How to become a Homeopath. Read through our comprehensive job guide to learn more about Homeopath careers.
What does a Homeopath do?
Homeopaths treat patients by stimulating the body’s own healing powers with natural remedies. Homeopathy is based on the idea that ‘like cures like’ – that substances which cause symptoms can, in very small amounts, be used to cure or ease them.
As a homeopath, you may see people experiencing problems ranging from headaches, fevers and stress to arthritis and eczema. You would treat the patient based on their lifestyle and emotional issues as well as their physical symptoms. You could see patients referred by their GP or on a private basis. Consultations would usually involve:
- discussing the patient’s symptoms and their wider life
- choosing an appropriate homeopathic remedy
- preparing and dispensing the remedy
- treating the client during visits, or explaining how they can treat themselves at home
- keeping detailed patient notes
- advising on wider health and lifestyle issues
- referring patients to other health practitioners if necessary.
You would also deal with tasks involved in running your own business, such as accounts, tax, marketing and advertising your practice.
Most homeopaths are self-employed. This means that you could choose your own working hours, although you may have to offer evening and weekend appointments to meet the needs of your patients.
You may work from your own home, from an alternative therapy clinic or sometimes a GP surgery or hospital. You may also visit patients in their homes.
How much does a Homeopath do?
As a self-employed homeopath, income depends on the hours you work and the number of clients you see. You would typically charge an hourly rate of between £40 and £120.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
To prepare for work as a homeopath, you can take a qualification that is recognised by one of the professional organisations for homeopathy, such as the Society of Homeopaths (SOH). Courses include:
- a BSc Hons degree in homeopathy (available from four universities in England)
- a licentiate diploma from a private college of homeopathy.
Courses take three years full-time or at least four years part-time. Some may combine distance learning with part-time study, but all recognised programmes include supervised practice .
- Society of Homeopaths
To get on to a degree you will usually need at least three GCSEs (A-C) and two A levels including a science subject. Alternatives such as an Access to Higher Education qualification may be accepted, and your life experience may also count towards entry.
Most private colleges offering licentiate courses do not ask for academic qualifications, although some knowledge of science would be useful. Instead, they will look at your life experience, interest in homeopathy, and your potential to succeed on the course.
You should research courses carefully and check entry requirements with each university or college.
If you are already a qualified healthcare professional (for example, a doctor, nurse, dentist, pharmacist or midwife), you could take a postgraduate homeopathy course approved by the Faculty of Homeopathy (FOH). See the FOH website for more details.
Training and Development
Once you have completed an in-depth course and achieved a qualification, it may help your career further by joining a professional organisation for homeopathy or a register for complementary therapists, such as:
- Society of Homeopaths (SOH)
- Alliance of Registered Homeopaths (ARH)
- Homeopathic Medical Association (HMA)
- Faculty of Homeopathy (for state-registered healthcare professionals)
- British Register of Complementary Practitioners (run by the Institute of Complementary Medicine).
Each register has its own eligibility rules for joining, but in general you will need to build up a number of hours’ clinical practice, and submit case studies or pass an interview. Contact individual organisations for full details.
You should keep your skills and knowledge up to date throughout your career, for example by attending conferences and short courses. Being a member of a professional body will often give you access to events and professional development programmes.
Organisations from a variety of complementary therapies, including homeopathy, have worked to create a single (voluntary) regulatory body, known as the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). The aim of the CNHC is to protect the public by registering practitioners, setting standards for safe practice and providing a means of redress if things go wrong.
To register, your profession must be a member of the CNHC (this is being rolled out in stages). It is expected that the CNHC register will be open to homeopaths at some point during 2010; check the CNHC website regularly for updates.
- Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council
Skills and Knowledge
- the ability to build trust and rapport with patients
- good listening and communication skills
- understanding and sensitivity
- a non-judgemental attitude
- analytical thinking as well as intuition, to help you diagnose and treat appropriately
- the ability to remain professional when patients become emotional
- accurate record keeping skills
- some knowledge of biology, chemistry and conventional medical treatments
- the commercial skills to run your own business.
Homeopathy is a growing area, with more and more people looking beyond traditional medicine to treat their health conditions.
You would usually be self-employed and run your own practice, although you may also find opportunities in the NHS. Some homeopaths are also qualified health professionals.