The Wounded Healer Archetype

Wounded Healer . Caregiver . Nurse . Therapist


Passion to serve others by repairing the body, mind, and spirit.

Ability to help transform pain into healing


Taking advantage of those who need help.

Failing to care for oneself,

The 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.

Manifests as a passion to serve others by repairing body, mind, and spirit.

Inherent strength and ability to assist people in transforming their pain into a healing process, and to channel to energy needed to generate physical and emotional changes.

The Shadow Aspect

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.


Look beyond the obvious definition of what you do professionally, to a continual pattern of trying to heal others.


Movies Portraying ‘Wounded Healers’

Watching movies related to one of your core archetype especially when going through the process of healing is a powerful tool to help you understand yourself (your motivations, your passions, your fears – why you behave the way you do).


21 thoughts on “The Wounded Healer Archetype

  1. Pingback: 3 Reasons Lightworkers Are Better Off Tee-Total | Holistic Change

    • Thanks Annie. It’s very appreciated. Hope you’re well, I’ve been having a break… a fellow blogger somewhat wounded me by criticizing my blog posts.
      It’s turned out alright in the end as she was in some part correct which gave me something to think about. She was just very insensitive in her approach.

      Keep taking good care of yourself and thanks again for the award (cheers me up), SG x

      • You are very welcome. I am beginning to wonder about our ability to alter our archetype . Also I am wondering if we can have a primary and a secondary archetype.
        Do you think that the wounded healer archetype keeps us in a lower economic level? I heard someone that i respect the opinion of, say that. But of course it is just an observation that he had.
        I want to help others but I do not want to continue to live in poverty. I actually think that my situation financially has more to do with narcissistic abuse than anything else.
        I have been watching the Spartan Life Coach videos about overcoming narcissistic abuse. He talks about recovering from the abuse and also preventing future abuse.
        I am just wondering what you think about the archetypes and economic levels. If you have any thoughts, I would be interested to hear them, since I respect your opinion as well as this other person’s.
        I have to get out of this house I am living in with this narcissistic couple. They have systematically kept me from gaining any financial independence for years.
        Can I still be a wounded healer and get out of this place, if I can avoid any narcissistic men? It will be a very very long time before I will trust any guy again, or more accurately trust my judgement, because of my “priming” for abuse, which I am realizing.
        Sorry for the long comment. I am looking for answers to end my torment from these narcissistic people. I want to get away from all of them forever.

      • Darling Annie – I love your long comments :o).. and I love that you’re fascinated in archetypes! Sorry it’s taken so long to reply to you <3
        I have done a course studying archetypes so I'll tell you a little of what I have learnt.
        You carry all archetypes in you but 12 are very strong. Out of those 12 everybody has the 4 survival archetypes which are – The Prostitute, The Victim, The Saboteur and The Child.
        3 of your 12 are your highest potential. For example I would say that 'the Wounded Healer' is one of your highest potentials.

        That does not mean that is all you are – there is much more to you than that :o)
        You do not have to actively work or earn money as a healer, intuitive healer, caregiver, nurse etc .. but you will have a great passion to use it – eg. blogging, volunteering etc.. and once you've learnt the lessons involved you will be very very good at it and have a unique talent.

        At present I make money creatively because I love being creative. This small blog is my outlet and need to assist others in healing.. but I think mostly my own :o)

        Maybe one day I will use my 'wounded healer' in others ways and maybe one day I will get paid, I can see me working independently and setting up a small business, but the timing is not right … I'm still working in myself and developing my skills:o)

        So my suggestion is, in order for you to make money, do what is fun and what you're good at. That is healing for you right now ..

        Regarding your financial situation, you are in recovery from abuse.. so you are going through down time financially. It's okay… but you need to be free… (as in have no narcissist control you) – not being free will keep you highly stressed and not able to reach your higher potentials.

        Face your greatest fears whatever they may be …. and find a way to live independently.

        Remember being a wounded healer is not all you are – but I suspect when the time is right in the future it may become something bigger – but don't have the 'think small' mindset  eg.. working for pittance for other people. I suspect you have a 'new system' up your sleeve – it will all come together when the time is right… (don't force it).

