How Jung’s Concept of the Wounded Healer Can Guide Learning and Teaching in Social Work and Human Services

Article


Newcomb, Michelle, Burton, Judith, Edwards, Niki and Hazelwood, Zoe. 2015. "How Jung’s Concept of the Wounded Healer Can Guide Learning and Teaching in Social Work and Human Services." Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education. 17 (2), pp. 55-69. https://doi.org/10.3316/INFORMIT.609973077524166
Article Title

How Jung’s Concept of the Wounded Healer Can Guide Learning and Teaching in Social Work and Human Services

ERA Journal ID34184
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsNewcomb, Michelle (Author), Burton, Judith (Author), Edwards, Niki (Author) and Hazelwood, Zoe (Author)
Journal TitleAdvances in Social Work and Welfare Education
Journal Citation17 (2), pp. 55-69
Number of Pages15
Year2015
PublisherAustralian Association for Social Work and Welfare Education
Place of PublicationAustralia
ISSN1329-0584
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3316/INFORMIT.609973077524166
Web Address (URL)https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/INFORMIT.609973077524166
Abstract

The concept of the 'wounded healer' has been used to explain why those with adverse childhood histories often enter helping professions such as social work and human services (SWHS). Psychotherapist Carl Jung (1875–1961) believed wounded healers developed insight and resilience from their own experiences, enabling transformative interventions to occur with clients. Concerns exist that students with adverse childhood histories in SWHS may display unresolved emotional issues. This journal article explores how Jung’s interpretation of the wounded healer can be critically applied to understanding the learning needs of SWHS students with histories of abuse, neglect or other childhood adversity. The relevance of the wounded healer to SWHS education is explored in three key areas: - 1) the increased possibility of the occurrence of countertransference; - 2) the potential for vicarious traumatisation and burnout, and; - 3) personal and professional resilience displayed by SWHS students with a history of childhood adversity. The wounded healer metaphor allows for a more nuanced understanding of SWHS students with these histories. It also provides insight into the pedagogical considerations associated with teaching this student cohort.

KeywordsHuman services; Resilience; Social work; Wounded healer
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440999. Social work not elsewhere classified
440901. Clinical social work practice
390303. Higher education
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Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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