The Psychotherapist as “Wounded Healer”: A Modern Expression of an Ancient Tradition

Cecil A. Rice

in On Becoming a Psychotherapist

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199736393
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894574 | DOI:
The Psychotherapist as “Wounded Healer”: A Modern Expression of an Ancient Tradition

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The wounded healer archetype reaches back to antiquity. The chapter traces that history and reflects on its current forms in the practice of psychotherapy. While woundedness is universal no matter what ones work, the chapter argues that therapists seem to be people who acknowledge and understand their woundedness, may even have been very sensitive to it early in life, and have been willing to wrestle with it and continue to do so. It is that awareness, the willingness to accept it and wrestle with it that contributes significantly to the effectiveness of their work and redounds to their clients’ benefit. Such willingness operating in the background allows therapists in conjunction with their clients to co-create an intersubjective field within which healing can take place.

Keywords: psychotherapy; wounded-healer; group psychotherapy; history of the wounded healer; psychotherapist; community

Chapter.  12166 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

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