The wounded healer was a concept used by Jung to understand the underlying motivations of those who offer the self for healing purposes. The archetype of the wounded healer was used to imagine how personal experience of the healer produces empathy in the helping relationship. For Jung ‘only the wounded healer can truly heal’ (1963, p. 125). While it is through the healer’s capacity for empathy that the healer relates to another’s suffering, the healer must of necessity confront his or her own need for healing, the need for continual self-reflection, personal therapy or analysis, and the work of self-reflection is an ongoing and lifelong process. Zerubavel and Wright (2012) write that ‘the wounded healer paradigm suggests that “wounded” and “healer” can be represented as a duality rather than a dichotomy. Woundedness lies on a continuum, and the wounded healer paradigm focuses not on the degree of woundedness but on the ability to draw on woundedness in the service of healing’ (p. 482).
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