Understanding Emotional Conflicts Aids in Flower Essence Therapy


Case Studies and Practitioner Profile:
Gérald Pierre Tilki, Marseille, France

By Jann Garitty

Sophie: anorexia
16-year old Sophie is anorexic. It was determined that the underlying emotional conflict was due to being in competition with her brother. She became a perfectionist and was also socially withdrawn. When she recognized these issues and began interacting with friends, she started to gain weight.

Milla: bitten by her father
2-month old Milla was physically abused by her father. She was given
flower essences for her trauma and two years later,
she appears to have no lasting emotional effects.

Vincent: physical abuse of his baby daughters
Vincent is a very angry man who bit both of his infant daughters at different times. The guilt and regret he felt provided an opening to address his behavior quickly through flower essence therapy.

Christele: heart broken and overweight
Christele was broken hearted over the sudden death of her father. Flower essences helped to bring her grief into balance, and she also began to develop the confidence to deal with her overweight condition.

About Gérald Tilki and his work

Décodage Biologique des maladies


“My work with clients combines several philosophies for understanding the human being based on very different views from European psychology, Buddhist psychology, tarot, the Enneagram, Spiral Dynamics, Mailhebiau's Human Caracterologies and Décodage Biologique des maladies. My work is based on knowledge of very different cultures, too—you have to “understand” who is in front of you, you have to understand his culture as well, his beliefs, religion—the more you know people, humanity, human kind—you will not be wrong in your choices as a flower essence practitioner. And, it is not just knowing the flowers, it is to know—to paraphrase Jung*—that you cannot learn some things in a university; you have to know the soul of a human being, which is not learned in a class, it is learned in life.”

*Read the actual quote by Carl Jung here.

Sophie: anorexia

Name: Sophie C.

Born: 3 November 1990

Height: 5.25 feet

Weight: 83.7 pounds (18th November 2006)

Sophie was anorexic and in very bad physical condition when Gérald first started working with her. She was in competition with her older brother, which was one of four possible underlying emotional conflicts Gérald identified for her situation.

(According to Décodage Biologique des maladies, other possible conflicts for anorexia are: problems with a mother who unconsciously didn’t want to be “deformed” due to pregnancy, having a mother who tried to abort two times while pregnant with the patient, and a mother and daughter who are in a total misunderstanding.)

Sophie’s brother was brilliant and she felt to be in competition. In addition, she was a perfectionist, an enneagram type (#1), and the tendency increased more and more.

Sophie said that she did not “believe in the flowers” but later saw results after using them. After her 3rd dosage bottle, she declared that she was sure she was okay now. Her weight had indeed improved, physiologically she was better, but Gérald was not sure about her mental state.

1st flower remedies bottle: 18th November 2006

In her 1st session, Sophie was reluctant to talk; Gérald had to ask many questions to elicit responses. It was difficult to determine the source of Sophie’s conflict.

Essences selected:

Bleeding Heart - because she said she had broken up with a boyfriend and she was very sad

(“Bleeding Heart is good for losing someone; it is very ‘sharp.’ Every time I give this flower to someone, I have great results; it is for broken-hearted people, linked to the end of a relationship or death.”)

Crab Apple - for the anorexia, first because of her body image and wanting perfection

Pretty Face - same as for Crab Apple; these two in the same bottle were for lack of self-image

Pine - because she is a perfectionist, nothing is ok, “I don’t deserve to succeed”

Fairy Lantern - to start moving into an adult phase; to move forward in her development

Larch - for confidence in herself but also for confidence in the flower essence treatment

Bleeding Heart
Crab Apple
Pretty Face
Fairy Lantern

2nd flower remedies bottle: 13th December 2006

During the 2nd session Sophie was positive; “I am different now.” Even though she said she didn’t “believe” in flower essence therapy, she felt the difference, and she had gained about four pounds.

Essences selected:

White Chestnut - for tiredness, insomnia, thinking too much in an obsessional way; to break the process

Hornbeam - because she said she was “tired” – she had not been aware of it at the first session because she was focused on her anorexia

Mallow - because she didn’t want to be in public, to encourage interaction and socialization (“Socialization encourages ‘fat’ – it is a ‘yang’ condition. If in hospital or at home – a ‘yin’ condition – one loses fat. You can’t say to someone who is anorexic, ‘you have to eat,’ it is a waste of time; they won’t do it. But to say, ‘go out, go out with friends, on the terrace, not in a movie theater – but outside’– even if one eats an apple, they will gain weight. Even if in hospital, being fed via IV, one won’t gain weight. Even on her hi protein diet, she was losing weight. When she started to go out with friends, she gained 4 pounds in 48 hours. She said ‘I don’t want to see people, I have nothing to talk about…’ That was not true about her but that was her image of herself.” Read more about this idea about anorexia here.

