. Might it be published as a book at a later time? All valid things to consider before committing folks.

Edith Maskell
Alison Livings
Jul 20 2007 1:46PM
In response to Edith's comments I would just like to say that the intention of the article in the Newsletter and previously in the Sring magazine is to encourage members to share their experiences, we know that many of our members work alone and therefore it is not always easy to do this. The intention is not for the published case studies to be used in any other publication or to be made available for public reading, hence the reason why the full article only appears in the 'Members Area'on the website and not in the Newsletter, this will be the format for future publications. The Copyright remains with the author and it is not for us to use in any other way.
It will be good to see our members exchanging ideas and experiences.
Angela Rawlins
Jul 20 2007 3:14PM
If the local groups were given support by ensuring the contact names and adresses for such groups were listed in the magazine like they used to be, members can share with each other at the meetings.

The local groups fill a very important need for new and existing therapists.

There was a mention that each local group would be given an exgratia payment to help with the running of the group. Perhaps you could tell me when or if infact we will be getting one.
Alison Livings
Jul 20 2007 4:50PM
I agree that the local groups are very important and we do now issue all members with information as to which group is for their area and how to contact the co-ordinator. Unfortunately the feedback that we get indicates that only a small percentage of the membership ever attend their local group. We will be addressing the promotion of the groups in the very near future.
I will respond to you separately in respect of the payments to co-ordinators

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