Training of Trainers - ToT

From the beginning, we have found the project idea convenient: in Bosnia, there is a number of practising homeopaths who finished their basic training end of the nineties with German, English or Dutch homeopaths. In the course of the years, again and again seminars and advanced trainings with foreign homeopaths have been organised. But there were no schools or institutes enabling to train independently.

Thus, the idea of the ToT with integrated supervision training was born. Within 2 ½  years, according to the schedule, to train a group of Bosnian homeopaths to be able to organise and carry out basic trainings as teachers for homeopathy, and first of all also to take over then the supervision of the young colleagues.

The challenge for us as HOG-project group was to develop a curriculum for such a training schedule and to compose a group of training-experienced colleagues who could do it. From the start, we have seen our project as a pilot project entering new territory and where we couldn`t refer to experiences already made.

When starting the project in 2003, neither in Germany, there haven`t been yet any advanced trainings for the teaching and the supervision. We ourselves, who are teaching in Germany, have prepared ourselves autodidactically for this job, so to speak “teaching by doing”, our studies (psychology, social pedagogy, e.g.), professional activity and advanced trainings supplied us the foundation for this.

Before describing the teacher- training as follows, I want to give an overview about a typical Bosnian assignment:

Once Bosnia and back:

. Wednesday: out journey: flight, arrival, first preparing talks

. Thursday: reviews with the trainer-group, ToT-training

. Friday: teaching practice I

. Saturday: basic training

. Sunday: basic training

. Monday: teaching practice II

. Tuesday: reviews with the trainer-group, ToT-training

. Wednesday: return


The Tot-group:

16 homeopaths took part in the ToT, a big group, with different pre-experiences – more or less much practice activity, basic training at different schools, more or less advanced training.

First, it was important to settle the aims of the project and to make clear the motivation. Did all 16 participants want to become a teacher, or was the project simply a good possibility staying close “to homeopathy” on the spot?

In the course of the first project year, the group stabilised to 12 participants, later on, 2 further persons left the group, and the remaining 10 persons stayed until the end and finished with

the teacher examination, 8 of them even did the supervision training.

Phase I – orientation, group finding and temporary audition of lectures

We had 2 days per month with the trainer-group, with a strict program.

On Thursday, there were the last preparations to do for the week-end being and the teaching-practice. The trainers were admonished to attend the basic training at the week-ends, in order to follow the lessons with the new view of experienced homeopaths and future teachers.

Therefore, we discussed the training schedule for the week-end, our teaching aims, the methodical organisation.

At the same time, we started with first exercises preparing us for the new role as teachers: to hold a little speech recorded on video, procuring knowledge to methodical themes or about group and psychological dynamics, perceptive exercises, etc.

And a supervision case out of their own practice was shown by the participants for the time being and supervided with us.

On Thursdays, there was first of all the planning of the week-end, the continuation of the supervision case (there as homework the own working-on/repertorisation was expected), and further planning for the coming week-ends as well as perhaps continuing of the exercises respectively of the procuring of knowledge.

Uff – a compact program, which has often taken us to our limits. Such a lot of contents, such a lot of new things on the communication level and of group dynamics. (starting the project, some of us haven`t yet been aware of the challenge represented by the intercultural communication).


Phase II – the future trainers start with first training units

Nearly from the 2nd year of basic training on, the Bosnian trainers began to make their own  teaching experience: They chose a topic well versed in  - either a theoretical one or a  remedy presentation – and showed themselves in their new role in front of the group. First, we let the presentations “exercise” in the protected frame of the Tot-training, later on it was sufficient to let know the structure of the training, the schedule with regard to contents and methods.

It was a great joy to experience the Bosnian colleagues teaching. Here the difference could be shown and lived fully, real teaching talents showed themselves. Slowly, all of them developed their style, their kind of presentation, their methodology.

The logistic task was to make a good seminar schedule by gradually taking over teaching parts by the ToTs, e.g. to pre-plan over months and to make a precise schedule for the week-end being without taking away any spontaneous action. Also on this territory, the future colleagues have gradually learned getting a feeling how long one teaching sequence needs, how and when a method change has to happen, in order to demand the learning-group for 2 days, but not to overcharge the group.