Rock Water - because she was very strict with herself; “psycho-rigid” – stuck in her thinking

Borage - to bring joy

Pretty Face - same as the first time

White Chestnut
Rock Water
Pretty Face

3rd flower remedies bottle: 3rd January 2007

In this session it was clear that Borage had worked well, she was joyful (even though she didn’t really want to show it).

Essences selected:

Scleranthus - because she was very confused about her school situation, and about this type of therapy; her father was upset about it and against the therapy

Fairy Lantern - same as before

Golden Yarrow - for the same reason as Mallow; for isolating because of sensitivity

Sunflower - because her father was very severe with her; to bring about her own autonomy (“This worked very well for her.”)

Mimulus - because she was afraid of everything at that time

Five-Flower Formula - to “boost” the formula

Fairy Lantern
Golden Yarrow
Five-Flower Formula

After this session, Sophie stopped the therapy. However, by 11th January 2006 her weight was 98.5 pounds. During January 12-13, she gained another 4 pounds in 48 hours.

Sophie had become conscious of what she had been doing and was now going out with friends normally.

As of the 15th of March, her weight was okay but I believe her mental and emotional levels are questionable.

Milla: bitten by her father

Name: Milla P.

Born: 29th November 2004


First daughter of Magali and Vincent

“One day, Magali called me and told me that her husband had bitten their daughter Milla, 2-months old, on the cheek. She asked me if I could do something for her daughter by using flower remedies and I said yes. So she came with her daughter and told me her story, and I made a bottle of six flower remedies.

“When Milla came with her mother for the flower remedies session, she wore the traces of her father’s teeth. Her cheek was still red and blue. Now, more than two years after the incident, she seems to be ok.”

1st flower remedies bottle: 4th February 2005

Star of Bethlehem - for the shock of being bitten

Evening Primrose - for abuse during childhood

Willow - so she will grow without anger toward her father

Walnut - to make the next step; to “forget” what had happened and move on

Baby Blue Eyes - similar to Willow

Crab Apple - for the skin, because the bite was on her face

Star of Bethlehem
Evening Primrose
Baby Blue Eyes
Crab Apple

Vincent: physical abuse of his baby daughters

Name: Vincent P.

Born: 1st march 1976


Married to Magali

Two daughters

“Vincent, a very tall 30-year old man, is a stonecutter and is married to a social worker, Magali. He had bitten his two daughters on the cheeks at different times. He called me after having bitten his second daughter because he was afraid that his wife would call the police and tell them what he had done to the two girls. When I asked him why he did that, he told me that he wants his daughters to obey him. He told me that he often strikes them for nothing really important and he wants to give them a ‘good education.’”

A friend of his wife, another social worker, convinced Vincent to see Gérald. Gérald knew to be careful with Vincent as he is a very dangerous man even though he appears normal; when he “crosses the line,” he acts crazy and he cannot be stopped.

Gérald realized it was an emergency situation and it was crucial to act quickly with him and not take the risk of working long term because he might bite the babies again at any time. Vincent expressed seemingly genuine guilt and regret, and Gérald chose the following six flowers which all together he felt was a “strong” combination.

1st flower remedies bottle: 17th November 2006

Pine - during session he told me just after doing the biting that he was very sad and regretted what he had done; he felt guilty

Cherry Plum - he said “I cannot control myself when I am doing this and I’m afraid of doing it again”

Snapdragon - for biting

Scarlet Monkeyflower - because he was always angry about everything, about society, about people, but not necessarily conscious of it (as opposed to a Holly or Willow condition)

Vine - because he was a tyrant; it’s for those want everything under their control

Impatiens - a link between Cherry Plum and Vine; for biting first and thinking later. He cannot control his anger in that way. He is explosive.

Cherry Plum

“Since November of 2006, Vincent has not bitten his daughters again. He seems more calm. Two months ago, he called me on the phone to thank me for what I have done.”

If abuse happens again, Vincent’s wife first will call the police, then will call Gérald. “If he starts abusing again, I’m sure I will receive a call because of the initial results…”

For more information in regard to the archetypal phenomena of parents who “devour” their children—one of the psychodynamic realities behind certain kinds of abuse—read “The Mystery of Goya’s Saturn by Jay Scott Morgan. This article appeared in The New England Review, a publication of Middlebury College  

Christele: heart broken and overweight

Name: Christele,

Age: 30 years old

Height: 5.41 feet

Weight: 176 lb

Married with two children

4th April 2007

Christele came to see me for two main problems: her father died 9 months ago, in July 2006 from a heart attack (he was 57 years old) and, she is overweight.

Essences selected:

Bleeding Heart - to heal the pain in regard to her father's death

Pine - because I have already had good results with a person who was overweight

Star of Bethlehem - for the shock of her father's death

Hornbeam - because she was tired and finds it difficult to wake up and start the day

Crab Apple - because she felt her body ugly due to overweight

Five-Flower Formula - to “boost” the bottle

Bleeding Heart
Star of Bethlehem
Crab Apple
Five-Flower Formula

I saw her again yesterday for another session; she told me that she is not crying anymore about her father; she accepts that her father is gone. She said that she is aware that he is gone but she is not suffering anymore about that.

