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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
The Gift of the Wounded Healer
An exploration of the clinical qualities and personal risks that arise from the psychotherapist's own experience of suffering

Saturday 28 September 2013

This conference-workshop is led by three psychotherapists who have thought deeply about the concept of the wounded healer both within the frame of the therapy relationship and wider society. They have been invited to explore what it means to be someone who has faced their own suffering and who uses this capacity to help others as a psychotherapist.

During the day we will consider the importance of emotional pain as a prerequisite for the work that allows for an essential deep resonance between the two minds in the relationship. We will consider how, if the therapist has integrated and is at peace with their pain they can offer a clearing for the patient’s expression and integration of their suffering. The therapist’s belief in the possibility of healing provides an essential philosophical context for therapy to occur – the knowledge that healing is possible.

But there are risks involved. The therapist’s wounds that remain dissociated can lead to a range of self-protective strategies in the relationship that are likely to limit therapeutic progress; the therapist’s attachment patterns or relational traumas, especially when unconscious, can become enacted in ways that are not in the patient’s interest. This day we will be both a recognition of this powerful gift, an exploration of such clinical issues and an appraisal of the professional responsibilities that arise from being ‘one who suffers’ - not least in navigating complex professional community dynamics.


Dr Angela Cotter

Dr Angela Cotter is a Jungian analytical psychotherapist, who originally trained as a nurse and currently works in individual practice, with groups and as a teacher, researcher and supervisor in psychotherapy. The experience of nursing led her to undertake a PhD nurses' experiences of having severe acute and chronic illness. During the writing up period she lived alongside a community of contemplative Benedictine nuns for two years. She also worked at St James' Piccadilly - a radical inclusive church - and explored the concept of the wounded healer in depth both experientially and academically. In 1990 she opened a new NHS nursing home for older people translating the concept into the work and then into Department of Health funded action research about older peoples' health and social care. While completing her Jungian training she also trained in Celtic shamanism with Caitlin Matthews, with whom she now teaches. More recently, she obtained a Ferguson Fellowship at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre (2004-2006) to take the wounded healer work further through action research. This strand of her work continues through individual and group work drawing also on her later trainings in systemic ritual and systemic and family constellations.

Professor Andrew Samuels

Andrew Samuels has, for almost forty years, been evolving a unique clinical blend of post-Jungian, relational psychoanalytic, and humanistic approaches to therapy work. He is recognised internationally as one of the leading commentators from a psychotherapeutic perspective on political and social problems. His work on the father, sexuality, spirituality and countertransference has also been widely appreciated. He is a past chair of the UK Council for Psychotherapy, a co-founder of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility and also of the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy. He is Professor of Analytical Psychology at Essex and holds visiting chairs at New York, London and Roehampton Universities. Andrew's many books have been translated into 19 languages, the most recent being Politics on the Couch. He is well-known for his engaging and participatory style as a workshop leader and lecturer.

Michael Soth

Michael Soth is an integral-relational Body Psychotherapist, trainer and supervisor (UKCP), with more than 25 years' experience of practising and teaching from an integrative perspective. Drawing on concepts, values and ways of working from a broad-spectrum range of psychotherapeutic approaches across both psychoanalytic and humanistic traditions, he is interested in the therapeutic relationship as a bodymind process between two people who are both wounded and whole. He has written numerous articles and several book chapters and is a frequent presenter at conferences. Extracts from his published writing as well as summaries of presentations and hand-outs are available at Find him on Facebook and Twitter (INTEGRA_CPD) or follow his regular blog on the ‘impossible profession’ at


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Please read our booking conditions before making your booking

Self-funded: £120
Organisationally-funded: £180
CPD Hours

Certificates of Attendance for 6 hours will be provided at the event

20-28 Bolsover Street

Registration: 9.30
Start: 10.00
End: 17.30