THE GREEN ROOMS
COUNSELLING, PSYCHOTHERAPY & COACHING
This study investigates the extent to which psychological wounds inspire therapists to become wounded healers, the significance of these wounds on career choice, the causes of these wounds and the overall significance of demographic factors.
An on-line questionnaire was conducted (253 respondents). Pilot and verification studies were performed. A pluralist approach was used with the quantitative data analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics and the qualitative data analysed using thematic analysis, with a grounded theory approach.
73.9% of therapists have experienced one or more wounding experiences leading to career choice and 26.1% have not.
In relation to the significance of the event(s) on career choice, when merging ‘probably chosen career regardless’ with ‘possibly chosen career regardless’, and ‘unlikely chosen career regardless’ with ‘not considered career otherwise’, there is a slight majority in relation to the former. There are no significant differences in relation to demographic factors.
In relation to whether one or more psychologically wounding experiences led to the choice of a career as a therapist, there is a significant difference within designation, gender, grouping gender and ethnicity, and, grouping gender and age. There are no significant differences within approach, ethnicity or age.
The majority of the wounds were caused by events experienced directly by the respondents (65%) as opposed to indirectly or both. Within demographic factors, the causes of the wounding experiences leading to career choice are not statistically significant.
The exact causes of the wounds vary enormously. The main categories are abuse, family life as a child, mental ill-health (own), social, family life as an adult, bereavement, mental ill-health (others), life threatening, physical ill-health (others), physical ill-health (own), and, other.
Many implications for the future of the therapeutic world have been highlighted. These focus mainly on supervision and training. Opportunities for further research have been highlighted.