She also told me that she was not tired anymore since starting the treatment, but she feels she needs to continue with Hornbeam.

She said that she accepts being overweight, meaning that she feels more comfortable with that.

She didn't lose weight during the 3 weeks treatment, but she's confident that she will.

She was happy to come for another session because she saw the results of the flower essences. She said that she hadn’t felt so joyful for a long time.

About Gérald Tilki and his work

Gérald Tilki has been doing healing work since October of 2001 and began incorporating flower essences into his practice in 2002. “I was with someone who spoke about flower essences who said, ‘you are doing reiki, why not use flowers?’ I had no idea what she was talking about. She showed me a book but I thought it was ‘stupid’ and thought to myself, ‘you can’t heal people with drops of flowers.’ She encouraged me to try them. Two or three months later, I bought Mechthild Scheffer’s book, Bach Flower Therapy, and read it in one day. I thought, ‘if it works, this is amazing!’ and I started using essences the next day.”

While first introducing essences into his practice, Gérald told his clients to go to the pharmacy and purchase them. He started seeing results from the use of essences, learned by observation, and then a month later he started the Bach foundation class and completed the 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree level classes.

At this point, Gérald prepares dosage bottles as needed for his clients. He has precise methods and dosage instructions that he always utilizes in practice: Gérald always uses six flowers in his combinations with two drops from each stock bottle. He uses a special low mineral water with good qualities and preserves the essences with a 7-year old French cognac. The bottles are meant to be used for 18-21 days duration and he is quite strict about the dosage method; 4 drops each time under the tongue, 6 times a day at 8 AM, 10 AM, noon, 4 PM, 6 PM and 8 PM. In cases with children who are going to school, he asks the mothers to administer the essences so that he can really trust that the children will receive their drops appropriately. Until age 15, the mothers keep the bottles and determine the 6 dosage times per day.

Gérald's office

Gérald works mostly with adults, mostly with women and uses flower essences with nearly all of his patients. He sees a “shift” with all of his clients though the degree to which a shift occurs depends on their specific condition, its duration, and how long they have been in therapy with Gérald. For some cases that are difficult to understand or treat, positive results begin to show after three months, or three dosage bottles. “Many people who come to me are not coming for common maladies. They have given up on other therapies and I may be their last resort.” 85% of Gérald’s patients present with psychological problems, and 15% present with some type of physical illness. Write to Gérald.

Décodage Biologique des maladies

Gérald utilizes Décodage Biologique des maladies to determine the underlying causes of illnesses. (Note: this body of work has not been translated into English.) This system teaches that if one knows the psychological conflict at the root of an illness, it is easier for healing to occur. The development of this system by a German man, beginning with cancer, leukemia and arthritis, and later expanded by two French men, involved identifying a “code”—an explanatory sentence—for every possible disease. There are also correspondences with all the acupuncture points on the body. The codes help patients understand the psychological conflict at the root of their illnesses.

Examples of codes associated with three illnesses are:

Eczema: Conflict of simple separation

We can be separate from—

a partner (divorce, separation…)

someone who is gone far away (abroad…)

someone who is dead

separation from the parents or grandparents (after holiday)

separation from a friend in a school (example for children…)

separation from a place (moving to another city, another house, another country…)

Hypertension: “In order to not suffer anymore, I have decided not to love anymore.”

(This is an unconscious choice made by a person.)

Vitiligo (a skin disorder manifested by smooth white spots on various parts of the body): Conflict of fear of being sullied

Gérald spends the first 10-20 minutes in his consultations with patients determining when the conflict occurred and when the dis-ease came into the body. His sessions last at least one and a half hours because he wishes to be sure that each patient is able to explain fully their situation and he wants to be sure that he truly understands them. “I want to be in empathy and understand the real need of the soul.”

Sometimes it is fairly easy to identify corresponding codes, such as with eczema. However, one must further explore the type of separation whether it is a couple breaking up, the death of someone, or a baby being left with a caretaker, etc.

Other cases can be much more difficult such as in cases of people who are overweight because there can be very different conflicts underlying such a condition.

Gérald describes this tool for healing as working powerfully on the mental and emotional levels; he uses the code plus flower essences and aromatherapy when appropriate. “It is amazing how fast the flower essences work when they are chosen correctly.”


The Enneagram: Understanding Yourself and the Others in Your Life by Helen Palmer, Harper, San Francisco, 1988

Portraits in Oils—The Personality of Aromatherapy Oils and Their Link with Human Temperaments by Mailhebiau, Philippe, 1995  

Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership, and change by Don E. Beck and Christopher C. Cowan, Blackwell Publishing Co., 1996


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