The wounded healer

Written by Eileen Hopkins

My road to counselling and psychotherapy has been interesting. Having worked in a caring profession, nursing for over 30 years, I was always at my happiest when interacting with my patients & I have always been a people person.

The Wounded healer is a term created by psychologist Carl Jung. The wounded healer is someone who has experienced the burdens of pain, suffering & loss, and transcended these experiences into a vital source of wisdom & compassion.
In 2021, I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Counselling & Psychotherapy from PCI College. It was the happiest day of my life, why, you might ask.

One in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their life, and I am one of those. The stigma attached to mental illness makes it harder for many people to recover. For this reason, as a practicing psychotherapist, I have chosen to share my experience with you today.

From 1996 to 2013, I experienced severe depression There were many times that I was so hopeless.
The words of Brene Brown are fitting here:
“The dark does not destroy the light, it defines it.”

I know now that there was always something driving me to keep going. I now realise that this was my resilience and determination.

In 2013, everything changed for me when I began seeing a psychotherapist. I began to realise very quickly that I had been medicated to suppress my painful emotions, such as anger and extreme sadness. To this day, I still choose to attend a psychotherapist whom I believe has helped me to reclaim my life.
In 2015 I left nursing and trained as a life coach & subsequently as an Adolescent and Adult Psychotherapist, a lifelong dream fulfilled.

What about my mental health you might ask? Well, I am now medication free since 2014. By feeling and experiencing my painful emotions, I have reclaimed the life I thought was lost forever.

To conclude, the stigma attached to mental illness remains to a large degree & I believe that each one of us has the power to change this…. how you might ask. Well, I would invite each of you to talk about your mental health in the same way that you would talk about your physical health. Together we can begin to normalise this at home, in work and in life.

I know that some of you will read this, and it will resonate with you, for others, you may feel inspired, and for some others, you may judge me. That’s okay because we are all different.

I know that I can never change the past, however I am changing my present and will continue to improve my future. My vision is to make a difference, one person at a time. I believe that my emotional scars have made me who I am today, the wounded healer.

I will finish with some of the words from my favourite song; This is me:

“I am brave; I am bruised, I am who I’m meant to be, this is me!

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