The Wounded Healer: A Transformational Dynamic

2 hours 40 minutes



Topics: Active Imagination, CG Jung, Society and Culture, Transference and Countertransference.

The Wounded Healer: A Transformational Dynamic

Jung learned through his own suffering how emotional vulnerability and acceptance of personal inadequacies, not studies or intellect, could open a portal to deep emotional engagement with patients.  He saw the therapeutic process as mutual and dialectic with both participants equally involved and affected, both “in treatment.” Recognizing the archetypal core of the healing profession as “the wounded healer,” Jung insisted “You (the therapist/caregiver) can exert no influence if you are not susceptible to influence” (CW16). From a Jungian perspective, ‘wounded healer’ means not once wounded now ‘recovered’ but currently, acutely, vulnerable in the therapeutic encounter. Awareness of our personal susceptibility (countertransference) as well as resilience can activate “inner healer” energy in the relationship. Examples from myth, TV and film will illustrate and amplify this transformative dynamic.

It was recorded on January 28, 2013.

Suggested Reading

    • Guggenbuhl-Craig, A. (1971).  Power in the Helping Professions.  Dallas, Texas: Spring Publications.

Learning Objectives
After viewing this seminar, you will be able to:

    • Describe and explain the archetypal dynamic of the wounded healer in the therapeutic encounter.

    • Identify when wounded healer archetypal energies are polarized through mutual projections in clinical work.

    • Recognize Jung’s view that both helper and client change, through mutual influence, if the healing process succeeds.


© 2013 Judith Cooper and Suzanne Rosenthal
℗ 2013 CG Jung Institute of Chicago

Additional information

Audio Format

1 MP3 File: 56MB

Video Format

1 3GP File: 516MB

Video Resolution



Cooper, Judith

Judith Cooper, PsyD is a clinical psychologist and diplomate Jungian Analyst in private practice in Chicago. A graduate and member of the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago, she teaches and supervises in the Institute's Analyst Training Program, the two-year certificate Jungian Psychotherapy and Studies Program, and has lectured widely on the anima/animus and the use of film in clinical treatment. Dr. Cooper served as a clinical supervisor and director of training at an APA-accredited psychology doctoral internship program at a community mental health center. She taught a year-long course in the Institute's Analyst Training Program on Eros in Analysis in 2016, and more recently a class on love and sexuality, Seeking Embodiment. She presented at the Art and Psyche Conference in Sicily, Italy in 2015 on Jung and Barthes, When Art Wounds. A book chapter, co-authored with Gus Cwik, Psy.D., “Numinous images of a New Ethic: A Jungian view of Kieslowski’s The Decalogue has been published in The Routledge International Handbook of Jungian Film Studies, 2018. She taught a weekend workshop, in May, 2019, to the Chicago training group on the archetypal Trickster entitled The Subversive Outsider within: Trickster as an Agent Provocateur of the Paradoxical Self. She presented at the IAAP Congress in Vienna in August, 2019 on Hail, Aphrodite!: Re-sacralization of the Goddess of Love & Sex in David Ives’ Venus in Fur. Along with a colleague, Dan Ross, they have recorded and posted on the Chicago Institute’s website, seven podcasts in a series called Healing Cinema, analyzing classical and contemporary films from a Jungian viewpoint; films include Hitchcock’s Rear Window, The Lost Daughter, and most recently, the acclaimed film Tar. Age Groups Adults Types of Treatment Individuals Contact 773.720.3551 In-Person/Telehealth: In-Person & Telehealth Main Office: 3139 N Lincoln Ave UNIT 207, Chicago, IL, 60657

Rosenthal, Suzanne

Suzanne Rosenthal, PhD is a Jungian analyst and Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Winnetka, IL. She completed her training at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago in 1996 after earning her doctorate (psychology) and master’s degrees (film studies) from Northwestern University. She is currently a faculty member of the Analyst Training Program and the Clinical Training Program and is a member of the ATP oversight committee. Sue includes in her years of clinical experience teaching and supervising at the graduate level at Loyola University, Northwestern, and the Illinois School of Professional Psychology Sue has served on the Executive Board of the Institute and on the Admissions, Candidacy and Program Committees. She chaired the committee that established the original Jungian clinic in Evanston. Highlights of her work include papers and workshops on themes of ‘longing for home’ and the clinical use of myths, fairy tales, and film. She is actively involved in the Institute’s collaboration with other downtown instructions in creating programs that present the archetypal approach to the expressive arts. Education DIPLOMATE ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY: C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago. (1996) PH.D. IN COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY: Northwestern University. (1977) M.S. IN SPEECH/FILM: Northwestern University. (1971) B.A. IN ENGLISH LITERATURE/JOURNALISM: University of Michigan. (1958)

Age Groups Adults

Treatment Types Individuals

Contact (847) 372-9188 In-Person/Telehealth: Telehealth Only (IL) I provide flexible and private telehealth sessions from my home office several days a week. I am also available for limited in-person sessions at the beginning of therapy if the individual wishes this and is in the Chicago area.



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