chapter taken from 'The Heart of the Healer' *(1)
"Although life is an affair of light and shadows, we never
accept it as such. We are always reaching towards the light and
the high peaks. From childhood...we are given values which correspond
only to an ideal world. The shadowy side of real life is ignored.
Thus [we] are unable to deal with the mixture of light and shadow
of which life really consists; [we] have no way of linking the
facts of our existence to [our] preconceived notions of absolutes.
The links connecting life with universal symbols are therefore
broken, and disintegration sets in.
Miguel Serrano C.G.Jung and Hermann Hesse: A Record of Two
the treatment process, something happens to the clinician as well
as to the patient (e.g., fear, distancing, anger, frustration,
joy, satisfaction, etc.) Frequently, [there occur] defensive maneuver's
on the part of the clinician to avoid confronting the emotions
and memories which the patient evokes...in the clinician. In shutting
out a part of the patient, we also close off access to an important
part of ourselves. We can grow emotionally (if painfully) with
our patients...if we can see beyond surgical 'repair', patient
'compliance,' or drug 'efficacy.' Not that these latter are unimportant;
but what whole are they a part of? What happens to us is as important
as what happens to our patients. Indeed, what we allow ourselves
to experience, both in ourselves and in our patients, decisively
determines our diagnostic procedure, assessment of etiology, determination
of prognosis, and formulation and implementation of a treatment
plan. The philosophical and psychological question is not whether
we will use ourselves in the clinical encounter, but how. This
axiomatic in all medicine."
say 'Thou' to a patient, and mean it, one must be able to utter
'I' to oneself. One can then stand with his patient, because he
can stand alone with himself. This is the essence of medicine,
of therapeutic communication, of life.
Howard F. Stein
of the greatest obstacles in understanding how health and illness
form a unitary fact of our existence, how illness is as necessary
as health in our lives, is our tendency to ignore life's darker
side. In matters of health we focus only on the light and the
high peaks, cringing from pain, suffering, and illness. We ignore
these ignoble aspects of existence until we confront them in start
and undeniable ways and can no longer run from them. They may
surface as illness in our own particular life, or in the death
of a friend. But following the anguish we continue to attempt
the impossible, to banish them from existence, looking only to
the light. Yet is a futile task.Deep within us we know we have
a created a lie and that sooner or later the next confrontation
with the shadowy side of life must inevitably occur.
am not proposing that we renounce optimism about our own health
and revert to a morbid disposition wherein we continually dwell
on our inevitable decline and demise, for this is extreme is as
one-sided as its opposite. I am not suggesting that physicians
cease to hold out hope to those who are ill, assuring them instead
that they must inevitably die - if not this time, then perhaps
the next. I am proposing instead that we simply cannot have it
the way we want it, for the simple and plain fact that light is
not found without shadows, nor health without illness.
suppose otherwise is to live a fantasy, a make-believe wolfed.
And to fail to acknowledge the dark side of health actually diminishes
the healthiness we do feel- for it takes energy to live a falsity;
it is draining to attempt to keep the lid on the pot of grimness.
We pay a penalty for supposing that there is only the light, and
the penalty is that the intensity of the light, our healthiness,
Myth of the All-powerful Physician
of the most curious traditions that has persisted in modern medicine
is the tradition of the all-powerful physician. This belief is
pathological because it is a distortion to the grossest degree.
It is a belief that endures because it fills a need - the need
of the patient to deify his healer and to imbue him with superhuman
abilities, and the need of certain physicians whose egos need
the fantasy to continue. As long as the patient has a god-like
figure looking after his welfare. Things are safe. Any self-responsibility
he might need to invoke on his own behalf to be healthy is minimized,
for with an all-powerful physician at hand he is secure. After
all, gods can "fix" anything. No matter the degree to
which my health might fail, my physician-as-god can set it straight.
And it is not surprising that many physicians do little to disavow
the show to go on rather than acknowledge their own limitations
mutual participation by both doctors and patients in the myth
of the all-powerful physician is one way in which we hide from
the shadows. We need not acknowledge the dark side of illness
and suffering as long as we have a god-healer at our disposal.
