Academy of Indian Philosophy

The Wounded Healer

Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist, coined the term “Wounded Healer,” as psychologist who heal patients because he himself is, wounded. The psychologist, aware of his internal pain, strives to heal others.

If we observe carefully, friends and family are often discouraged from seeking therapy due to financial problems, fear, uncertainty and embarrassment. At times, therapists simply cannot understand them with their forms of therapy. Psychiatrists give medication and send them their way. Who do they turn to?

Doubt: Can I help others even if I am not in an enlightened, blissful state?

Certainty: Absolutely.

Doubt: But if I do not have the skills, techniques, understanding, and destination for that help, how can I still help them.

Certainty: Listen.

Even if at times we may be unable to help others find a solution to their problems, let alone understand the problem at its core, we have yet to realize that we possess one of the greatest healing powers of all: Listening.

We do not listen, and people do not listen to us.

This is one of the reasons we feel lonely. In the back of everyone’s minds, there are heavy, loaded thoughts and experiences that are hidden because they feel that they will not be understood or strongly rejected. If we want to get closer to being our genuine selves, we have to carefully listen to what others are saying. Instead, on a daily basis, we engage in conversations that absolutely do not address the fears, worries and anxieties of our inner world. At times, we are surrounded by friends who do not care to even help us explore and heal our inner world, let alone their own reality. If we are to have company, should we not choose friends who are willing to help us free ourselves from pain, rather than avoid it? What we end up with is a good laugh in a short vacation that results with us coming back to our inner selves by the end of the night. We must look within and help others do the same. We do not need others to understand us, we just need to focus on healing them. By doing so, not only will the conversation reach an authentic and intimate level, but also,  you will feel the reward of helping a brother or sister in reaching a more peaceful state of mind.

Healing is most efficiently done when the ego is detached.

If I do not desire anything from the other person, I will listen without any of my own fears interfering. For instance, if I am detached and listening to a girl talking about leaving her boyfriend, I can address the issue in a somewhat detached manner. However, if this is a girl to whom I am attracted to, I may accidentally provide biased advice based on my own desires. In another case, if it is my actual girlfriend who wants to leave, I may choose to give advice based on my protection and security rather than hers.

How then do we heal people to who we are attached? Be aware of the attachment and know that in some way the ego is connected to the other person, and so we will be considering our own security along with that of the other persons. We can try our utmost best to think about their best interest. This becomes difficult when our own fears have not been dealt with. Do your best.

As we heal on the inside, we inevitably heal on the outside.

At times, I experience immense anxiety, fear, irrational thoughts, and sadness, but even so, I realize that these are priceless gifts because…

I am a wounded healer and so are you. 

The next time a doubt about your credibility enters your mind, do not falter and keep healing because the world needs it, and you can give it.

Freedom Forever

-Hemal P. Trivedi


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