        For you own happiness put that all aside for now, think more about what you need – you need to help you.. not everyone else right now – so do something creative, something fun, something less stressful to make money, something that you are good at that comes easily.

        Keep blogging as that's your 'wounded healer' getting it's needs met :o)

        eg. I'm setting up a small children's party business – it's easy, creative and fun and not too hard for me to manage (just drop off and pick up) and make money from. I also make paper flower corsages for University graduates because I love colour and being crafty and I can do it from home ..but I fully believe there is more for me to come and as I continue to learn more about archetypes (my passion).. something will eventuate in time.. 

        I can do both eventually..

        Right now you need less stress, to not be controlled by anyone and financial freedom.

        After you achieve that everything else will fall into place.

        * Also I've been alone for 5 years – narcissistic abuse is horrific and very serious on a spiritual level (I'll write a post) so keep getting stronger and independent and eventually that side of things will fall into place without thought. xx

        I hope this isn't too repetitive, I didn't edit..

      • Your words are very meaningful to me. Thank you for your support. People who have not been through the dark reality tunnel of narcissistic abuse do not understand it …Thank god for them not having to understand it.
        I found some videos on youtube that helped me a lot. Spartanlifecoach How I Overcame Narcissistic Abuse and Effects of Narcissistic Abuse.
        I just bought his course on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse. It was Fifty dollars and i feel I have gotten well more worth out of it than that. The hypno udio tracks of affirmations have helped me to begin to feel a reduction in that raw anxiety feeling.
        I will read through all the archetypes in the next few days since i am off from work.
        Thank you for the thoughtful answer to my question and I am glad you did not discourage me away from my identity as a wounded healer.

      • The course sounds really helpful.. I’ll check it out.
        There’s no way I would discourage you as a healer – you’re good at it, born for it and everything you’ve been through has given you the empathy , compassion and understanding to be a healer.
        I mentioned that I am doing some creative work to get some much needed money right now .. (I’m going to contradict myself) because yesterday I started feeling really flat and somewhat bored – because I really feel like there is so much more to me than this. .. the work is fun and creative and it pays the bills but I also ‘NEED’ purpose and meaning.
        I think if I don’t start actively working as a healer in some form, it is detrimental to my happiness and health – ever feel like this?
        It’s hard isn’t it.. we all need money to live but I haven’t found an outlet as a healer .. one that I can earn money working from home anyway (I did briefly consider being an intuitive healer/ guide from home) but I just can’t find the confidence to do that. Maybe that’s the key, I NEED to find the confidence..
        But I least I now know I need to do both to be happy and fulfilled – creative work and healing work and I need to take the plunge. To be honest I’m just scared – it’s just way out of my comfort zone :o(

        Getting back to you – any plans of ways that you can free yourself from your narcissistic landlords – it’s not good for you..

        PS. I just emailed you, feel free to email me anytime – my comments are long and it would be lovely to correspond :o)

  2. thank you! Wow, definitely food for thought. I was a med surg, then and ICU, nurse, became depressed/burnt out, had a suicide attempt, and basically decided that nursing was toxic for me. But I kept going back. It hurt too much; but I was not as able anymore. I have finally agreed to surrender. I was talking to myself today and said, “well it was never your first love. The writing was.” Now I can write all I want, I am on disability, but it is hard to allow myself that. And I still go back to wanting to heal people of the very thing that I have (bipolar) – or at least make it hurt less. It’s confusing. I keep relapsing … :(

    • Hey there, read about the ‘Wounded Child’ archetype in my ‘archetype section’ – you may have to scan down the page a fair bit – but ‘wounded children’ become the ‘wounded healers’ so it’s interesting to look at where the passion to assist others in pain or suffering originated from.

      Don’t forget bipolar is just a label and another word for being awesome and super sensitive to emotions and energies :o)
      I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough time – burnout is painful and hard to recover from – and it does happen to sensitives but I guess we learn from it, We learn * that we can’t heal everyone and to take great care of ourselves first..
      We are highly intuitive – it’s a gift … that more often feels like a curse :o) It can be highly stressful and painful being so empathetic and compassionate but ultimately when we eat clean, remove toxins from our life, we slowly recover, find peace and use our unique gifts to assist others in healing.
      Take care of yourself and baby steps
      SG x

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