True, illness will one day occur; but the mythological, god-like
healers will summarily sweep it aside when it does supervene as
if it were little more than a nuisance and a bother. With gods
as our healers there is nothing but the light. The valleys and
the shadows can be ignored.
greatest healers, however, do not participate in this myth. They
sense their own limitations as surely as they know their strengths.
They know, too, the necessity of illness in human life and its
dynamic interrelatedness with health. For them the light and shadows
are both essential ingredients of healthiness, and they do not
attempt to ignore one in favour of the other.
Myth of Chiron
is the intrinsic fusion of health and wellness more vividly illustrated
than in the Greek mythological figure of Chiron, whom the birlliant
contemporary mythologist Carl Kerenyi calls the wounded healer.
Chiron was a centaur, half man and half horse. According to myth,
the hero Heracles was received by the centaur Pholos at his cave.
He was presented with a jar of rich wine, the scnet of which attracted
the other centaurs. Unaccustomed to the wine, the centaurs began
to fight; and in the battle which followed, one of the arrows
shot by Heracles wounded Chiron in the knee. Following the instructions
of Chrion, Heracles tended to the wound, but because the arrow's
tip bore the poison of the hydra the wound was incurable. Chiron
thus could not be cured nor could he die, since he was immortal.
He is an enigmatic figure: immortal but wounded, carrying within
himself te godlike and the mortal at the same time.
Mount Pelion, the site of his cave, he received and taught heroes
their craft. Among them was Asclepius, who learned from Chrion
the knowledge of herbs and power of the snake. Yet Chiron, the
greatest teacher of medicine, ironically could not heal himself.
This was part of the widsom which Chiron passed to Asclepius,
the wisdom embodied in the wounding of the great healer.
and Teacher: An Intimate Relationship
etymological meaning of the word 'physician 'is' teacher and association
symbolised powerfully in the relationship between Chiron and Asclepius.
Robert J. Sardello, the psychologist and writer, has drawn attention
to the similar role of the teacher and the healer. In his penetrating
treatise, "Teaching as Myth," his observations about
teaching have the strongest relevance to the role of the physician:
teaching often does not resemble that of this greatest of mythical
teachers, Chiron. As long as a teacher stands totally in the light,
stands as one who knows, facing those who do not know, the teacher
remains unaware of his own woundedness and does not participate
in the learning enterprise. An original and originating image
of teaching is split radically into two parts as long as the teacher
imagines himself as one who knows and the student as one in need
of instruction. The student must stand in total darkness if the
teacher stands totally in the light. Such a split image identifying
teaching with knowledge and learning with ignorance can be maintained
only through power. This attitude is like that of the physician
who believe that he does the curing rather than being the occasion
through which curing comes as a gift. And like a physician, such
power so maintained by authority, by speaking in jargon, presenting
oneself as a specialist and seeking professional status."
is a grotesque view of teaching, a dehumanizing, in-human scenario
which places on human in a domination over another who becomes
the inferior supplicant. It is the role all too often enacted
in the doctor-patient relationship. The physician forgets his
own woundedness, his own imminent or potential sickness, his own
inexorable death. He is willing to be elevated by the patient
to the role of the god0like. The error occurs on both the parts
of the physician, renouncing his own fallibility and woundedness
in favour of deification, and the patient, who creates a god and
claims him for his own private healer.
is frequently supposed that this type of relationship is actually
desirable, for from his position of ultimate respect and admiration
the physician can motivate the patient to make certain changes,
to follow advice, to have surgery, to take medications, etc. Nothing
is lost if the all-powerful, glorified, and edified physician
uses his power benevolently. If the patient's best interests are
kept in the foreground, this type of relationship can be tremendously
therapeutic, it is alleged. It does no good in this scenario to
remind the physician of his own woundedness, for it is power that
counts in this relationship, not weakness. Why, if the patient
actually felt his physician to be 'wounded' he would lose respect.
