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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Plight of the Wounded Healer: Unraveling Pain as a Precursor to Practicing Potent Psychotherapy
by Watts, Hilary E., M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2014, 78; 1524896
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis examines how the current psychological collective conceptualizes, addresses, and makes clinical use of the wounded healer archetype as it occurs in and influences the vocation of psychotherapy. The universal, historic significance of the wounded healer archetype is explored as well as its manifestation in the psychotherapist, the degree to which the therapist’s wounds define countertransference, and the effect on client therapy outcome. Research on the psychological community’s recognition and encouragement of exploration of the psychotherapist’s woundedness is included. A heuristic approach applied to unraveling the mythological wounded healer archetype finds that it may dwell in the psyche of any human. The author concludes that wounded healers who—for myriad unpredictable reasons—follow the vocation of psychotherapy may benefit the psychological community by understanding the clinical and neuroscientific evidence suggesting that their own wounds underwrite countertransference and can be accessed and used as a potent tool in their practice.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Koehn, Allen
Commitee: Altman, Avrom, Fontelieu, Sukey
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Counseling Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 52/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Counseling Psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Client therapy outcome, Countertransference, Psychotherapy and cotransference wounds, Wounded healer archetype
Publication Number: 1524896
ISBN: 978-1-303-71905-9
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