I have already taken some courses in gemmotherapy elsewhere. Which of your three courses (Certificate, Diploma or Licence course) should I take?
Each course builds upon the previous one, and each one contains a lot of original material. If you have a signficant knowledge of gemmotherapy, you can start with the Diploma or Licence course, but we feel it would be best to start at the beginning and work your way through. It could feel disorientating to jump into the middle. If your circumstances only allow one course, it would probably be best to take the Certificate course and leave out the others, rather than start with the Diploma or Licence course.
Is the course completely online, or do you have attendance-based workshops and clinics?
The School is only online, and that includes the teaching clinic too. We sometimes hold local seminars or workshops, but these are not part of the course and are completely outside of the School. They are not required for the students enrolled in the School (although of course they are welcome to come if they can make it). At the moment, people interested in gemmotherapy are widely spread around the world, so it's just not practical to ask them to be in the same place at the same time.
Will the course address supplements and herbs other than gemmotherapy?
We cover oligotherapy, and on the side to a lesser extent, homeopathy, Bach flower essences, nutrition, some herbal approaches and some others - we think of ourselves as holistic practitioners who are open to all approaches.
Does the course assume knowledge of Human Sciences?
The Certificate, Diploma and Licence course are open to healthcare practitioners who have received a prior training in Human Sciences, and you should have a working knowledge of them. If you wish to brush up your knowledge, we can recommend reading materials or an excellent distance learning course in anatomy, physiology, pathology and disease.
Does the material on the courses remain available to students after graduation?
All the lessons and course materials remain you have used on your course(s) will available for free, indefinitely, after you leave the School. You can access them at any time you like.
What about Gemmostar?
All students who have taken and paid for at least the Certificate course now have free, unlimited, indefinite access to Gemmostar, the online gemmotherapy repertory and guide to prescribing after they leave the School.
When is the deadline for enrolling in a course?
There is no deadline as such, you can even join after the start date (several people have in the past), but of course you will get the most from the course if you are there from the beginning.
Have you had acupuncturists take the training before? Is the education accessible to someone who does not have a naturopathy background?
Yes, we have certainly had accupuncturists on the course before. Our courses are taken by practitioners with a broad array of backgrounds in natural/holistic medicine. Gemmotherapy is most of ten used as an adjunctive therapy alongside any of these approaches, though of course it can also be used by itself. We have had acupuncturists, naturopaths, homeopaths, nutritionists, flower essence practitioners, chiropractors and massage therapists in the School, and I am confident that you would be an excellent candidate for our training.
How is the course scheduled? Are the classes at specific times, or is it all done at my own pace, when I have availability?
The course is spread over 4 months, with new sessions put up every 2 weeks. A session consists of a batch of learning materials (written lessons, some audio visual material) for you to study, plus assignments to encourage you to process this material and make it part of your own experience - meaning that it will then be readily accessible for you in a clinical setting.
We also meet in a 'virtual classroom' in the school - there are ongoing discussions in the course forum and in the School clinic. These take place whenever someone has a question or a comment and a discussion ensues - it's a very valuable part of the training, because in interacting with their fellow students and the tutors, it allows participants to fill in any gaps in their knowledge as well as expand it in new directions - rather like a tutorial in a traditional educational setting.
The School clinic is also forum-based, here students can bring their own cases or follow the treatment of other cases. It's a great way of seeing gemmotherapy in action, how it is used in a hands-on, practical way.
The discussions and casework have no fixed time or schedule. They take place from day to day, though individiuals dip in and out depending on their own availability. Our students are practitioners like yourself, who may have busy work and home lives and often have to be away at certain times. We find that having sessions every two weeks gives a lot of flexibility and it suits the students well.
Approximately how much time per week could I anticipate spending on the studies?
You can anticipate spending 5 hours a week on the work, more if you have the time and want to get more involved in the dicussions or to read around or give extra time to the assignments. Again there is flexibility there - the more you put in, the more you will get out, but if you are busy at certain times, you can simply come back to it later. There is no time limit for your access to the course materials, they will be available to you even after it has finished - though as much of the value of the course is in the interactions with your fellow students and tutors, it's best to participate as fully as you can.
Do we have to take tests or exams?
We have a 'no tests or exams' policy in the School, we don't think exams a good way of assessing someone's competence in gemmotherapy. But there are assignments to do, and journals to keep, and you have to complete at least 90% of these in order to graduate (if you don't finish by the end of the course, you can complete them afterwards, but you mustn't take longer than the actual course took (ie if the Certificate course is 4 months, you can catch up for another 4 months after that).
The assignments are designed to help make the material always available to you - something you know and have access to, rather than something interesting that you studied but which has since slipped your mind. We are constantly studying pedagogical best practice, in how students learn and retain material effectively, particularly as it concerns a practical, clinical skill in this case. Exams/tests could be a part of this, but at the moment we don't have them, because their use in other educational settings has been so overwhelming and inappropriate.
Do you feel that gemmotherapy is accessible and practical for a practitioner who does not routinely have blood/lab testing done on patients?
Very much so, this is only one of the approaches used in gemmotherapy diagnosis, and it is mainly used in America. It is by no means the only way in which one can practice. We only come to it in the Diploma course, we would rather our students use their eyes and ears first. Lab testing is helpful, quick and convenient but it is no substitute for really understanding what is going on in the case and what needs to be addressed.
If I pay for the Certificate course by Paypal monthly payments, how many months would this be spread over, and what would be the monthly fee?
If you pay monthly, there are 4 payments of $300 each for the Certificate course. Alternatively you can pay a one time fee of $1,000, and if for any reason you are not satisfied with the course, you can ask for a full no-questions refund any time in the first month of the course.
I am going on vacation for a few weeks during the course, so don't know if that would interrupt the flow of the program.
If you have access to a computer and can check in while you're away, this would be helpful. Otherwise, you could put in extra time and catch up when you get back. (Or you could plan to start in January if this would work better for you.) In our experience, there are always times our students are busy - it's just in the nature of things, all practitioners seem to be like that - and we've tried hard to make our courses something that are flexible while being structured, and can fit around their needs.
When the lessons begins is it necessary to sit in front of the computer at a certain time?
It is not necessary for us all to be online at the same time. The lessons, forums and clinic are all 'asynchronous'. You can just log on when you are ready, and join in.
In other words, the course is completely flexible. It's designed for busy people and practitioners, who need to fit it in with everything else they do.
What happens when I miss a lesson?
It's impossible to miss a lesson, as it will always be there after it's put up, for you to access whenever you like.
Are your qualifications accredited by any outside organisation?
The qualifications are not yet externally validated. We are hoping to achieve this through an affiliation with an existing educational institution in the near future. But it's best to regard the courses as something you do for yourself, because you are interested in gemmotherapy and want to learn how to use it expertly. The qualifications as such, and the letters after your name that go with them, are of course nice to have and will allow the public and your prospective clients to see what kind of a training you have received if they look at this website.