It is undeniable that many people who are drawn to working in the helping/caring professions do so because of their own personal journey in overcoming certain challenges that might have been blocking them from their true potential – often they have first hand experience of how powerful and life changing counselling or psychotherapy can be. Certainly in my own life, therapy helped me to find a more fulfilling and happy path and to accept myself and to grow as a person, so I know it can work.
Carl Jung , a Swiss psychotherapist, came up with the concept of the’ wounded healer’, and by this he meant that many therapists ( and members of other caring professions ) feel compelled to treat clients, because of their own psychological wounds. British counsellor and psychotherapist Alison Barr’s research, showing that 73.9% of counsellors and psychotherapists have experienced one or more wounding experience in their own life, supports Jung’s theory.
This is by no means a bad thing ; in fact someone who has suffered at some stage in their life and managed to look at what Jung called his or her ‘shadowy side’ head on, is likely to have empathy and compassion for those who need help with their own struggles in life. However it is when a therapist hasn’t properly faced up to or acknowledged their own demons, there is the danger of empathy slipping over into sympathy and the boundaries getting blurred. In other words, therapists need to have real insight into their own wounds in order to heal others. Read More