After all, who wants his physician to be compromised in some way?
It is best to let the concept of the wounded healer remain in
believe that this kind of relationship, in spite of the fact that
it is frequently preferred by both doctors and patients, is sadly
off base. It perpetuates the idea that woundedness is abhorrent;
we especially must not speak of it in healers; it is only power
and health that count. The interconnectedness of health and illness
in human lives goes unnoticed. It might be argued that we hold
onto object to this sort of doctor-patient relationship if it
were highly effective. But here is the point on which it most
miserably fails: it simply does not work therapeutically as it
outhit. We must now see why.
Doctor-Patient Relationship: A Living Archetype
Jungian psychiatrist Adolf Guggenbuhl-Craig has described the
doctor-patient relationship in a provocative way. In his book,
Power in the Helping Professions, he states:
'healer-patient' relationship is as fundamental as is that of
man-woman, father-son, mother-child. It is archetypal, in the
sense expounded by C.G. Jung; i.e., it is an inherent, potential
form of human behaviour. In archetypal situations the individual
perceives and acts in accordance with a basic schema inherent
in himself, but which in principle is the same for all men."
doctor-patient relationship, then, is contained within nature.
It is primordial, something inborn, an innate behaviour seeking
expression in the appropriate circumstance. It is called forth
when we are sick, injured, or about to die. At those times we
look to healers as much as a mother looks to her child. At such
times we are duplicating behaviour of countless members of our
species who have looked to their own healers, persons who have
had names other than 'doctor': shaman, curandero, witch doctor.
To look to the healer during times of affliction is as natural
as seeking food or water.
the surface, archetypal behaviour seems simpler than it is. It
seems as if, for example, the mother is simply reacting to her
child, an object 'out there.' A woman responds to a man, who is
himself an object apart from her. Patients respond to healers
who, too, are objects possessing some fundamental status of their
own distinct from that of the patient. But the basic situation
is more complex. Every archetypal situation contains a polarity
- that is, both poles are contained within the same individual.
To reiterate, as Guggenbuhl-Craig says, "Each of us is born
with poles of the archetype within us." And, "...in
human psychology as we know it, both poles are contained within
the same individual." 
is a crucial point because it flies in the face of our ordinary
concept of the doctor-patient relationship. We suppose that on
the one hand there is the healer, and that on the other stands
the patient, who is little more than a passive object to whom
and for whom certain things are done. But the concept of archetype
tells us that this way of thinking is misconstrued. It suggests
that a polarity exists within both individuals that constitute
the archetype, the healer and the patient. It suggests in no uncertain
terms that the patient contains something of the healer within
his being, and that the healer is simultaneously the patient as
well -- containing, as it were, his own woundedness.
clarifies how the polarity of the archetype operates:
child awakes maternal behaviour in its mother. In the psyche of
every woman there is the inborn personality of motherly behaviour
within the mother-child situation, which in some mysterious way
must mean that the child is already contained within the mother,
somewhat in Goethe's sense when he wrote: 'Did our eye not contain
sun's power, how could it perceive the sun at all?" Perhaps
we should not speak of a mother archetype, a child archetype or
a father archetype. It might be better to talk of a mother-child
or a father-child archetype." 
these analogies to the doctor-patient relationship there is, then,
something of each in both: the polarity of the healer and the
one-to-be-healed are contained within the healer and the patient,
and there is, in fact, only a single archetype which embraces
both doctor and patient, not a different archetype for each.
bother to struggle with formulations such as these? What difference
does it make what ancient mythology has contended about 'wounded
healers,' or what Jungian psychological theory asserts about arcane
constructions such as archetypes and polarities? It is my belief
that there are a few things more important in modern medicine
than that we get these issues straight -- far more important than,
for example, setting up a Manhattan-type Project to search for
'the cure' for cancer, heart disease, or any malady whatever.
