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The ethos of the nourished wounded healer: A narrative inquiry

Hadjiosif, Miltiades



Despite a plethora of texts on the 'wounded healer', little systematic research has been conducted on unpacking the implications and embedded assumptions of this concept. This paper takes the 'wounded healer' into the research arena by approaching it reflexively as an analytic tool to explore therapists' personal and professional development. Six therapeutic practitioners who identified with the concept were selected by means of theoretical sampling and were interviewed with a view to provide a narrative of their development as 'wounded healers'. Interviews were analysed using a tailored, multi-lens approach within a narrative epistemology. Besides attending to the narrative features of the accounts, the paper discusses findings in relation to three key themes: 'entering a community of wounded healers'; 'formulating the wounded healer'; and 'deconstructing the wounded healer'. Unpacking this modality flexible yet historically loaded construct necessitates challenging the 'wounded healer' as fixed identity and replacing it with an ethos that can lead to training, supervisory, and clinical recommendations facilitating psychotherapists' reflection on their woundedness. This complex process could allow them to engage in all aspects of professional practice, including research, from a position of an expert by both experience and training.


Hadjiosif, M. (2021). The ethos of the nourished wounded healer: A narrative inquiry. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling, 23(1), 43-69.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 5, 2020
Online Publication Date Feb 23, 2021
Publication Date Apr 30, 2021
Deposit Date Oct 30, 2020
Publicly Available Date Feb 24, 2022
Journal European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling
Print ISSN 1364-2537
Electronic ISSN 1469-5901
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 1
Pages 43-69
Keywords wounded healer; narrative analysis; social constructionism; psychotherapy; training
Public URL