Homeopathy looks at these conditions as it does any other emotional or physical condition. (See Depression). It seeks to understand the person as a "whole" and the homeopath will find a specific homeopathic remedy suited for the person's whole story.

There is not one remedy for anxiety as there is not one remedy for depression or for asthma. Everybody is different and the reasons why the anxiety or fear appears need to be understood. As with any condition, there is an underlying reason why anxiety or fear appears. Often there have been certain experiences that have occurred that have left an impact on the person and they are unable to shake it off. This could be a shock, grief or any strong emotional event. After such an event, it is difficult for the person to rebound and as a result some fear or anxiety remains. Although the body/mind always tries to re-establish optimal health as part of the imperative of the immune system to maintain balance and integrity for the whole body, sometimes the body/mind has to accept certain limitations. It is as if after a strong shock, whether physical or emotional, the body is unable to shake off the impact and memory of the event, the shock being too strong and/or the person too sensitive to re-establish optimal health.

Sometimes, these shocks may have been a long time ago and the memory of the event lies more in the subconscious. On a conscious level, the person may feel that they have recovered and are fine, but subconsciously the memory of the event still exists and which expresses itself in anxieties and fears. As is commonly understood in psychology and holistic understanding, looking at the totality of a person, including the emotional and health history is important to see if any specific event, however long ago may still be having an impact. It can often happen that at the time of the emotional shock, it is too difficult to face completely and therefore some part of this experience is sublimated in the subconscious. This may then express itself at a later date in many different ways, including anxieties, phobias, depression or other psychological and physical manifestations.

Sometimes, there may not even be a memory of a specific event, which may create problems for therapists as well as the patient. However, in homeopathy, it is not crucial to always get to a particular event or memory that may have triggered other problems. The actual conscious expression of the person's current situation is mostly enough as it is still the expression of the whole person. That is why when describing the homeopathic approach we can say that it is looking at a person from a phenomenological perspective, that is, from the actual experience and language of a patient, from "What Is." It doesn't need to have particular theories or concepts to understand a person and it doesn't necessarily have to delve into the depths of a person's whole story. From the philosophy of a holistic view, all expressions are part of the whole, that is, you don't need to see everything to understand the specific symptom or expression of a problem. You don't need to see the whole iceberg to know that it exists. It is enough to see the tip to know it is there.

It is however true that knowing the originating cause of a condition can help the homeopath understand the problem and therefore find the correct remedy. A combination of the causative factor(s) along with the current expression of the problem is the information the homeopath will use to find the correct remedy. As mentioned, everybody is different and one person's fears are very different to another's.

Sometimes, the problem seems to stem from a more broad dynamic that exists in the family of the person. This often originates in the person's relationship and memories of their parents and the dynamics of childhood. As young children we are extremely sensitive to the dynamics around us and obviously we pick up a huge amount of input from what is happening. Given that we cannot choose our parents, we make the best of that situation, but we all carry memories of that time, for good and for ill. It can be said that for all of us we are consciously and unconsciously dealing with certain issues that our parents or even grandparents were facing in their lives and didn't resolve. There seems to be a phenomenon where we identify with aspects of our family dynamic and take on unresolved issues within the family. This is primarily an unconscious pattern and it only becomes known as our lives unfold and we see these patterns. This is obviously a complex area and may seem far fetched to some, but given the significance of the earliest years of childhood and the ideas that we carry with us the memories of our most formative experiences, it is now recognized that some of the most significant experiences that impact our lives can occur at the beginnings of life. Furthermore, the idea that we can inherit unresolved issues even going back generations is now being openly explored in various forms of psychotherapy. In homeopathy, this is significant in as much as the patient makes reference to family issues, describes specific situations, or in which the overall history is gleaned by the homeopath during the interview.

The initial homeopathic interview can take up to 2 hours, or occasionally even longer. During this time, all areas of the person's life are explored in order to understand the person as completely as possible. This includes the family history of the patient, including both medical and personal history. The history of the patient's birth and pregnancy are asked about, and then the person's life from that time. This history taking creates a tapestry of the person's life and the homeopath can piece together the most important factors that will determine the remedy given. As the homeopathic remedy is given for the whole person and acts as a mirror to the person's situation and symptom picture, it acts by reflecting back to the individual the key areas and experiences that the person's story revealed. The consequence of this is a greater awareness of the situation at hand which encourages the body's own healing potential to kick in. Another way to describe it is this: given that in emotional situations we are dealing with a level of energy or consciousness, expressing itself as perhaps a fear or anxiety, the remedy given has within it a similar energy of consciousness. Therefore, the remedy works by superimposing itself over the similar fear and anxiety of the patient and neutralizing it. The founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, describes the process by stating that two "similar" diseases cannot coexist at the same time in the body (the remedy being described by him as an "artificial disease"). The stronger one neutralizes the weaker one. He gave examples where this occurs in nature, when one disease, say measles will lead to the disappearance of another skin disease, for example herpes, during the duration of the disease. Then after the measles has disappeared, the older skin condition may come back. Sometimes he states that if the similarity of the diseases is very close, one may even cure the other. In psychological situations and when describing the action of a remedy, the energy of the remedy matches the energy of the person, with the remedy working by slightly magnifying and then neutralizing the memory of the fear, anxiety and the possible underlying cause of the problem.

Therefore, although it may seem to be a slightly bizarre process, the action of the homeopathic remedy can effectively address many fears, anxieties and phobias and do so relatively quickly. All the remedy does is bring the person back into a state of equilibrium, back to where they should be and helps erase the memory of whatever event may have brought on the anxiety or fear in the first place.

Acknowledging What Is