Unless we understand such basic notions as how we ourselves, patients
and physicians, are constituted at heart, all subsequent attempts
at healing will, in some sense, fall short, and all apparent cures
will be nothing more than counterfeit. We will continue to flail
about in medical research and in clinical medicine in our endless
attempts to banish the shadows and retain only the light, or attempt
to fill in all the valleys in our lives while retaining the peaks.
It will not matter greatly whether we actually do find 'the cure'
for whatever affliction, for, without a sure knowledge of how
we are constellated, we will never know even who it is that has
been cured, not who it was that did the curing.
what does it mean to say that both poles of the archetype exist
within the physician and the patient? The statement need not be
defended simply through metaphor or psychological theory. It can
be taken literally, and it can be described in strictly scientific
terms. Let us consider that the sick person contains his own healer.
What is the proof?
Inner Healer: More Than Myth
could be endlessly produced, one of which is the careful study
of Jerome Frank, at Johns Hopkins Medical School.  Frank studies
the speed of healing of surgical wounds in the immediate post-operative
period. He found that those patients healed fastest who had faith,
trust and confidence in the surgeon and the nursing staff. On
the other hand, slower wound healing occurred in those patients
who did not trust their physicians, and who were reluctant and
afraid. This type of study goes beyond the metaphorical use of
the term inner healer, and relates the concept to something as
concrete as the healing of actual surgical wounds. The end point
is measurable: The inner healer is something inward, who effects
are quantifiable. As such, it is not just a topic that must be
dealt with by mystics and philosophers, but it is a fit concern
for bio scientists as well. It is important to point out, for
we must constantly remind ourselves that we are not just speaking
psychologically or poetically, but physiologically as well.
polar expression, then, of the wounded healer who is mythically
represented by Chiron, the centaur-teacher of Asclepius, is that
of 'the healthy wounded.' The healthy wounded are all of us, for
we all have within us the inner healing potential demonstrated
in Frank's study. It is not for us to create, for it is there,
existing inwardly as a force for healing as surely as there exists
within us the capacity to fall ill. This is the polarity of the
archetype which all men contain.
is becoming recognised, through the best of medical research,
that patients do have self-corrective, innate, inward, self-healing
capacities. In a variety of disease states these so called 'factor
of consciousness' - emotions, attitudes, feeling states of various
sorts - have emerged as potent factors in healing. 
the sword of the archetype polarity cuts both ways:
is not very difficult to imagine the healing factor in the patient.
But what about the physician? Here we encounter the archetype
of the 'wounded healer.' Chiron, the centaur who taught Asclepius
the healing arts, himself suffered from incurable wounds. In Babylon
there was a dog-goddess with two names: as Gula she was death
and as Labartu, healing. In India Kali is the goddess of the pox
and at the same time its curer. The mythological image of the
wounded healer is very widespread. Psychologically this means
not only that the patient has a physician within himself, but
also there is a patient in the doctor" 
is this concept that is much harder for healers to swallow, for
it is an admission of an integral, inescapable weakness. The recognition
of fallibility comes hard for many modern healers. And, not surprisingly,
we physicians expend ingenious efforts to conceal this external
fact. This dilemma, however, has been faced by healers of all
times, not just our own, and is expressed by Guggenbuhl-Craig:
is not easy for human psyche to bear the tension of polarities.
The ego loves clarity and tries to eradicate inner ambivalence.
This need for the unequivocal can bring about a certain splitting
of polar archetypes. One polarity may be repressed and continue
operating in the unconscious, possibly causing psychic disturbances.
The repressed part of the archetype can be projected onto the
outer world." 
of the most difficult admissions for many modern physicians, who
have been schooled in an era when the medical credo is to do,
to act, and to cure, is that of woundedness. It becomes more expedient
to do something, sometimes anything, for which the doctor is frequently
praised ("He was willing to take her case when no other doctor
would: he was willing to operate in spite of overwhelming odds;
no matter that Mother died, the doctor tried!"). It has become
extraordinarily difficult in modern clinical medicine to do nothing.
