Bach Flower Therapy In The Treatment Of Chronic Major Depressive Disorder

Mark P. Masi, PsyD

Bach flower remedies are a unique form of energy medicine that has become increasingly popular among alternative healthcare professionals; they are classified as homeopathic remedies in the United States and are part of the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS). Discovered by the English physician Edward Bach during the 1930s, the 38 flower tinctures are believed to heal emotional imbalances such as despondency, despair, and fear. Having been challenged by those patients whose chronic depressive symptoms were refractory to psychotherapy and/or medications, I began integrating Bach flower therapy into my psychotherapy practice about 3 years ago and have witnessed remarkable results. This article describes how the flower remedies were used within the context of psychotherapy to successfully treat 2 patients presenting with chronic major depressive disorder.

CASE EXAMPLES

At the onset of flower therapy each patient had been diagnosed with chronic major depression (depression lasting for at least a 2-year period). The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was administered to determine baseline functioning.1 Based on an assessment of each patient’s symptom history a selection of corresponding remedies was determined. Using Dr. Bach’s guidelines for working with multiple remedies, 2 drops of each in its concentrated form were placed in a 30 mL phial, diluted with spring water, and a teaspoon of vegetable glycerin was added as a preservative. From this combination of remedies each patient was prescribed the standard dose of 4 drops to be taken on or under the tongues 4 times a day.

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