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the archetype of the ‘wounded healer’

Friday, December 7th, 2007 @ 9:53 pm
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Posted in  Personal Process

there is a fellow studnet in our PhD group who is researching the topic of the counsellor as the ‘wounded healer’. I agreed to participate in her research and we had an interview today. It was quite powerful for me i shall say, there was a lot of material from my own story that came in the surface. i reflected around the reasons that led me decide to become a counsellor as well as several ‘wounds’ that happened to me within the counselling profession itself (in unhelpful relationships in my personal therapy, in the workplace etc). I reflected upon those experiences and realised the power of articulating something meaningful, often painful and challenging, to another. This has been helpful also in terms of my own research interviews. When being interviewed by Lyn, i was aware of operating in two levels: from the one hand, i was the research participant, striving towards responding to her questions as genuinely and accurately as possible. at some other level, i was reflecting on the process of the conduct of a research interview: how do i feel as an interviewee? how is it them i am the interviewer?…this questioning is similar to the learning a counsellor gains when in the client’s position himself/herself.

in terms of the concept/archetype of the wounded healer: it is useful for me to keep in mind the cultural connotations attached to it. soon after the interview, i wrote to Lyn the following email:

“I am left with a lot of thoughts after our interview today, am trying to find the words for it for my own process, it is deep material and i feel i want to write, i want to connect with that to release some creativity that is currently
blocked around my own research – i am glad i shared some of that with you, hope you find it interesting

During our interview, i mentioned that i had some images of greek myth around the wounded healer, couldnt really connect with it at the time. i think it is interesting to explore teh wounded healer in relation to culture
as well….you talked to me about suffering, pain, what is health etc….this is culturally bound

I read on a DVD cover yesterday: “pain is universal…so is hope”

I am also aware of the fact that the PhD brings up a lot of my own ‘wounds’ and this can get on the way, as am resisting the process or the writing itself. on the other hand, i notice my levels of resilience changing, the phd process matures me in some ways, it feels as if am aware of the deep, challenging material being there and being able to bear it. i just wonder how i will manage to articulate in written text the richness and subtleties of what am exploring

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