In the course of the years, wide ranges of the training have been covered by the Bosnian colleagues, we from HOG have been attending attentively, taking over those parts where our experience was especially asked for, deepened and added if necessary.

Thus, our point of view was with both groups: does the basic group get all it needs for a good basic training, and with the teacher-group:how are the contents, how is the kind of mediation, where further stimulation, mediation of knowledge, support is needed?

During the nine months which I was spending on the spot as a HOG guest-teacher, the teacher-training could still be intensified further: climax was a one-week seminar trip to Montenegro, where the main point was the teacher-training: planning of training schedules, training of methods. The learned things were exercised right away with teaching examples, with presentations of remedies, with concrete planning. A fulfilling week, which brought a lot of joy also to me as trainer.

Then we started the ToT-Sundays, one day could be dedicated to one subject, e.g.

teaching forms: in front teaching, teaching talk, silent work, group work and partner work. When do I put in which form, what is to be thought of, e.g. how do I divide in groups, what do I do with the results?

Single talks with the Tots helped to name their strengths, to support them when being uncertain or during experienced  “weaknesses”, and to sight at examination themes.


Phase III – Examination as Teacher of Homeopathy

Now, the time had come to show that a training of several hours could be prepared and carried out. Searching for subjects, procurement, working out, that was the pre-work. Giving the lesson, the mediating of contents, the answering of questions or disturbances, that was the challenge the young colleagues had to cope with.

The first five colleagues had their teaching rehearsals during summer-school. The prime subject was: Nice animals – animal remedies in homeopathy.

Consequently, it had to fit referring to the subject and to have a good sequence as result on the whole, there were two HOG teachers representing the frame, moderating, adding and deepening.

See also the report of Elisabeth von Wedel about summer-school in 2006.

The other five examination presentations were placed in a “normal” training week-end in Sarajevo.

The results: the presentations were very different: we didn`t value by notes but only whether passed or failed, and with three of the examinations we had to recommend a repetition. This was taken as good new chance to represent oneself, and they passed in their second chance some months later.

The second phase of the teacher examinations consisted of a case representation out of the own practice. Aim of this examination part was to let the teaching persons show being able to represent a case, that they can make clear the important aspects to the group and  consequently go the way of remedy finding with the group.

How do I direct the discussion process in a group, how do I animate, where do I draw the limits. When do I make suggestions, how much space is left for the group. What reasons do I give for my remedy? How do I mediate the further process of the patient with the remedy given, how do I show that a remedy change was necessary?

And all of this in a good time management!

Again, there were two of HOG present as well as the teacher-group. It was pleasant for us to see that the Bosnian colleagues had meanwhile been able to watch and reflect very well and had learned to give each other an esteeming but also founded review. In this respect, the group had very well grown, and this was what we experienced as a big success of our work over several years.

With joy and pride, the ten new teachers received their certificates. And all of us – the Bosnian colleagues like we ourselves from HOG were aware of the fact of having created and done something new: having planned and carried out an advanced training for becoming a teacher, and to run through and pass it with a lot of personal action regarding time, money and engagement.

A detailed certificate, which, in an annexed paper, names the single parts of the training with respect to contents and numbers of hours, describes this new work. 

Rosemarie Kaiser

The contact person

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The Winter Olympics 1984 took place in Sarajevo as well as in the mountains of its region.

Since 1992, Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its declaration of independence of Yugoslavia led to the war of Bosnia, in which Sarajevo was a hard-fought city.

The city of Sarajevo has a population of 304.000 and approx. 500.000 people live in the metropolitan area of Sarajevo. Therefore, Sarajevo is the city in this country with the most population.

During the war in Bosnia, Sarajevo was divided into one of the Bosnian and Herzegovina government controlled Bosnia-Croatian part and into one of the Republic of Serbian Krajina controlled Serbian part which shelled each other. The part controlled by the government troops (the city centre and the old town also belong to it) was beleaguered for exactly 1425 days.

The siege began on 5th April 1992 and is the longest siege in the history of the city. The core of Sarajevo was completely surrounded. Due to this siege and battles, 10,615 people from all ethnic groups including 1,601 children were killed according to the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Approx. 50,000 people were partly seriously injured by shells, mines or marksmen.

More background to the war in Bosnia, you will find in our book-documentation about the project in Mostar.