Making Sense of the “Wounded Healer” Phenomenon

  • Jordan Jamieson
  • Rhoda Scherman
Keywords: wounded healer, woundedness, Chiron, Shamanism, self-help, Alcoholics Anonymous

Abstract

The conceptualization of the “wounded healer” is so historic that its roots can be traced back to the mythological figures of ancient Greece. The construct has also been used to illustrate the capacity of a certain inner “woundedness” within individuals that affects (if not enhances) their abilities to heal others, even while attempting to heal themselves. Yet, confusion remains as to what a “wounded healer” is, or how the woundedness serves to help others. A review of this subject matter was undertaken by the first author, under the supervision of the second author, due to a personal interest in the topic, as well as in anticipation of a career in counselling psychology. The paper was written with the intention to demystify the concept of “wounded healing” with further consideration of its influence on the therapist-client relationship. After describing the mythology, vocation and wounded healer paradigm, the paper considers the empirical research on the wounded healer phenomenon ending with some reflections on wounded healing in psychotherapy, and suggestions for further research.

Waitara

Nā te tino tawhito o te hiranga whakaaro mō te kaiwhakaora taotū ka taea te whai i ōna pūtaketanga ake ki ngā whakaatanga pakiwaitara o Kiriki. Kua whakamahia anō hoki tēnei aria hai tauira i te whānui o te ētahi mamae tautahi whakaroto ā-ngākau ā, ka pawerahia tōna kaha ki te whakaora i ētahi atu ahakoa e whakatau ana ki te whakaora i a rātou anō. Ahakoa tērā, kai te huri haere tonu ngā whakaaro ki te tikanga o tēnei mea te “kaiwhakaora taotū” ki te mōhio rānei he aha tōna painga ki ētahi atu. I arotakehia tēnei kaupapa e te kaituhi tuatahi, i raro i te maru o te kaituhi tuarua nā tōna kaingākau tonu ki te kaupapa me te wawata ka tae hai kaimahi hinengaro. I āta tuhia tēnei korero ki te whakanoa i te aria o te whakaora taotū, ki te te aro atu anō hoki ki tōna pānga ki te whakawhanaungatanga o te kaihaumanu me te kiritaki. Kia mutu te whakamārama pakiwaitara, mahi me aria o te kaiwhakaora taotū, ka tahuri ngā whakaaro ki ngā rangahau kitea-ā-kanohi mō te wheako kaiwhakaora taotū, ka hoki whakamuri ai ki ngā whakaoranga ake i roto i tēnei mahi me te whakatau anō ai i ētahi atu rangahautanga.

Published
2014-10-01
How to Cite
Jamieson, J., & Scherman, R. (2014). Making Sense of the “Wounded Healer” Phenomenon. Ata: Journal of Psychotherapy Aotearoa New Zealand, 18(1), 67-79. https://doi.org/10.9791/ajpanz.2014.06
Section
Articles