Meet Our Team: Angie Kennedy, CAAP, on Aromatherapy Certification Case Studies

Feb 15, 2022

Have you been wondering whether aromatherapy certification, including in-depth aromatherapy case studies, will make you a better aromatherapist? Meet Angie Kennedy, CAAP, our Case Study Team Leader. In this in-depth interview, Angie unpacks the Essence of Thyme case study process: why it matters, what you’ll learn, and the support you’ll receive.

Why are formal aromatherapy case studies important?

Case studies are an invaluable opportunity to deepen your aromatherapy education through real-world practice, while you receive personal guidance and support from your Case Study Mentor, a qualified certified aromatherapist and Essence of Thyme faculty member.

What are the case study requirements at Essence of Thyme?

Students in our Professional and Master Level Certification Programs complete 15 case studies as a requirement for certification. Each case study consists of a Client Intake Form and a Case Study report.

You’ll consult with 15 clients, create custom essential oil blends to address their wellness concerns, and follow each client as they use their blends. You’ll write detailed reports throughout the process and receive personal feedback on every single report.

We’re proud of our rigorous case studies and the students who complete them. We provide you with all the forms and reference documents you’ll need, and after you graduate, you can use them in your professional aromatherapy practice.

A well-documented Essence of Thyme case study qualifies for publication in professional aromatherapy journals, and it’s exciting to watch our students jumpstart their careers by publishing case studies.

Tell us about the Aromatherapy Client Intake Form.

The Client Intake Form (CIF) is the backbone for each case study, and forms the focus and approach for your client’s entire case. Here, you describe the unique variables and complexities that affect each client holistically.

As I read your CIF, I’m learning details about the client that will be the basis for your report. I make notes that I later use to bring the case alive as I read through your work. Once I have gathered all of the practical information on health, safety, lifestyle, and your goals through the CIF, I look forward to getting into the heart of your case study. By the end of your CIF, I want to be on equal footing with you in understanding your client so that we can walk together on this journey.

How is the Case Study Report different from the Client Intake Form?

The Case Study Report is where you really shine as a budding practitioner! Here, you gather all of the relevant information from the completed CIF to create and provide an aromatherapy protocol for your client. You’ll outline clear goals and instruct your client on how to employ your blend, whether it be through a personal inhaler, diffuser, topical blend, or other application method.

Our case study report form includes a formulation table that makes formulation practical while deepening your understanding of the safe usage and therapeutic actions of essential oils. You’ll use it to draft your blend, from formula to therapeutics, in relation to the client’s specific holistic needs. While some elements of the case study process rely on your listening and interpersonal skills, the formulation table engages the precise and scientific aspects of aromatherapy.

Once you have walked me through the intricacies of the client's conditions and the parameters of your aromatherapy formulation, I look forward to reading how the client has benefited from your blend as they use it over time, and built into our case study forms are clear ways for your client to rate the changes they notice, which also helps your learning.

What feedback and support can a student expect from their Essence of Thyme Case Study Mentor?

You’ll receive an Assessment Guide for each case study you submit. This includes written feedback and suggestions on a specific set of criteria, as well as your final mark for each case study. I’m always available via email if you have any questions along the way. We are in your corner, here to help you become a more effective and confident aromatherapist with every case study.

What are some surprising ways that students benefit from their aromatherapy certification case studies? What other skills do they develop?

The art of listening is a skill that will really benefit all of your personal relationships. When you truly listen, your client feels heard, and through this act of respect and acknowledgement your client will most likely offer valuable feedback that will enhance the experience for everyone involved.

Sometimes it can be difficult to elicit information from clients, but this is where you can really push yourself to create positive rapport with your client by asking questions and most importantly by listening. The best follow-up feedback is initiated by great questions! This is where I find out what great communication skills you have with your client and what the experience was like for your client.

What happens after a student completes all of their case studies? How do students process what they learned?

I would venture to say that the final case study evaluation, after all 15 case studies are completed, is my favourite part of the process. It’s exciting to witness how you really excel, and your growth is palpable! Your clients have had the opportunity to express their opinions on their experience as a whole, and now it’s your turn to share your experiences as an aromatherapy practitioner. This is where you demonstrate your growth, share your challenges, ask yourself questions, make holistic connections, and talk to me directly about the overall case study experience.

What's it like working remotely as a Case Study Mentor/Team Leader?

I love knowing that I can support you while savouring the beautiful view from my office desk. Sunshine pours through my south-facing window, and I can see right into the forest 250 metres deep; I can't even make out the nearest road! If I keep my eyes still, I can see multitudes of birds flapping around foraging for food in a landscape reminiscent of the North Pole. It’s winter as I write this, and there is nothing more beautiful than the sunshine awakening millions of glistening diamonds in the snow while birds fly overhead.

I always have a hot drink beside me to sip; sometimes it’s tea, sometimes it’s coffee, sometimes it’s homemade bone broth from farm to table. Aromatherapy is just one part of a natural lifestyle that I fully embrace.

I also love knowing that the entire Essence of Thyme team is just a message away! We are closely connected throughout the day, and each faculty member brings different insights and perspectives that benefit you as a student.

People are often concerned about getting personal support when they study aromatherapy online. How do you stay connected with your students?

I’m from Nova Scotia, Canada, but I love reading case studies from all around the world. I feel blessed to be reading through so many different perspectives from so many locations in the world. I just love the science of aromatherapy so much! We are brought together by a common goal and a passion for the true essence, versatility and chemically substantiated power of essential oils. Undoubtedly, we are also brought together by a passion for helping others and a deep need to have a positive impact on the world.

Students can feel nervous about completing aromatherapy case studies. Any advice?

Please know that you’re never alone during your case studies. I am deeply invested in your learning journey, and, like you, I feel exhilarated at the conclusion of each of your case studies! I see you growing and learning, and experiencing aromatherapy in a practical and tangible way. Essence of Thyme isn’t a brick-and-mortar college, but we still have a personal relationship, both through email and through the connections we share as I read your case studies and share my guidance. While I can’t hold your hand, I’m always here to walk with you on your journey, and I treasure the connection we share through your work.

Learn more about aromatherapy certification and careers: 


Article by: Angie Kennedy, CAAP

Angie Kennedy, CAAP, is a Certified Advanced Aromatherapy Practitioner and graduate of Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies. As our Case Study Team Leader, Angie combines her knowledge of aromatherapy and passion for connecting with others to guide our aromatherapy students through their case study process. An avid gardener, in her free time she grows a multitude of fresh vegetables, herbs, and flowers on the 100-acre hobby farm she shares with her husband and 3 children.


About Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies

Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies offers 370- and 700-hour professional aromatherapy certification programs that help you grow a successful, fulfilling career by specializing and creating your market niche. Professional Level Certification prepares graduates to become aromatherapy consultants, launch product lines or retail businesses, or provide services as an adjunct to existing holistic health specializations. Master Level Certification and electives are ideal for certified aromatherapists seeking higher education or a path to clinical aromatherapy practice.

All Essence of Thyme programs focus on aromatherapy product development and advanced formulation, evidence-based research, spa and business management, international industry regulatory guidelines, and sustainability and conservation of essential oil and carrier oil-bearing plants.

Our comprehensive, evidence-based programs meet or exceed the criteria set forth by 5 international professional aromatherapy associations. Learn more about our aromatherapy certification programs.

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