Thursday, August 5

The Wounded Healer

"Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion."--Buddha

"The doctor is effective only when he himself is affected. Only the wounded physician heals."--Carl Jung

"When I stand before thee at the day's end, thou shalt see my scars and know that I had my wounds and also my healing." Rabindranath Tagore


Chiron the Centaur in Greek mythology was wounded by an arrow poisoned by a Hydra. In his search for his own cure, he discovered how to heal others. In teaching others healing arts, he found comfort for his own pain.

Jung believed that a "malady of the soul" was the best training a healer could receive. Going through the same pain teaches the Wounded Healer empathy and connects the healer and "patient" spiritually. This connection transforms and heals them both.

I believe God is a Wounded Healer. He felt the pain of humanity and took it upon himself. This connects Him with humanity spiritually. The connection transforms and heals us all. Therefore we can all become Wounded Healers.


  • Excellent, thought provoking post. I absolutely agree that my own wounding has professionally helped me be a much better therapist.

    The only thing I disagree with are based on my Baha’i beliefs: God is not wounded, he is love and perfection; God gives trials and pain to learn Godly virtues and spiritually grow. God understands our pain and suffering. My wounding is his gift for me to learn from them to develop, as Buddha taught, compassion and love. (I would rather learn in other ways, believe me! But pain & suffering are my biggest motivators to change and learn)

    • I don’t know anything about Baha’i, so I appreciate your gentle response to me. Excellent explanation, and I need to learn more about these beliefs because I’m not completely sure how much I disagree in my heart.

      • In a nutshell: Baha’i’s embrace all religions as coming from one and the same God. Baha’is believe in progressive revelation – simply that all the major Prophets (Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Mohammed, Baha’u’llah etc.) were divine Manifestations of God – sent at various times and places to teach human’s to lead virtuous, compassionate, loving lives.
        My explanation may be a bit confusing so here’s the main web-site

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