Doing nothing is taken too frequently as an expression of impotence,
of fallibility. It is a reminder to the physician of something
he'd rather forget: the fact of his own woundedness.
are many physicians to whom the fact of their own woundedness
is apparent, and they handle this knowledge with a grace that
empowers them as healers. Yet others do not. And the unfortunate
way that the inner fact of woundedness is too often dealt with
is through projecting it onto the external world in an attempt
to rid oneself of something painful. Far better that someone else
should be wounded, weak, or fallible than I, so the rationalisation
goes. And the object of the physician's projected weakness is
all too often the patient, as the following incident illustrates.
Story of Tom B.
B. was taken to the coronary care unit of a major hospital after
collapsing with chest pain and shortness of breath at home.
was seventy-eight years old, had already sustained two heart attacks,
and suffered from high blood pressure. Although he took his prescription
medications religiously, he had been unable to stop smoking and
lose weight, a fact which always irritated his doctor who never
failed to remind Tom about it.
wife had called an ambulance immediately and then called Dr. Ponder,
who said he would meet his patient in the emergency room. Upon
arrival of both patient and physician at the hospital's emergency
room, resuscitation efforts were continued, having been initiated
by the paramedics who found Tom without any detectable blood pressure
and with an erratic, ineffective heart rhythm. Finally, with intravenous
tubing streaming from both arms, Tom was moved to the coronary
care unit of the hospital with the diagnosis of acute myocardial
infarction and congestive heart failure.
elderly wife remained in the background all the while: she didn't
want to interfere. After all, Dr Ponder had rescued Tom on two
previous occasions following heart attacks, and she had to believe
he would do so again. Even though she was burning with a desire
to hear from the doctor about how her husband was doing, she remained
ubobtrusive, getting second hand bits of information from the
nurses who were scurrying in and out of the room. She thought
it odd, though, that Dr. Ponder has not time for her. After all,
he had to know she was there, for it was she who had placed the
call, telling him she was en route to the hospital with her husband.
hour later, following her husband's transfer to the coronary care
unit, she stood weeping outside the swinging doors that guarded
its entry. Still no word. Then without warning both doors burst
open and Dr. Ponder emerged, obviously very angry. My God, she
thought,, why is he angry? Any emotion, she allowed herself to
think, would be more appropriate than anger.
Dr. Ponder exploded, "Your husband is making this very difficult!
He refused to cooperate with anything I do!"
Ponder stood there, glowering at her, his face flushed and diaphoretic,
gripping a stethoscope in one hand. Mrs.B. she had to say something,
anything, and through her tears she stammered, "Oh Dr. Ponder,
please forgive Tom, I know he doesn't mean it!"
Ponder did not acknowledge the apology, but wheeled abruptly,
disappearing through the double doors, still streaming anger behind
him. Mrs.B never saw her husband alive again. Within an hour he
fortunately do not believe most physicians behave in crucial situations
like Dr.Ponder; this incident is related only as a classic example
of how healers repress part of their own archetype (their woundedness,
their weakness, their fallibility, their helplessness) and project
it onto the external world where it frequently becomes the patient's
weakness, not the doctor's ("He refuses to cooperate with
anything I do!"). But the healer may project his own wounds
in a more subtle way that did Dr. Ponder. For instance, it may
not be the poor patient himself onto whom the physician projects
his weakness, but the disease itself ("This is the worst
case of high blood pressure I have ever seen in my career as a
physician!"). In this case the patient does not answer for
the doctor's weaknesses, but some impersonal entity called disease.
This disease-as-enemy approach is very common. The doctor-patient
relationship can constellate strongly around this common foe without
either having to admit to the shadows within ourselves.
variation on the theme of how the healer avoids the recognition
and admission of his own woundedness is by projecting the failure
onto 'the system' - "We just don't have a cure for this problem
yet." Here the scapegoat becomes the entire medical edifice
itself, which has so far failed to produce a suitable remedy.
It is not the physician who is weak. He is simply making-do the
best he can, working with the tools at hand.
