The wounded healer: visiting the archetype

This is the archetype that continues to makes the most sense for me during this part of my life process. It helps give meaning to this otherwise often gargantuan task of healing from the iatrogenic injury incurred from the psychiatric drugs. Many of us who have been harmed in this way are doing this together. What remains clear, however, is how distinct and unique each persons journey is. Even though the injury is caused by similar substances (all the different psych drugs) the injured autonomic nervous system manifests in a multitude of different ways so that we truly are all on our own in some deep and significant ways.

woundedThe Wounded Healer is initiated into the art of healing through some form of personal hardship–anything from an actual physical injury or illness to the loss of all one’s earthly possessions. Regardless of the shape of the wound, the challenge inherent in this initiation process is that one is unable to turn to others for help beyond a certain degree of support. Only the initiate can ultimately heal the wound; if it is an illness or accident, it will frequently be one for which there is no conventional cure. The Wounded Healer archetype emerges in your psyche with the demand that you push yourself to a level of inner effort that becomes more a process of transformation than an attempt to heal an illness. If you have successfully completed the initiation, you inevitably experience an exceptional healing, and a path of service seems to be divinely provided shortly after the initiation is complete.

The shadow of both the Healer and Wounded Healer manifests through a desire to take advantage of those who need help, including claims that you can heal any and every illness a person has. — Carolyn Myss

Most important thing to learn to minimize the risks of the shadow is that everyone has their own path and we never know what is right for another human being. Someone with similar issues can still have a radically different way of finding well-being.

For a collection of descriptions about many different archetypes and this one too, visit this website: A Gallery of Archetypes

More on healing and archetypes:

See also: Information and inspiration for the chronically ill

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

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