Harm In Denying the Inner Polarity
am not suggesting that there is not some justification to the
occasional use of statement such as these. It is when patient
and doctor actually begin to believe that these represent reality
that great harm occurs. For when each denies the inner polarity
of his own archetype, certain events predictably follow: for the
physician, his own inner psychic processes are blocked; he sees
a distorted view of himself and may begin to live a lie to his
patients. As long as he persists in denying his own woundedness
he cuts off from himself an essential part of his healing power,
preferring to assuage his own ego rather than confront the shadowy
elements that are a part of himself. He glues together this distorted
view of himself with the element of power - personal power, his
imagined notion of what healers should be like. He becomes a doer,
for it is only through doing that he believes power can be wielded.
This strategy transforms his patients into the recipients of his
doing; and it is on 'the doing of the doctor' that cure and healing
must hinge. He becomes a peddler of techniques; no matter that
they are sophisticated expressions of biotechnology, they are
techniques nonetheless. And not matter that they occasionally
seem to work, as they indeed do. What has occurred is that a deeper,
more profound potential for healing and wholeness has been sacrificed.
The patient becomes the sacrifice - for in projecting his own
wounds onto the patient, the patient is further crippled. It is
only the healer now who can save him through the incessant round
of doing, of the endless wielding of techniques. The stage is
set for the "fix it" mode of medicine that has become
the hallmark of our day.
physician is an easy target in our time, but we should not forget
that this scenario could not go on but for the complicity of the
patient. It is the patient who allows for doctor's strategy to
be enacted. After all, it fulfils a need for himself, too - for
by repressing his own power, his own 'inner healer,' the polarity
of his own archetype, he escapes having to acknowledge that he
is 'the healthy wounded.' He can project his own inner healing
power onto the physician, whose job it then becomes to do all
the work. It is an escape of responsibility that the patient has
engineered. He has become the genuine article: the helpless, woeful,
innocent person who is stricken down by illness which he cannot
possibly control, and who must, therefore, look to the source
of power, the physician, to cure.
doctor-patient relationships are constituted along these lines.
When a physician and a patient come together who have repressed,
respectively, their woundedness and healthiness, a silent bargain
is struck. The physician unconsciously agrees to de-emphasize
the inner power of the patient in bringing about his own healing
( he must reserve the power for himself, for it is only through
this mechanism that he can disguise the fact of his own woundedness);
and the patient silently agrees to not acknowledge his own power
(to do so would create a responsibility for himself in getting
well), not to point out the wounds of his healer(this would constitute
such a threat that the entire relationship might crumble). In
the context of such an agreement the average doctor-patient relationship
limps along - sometimes working, sometimes not.
Alternative Approach to Transform the Doctor-Patient Relationship
is the way out? The admission by the physician and the patient
of the murky shadows within each - the woundedeness of the healer
and latent healthiness of the patient. Such a recognition would
create the atmosphere wherein a new kind of healing could flower.
It would entail no less than a radical transformation of the doctor-patient
image of the wounded healer symbolizes an acute and painful awareness
of sickness as the counterpole to the physician's health, a lasting
and hurtful certainty of the degeneration of his own body and
mind. This sort of experience makes the doctor the patient's brother
rather than his master...
the final analysis [the physician] must always strive to constellate
the healing factor in the patient. Without this he can accomplish
nothing. And he can only truly activate this healing factor if
he bears sickness as an existential possibility within himself.
He is less effective when he tries to unite the two poles of the
archetype through petty power." 
a new vision of the doctor-patient relationship begins to take
shape as both doctor and patient becomes attuned to the two poles
of their archetype. The traditional hierarchical stratification
wherein the physician is seen as a powerful master directing the
inner workings of the body of the subservient patient is transcended.
This does not mean that in admitting his own woundedness the physician
must actually take on the illness, for this would be a sentimental
perversion of the recognition of weakness. And it does not mean
that the patient, secure with the awareness of his own inner potential
for healthiness, must now seek out a healer. For this, too, is
an improper and shallow conclusion. The healing relationship goes
beyond hierarchy, wherein neither healer not the one to be healed
stands about the other.
the new context a basic humanism emerges, a quality that in the
ordinary doctor-patient relationship is decidedly supressed. Robert
J. Sardello has described the flowering of this humanistic quality
in speaking of the proper relationship between teacher and student.
Bearing in mind that the root meaning of the words "physician"
and "teacher" is the same, Sadello's observations are
keenly applicable to the doctor-patient relationship:
teaching and learning are imagined as a single action occurring
for both teacher and student, a model of teaching more closely
corresponding to the perennial pattern of the teacher is enacted.
The teacher admits to being a student and students experience
the desire to know awakened in their relationship with teachers.
The teacher is touched by certain vulnerability, is reminded over
and over again that there is much that he does not know. He is
deeply touched by students, excited, frightened, shaken by them
only when the teacher is a perpetual learner does a learner desire
knowledge. Like Chiron, whose very name refers to the hand and
has connotation of touching with the hand, working by hand, practicing
a handcraft or art, the teacher who allows himself to be touched,
touches in turn." 
Sardello has described the teaching-learning experience, the new
version of healing is that it is a 'single action.' Hierarchical
differences, contingent on the wielding of power by one person
over another, take a back seat. Power can be brought into play,
but it does not flow only from the doctor to the patient. In full
knowledge of the polarities within himself, the patient also uses
power - this time on his own behalf, not content to let the doctor
do it all. The appeal of the patient to the physician of "Fix
it!" dissolves in the 'single action' of mutual effort.
mode of interaction will suggest to some the impossible. How can
healing possible occur as a "single action" unless a
single person is involved? This sounds suspiciously like the mushy
appeal to 'oneness' and 'sharing' and 'uniting' of the transpersonalist,
who would have us, in effect, forget who we are, dissolving into
some featureless relationship wherein one cannot tell doctor from
patient or patient from doctor. We can't forget who we are and
what we are, and this 'single action' mode of healing is nothing
the 'singleness' that we are speaking of is not a featureless
blending of identities, a fusion of disparate qualities into some
unrecognizable blur, but exactly the opposite. It is a mode of
bringing about healing not through forgetting all the various
qualities that make us who we are, but in acknowledging them.
It is a new way of doing and being that becomes possible because
we know all that we are. Because, we now sense within us the shadows
as well as the light, we are empowered into a new existential
set of premises which say something entirely different about how
healers and patients can interact and about how healing can come
Thomas once observed that, instead of always emphasizing what
we actually know in science, it would be enormously fruitful to
focus alternatively on what we do not know. For it is here that
the wonders lie. The known is the domain that is safe, where risk-taking
is no longer necessary. to dwell in it forever is not only to
never advance, it is also to promote a deceptive and false view
of ourselves as knowing more than we do - of being more powerful
than we really are.
can conceive, too, that one day medical schools will emphasize
not entirely the known, but a healthy dose of the unknown as well.
It might give us not only a true picture of medical science, but
also a truer vision of ourselves as well. It might remind us of
something we have almost forgotten as modern physicians, and which
we desperately need to remember: that first, and finally, and
without exception, we are wounded healers.
The Heart of the Healer With Prince Charles, Norman Cousins, Richard
Moss, Bernie Siegel & Others.
Edited by Dawson Church & Dr. Alan Sherr Aslan Publishing
New York, New York Mickleton, England 1987 ISBN: 0-944031-12-9
This chapter is taken from Beyond Illness by Larry Dossey, (c)
1984. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc..,
300 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA 02115
Adolf Guggenbuhl - Craig, The Power in Helping Professions,
Spring Publications, Inc., Dallas, 1982, p.89
ibid. page 89
ibid page 90
Jerome Frank, "Mind-Boyd Relatioships in Illness and Healing,"
Journal of the International Academy of Preventative Medicine,
2:3 (1975), pp. 46-59
Power in the Helping Professions, p.91.
Power in the Helping Professions, pp. 97, 100-101.
Teaching as Myth