A HALF-DAY PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP FOR

Community in Difference: Cultivating a Home for Love & Justice in an Indifferent World
the annual conference of the Society of Humanisitic Psychology (division 32) of the apa


The Archetypal Motif of the Wounded Healer
as Represented by Asklepios
and Its Clinical Implications and Applications

with Willow Young

Wednesday, February 27, 9:00am to 12:00pm | $70 includes lunch

3 Continuing Education Credits for MFTs, LCSWs, and RNs

CLICK HERE to register | CLICK HERE to view all workshops

In the region known as Eastern Europe and Asia Minor, the images and story of the archetype of the wounded healer appear in numerous sites and have been a focus of classical scholarship on mythology, archeology, and art history. In sanctuaries and temples dedicated to Asklepios, the symbol of the wounded healer number more than 200 in Greece alone. In this presentation we will explore the archetypal background of the old stories of healing through interpretation of the images and the symbolic meaning of the archetype of healing itself. We will focus on the archetypal pattern, rooted deeply in the human soul, of the Asklepion Healing Tradition. In keeping with Jung’s idea that healing occurs through the experience of the numen we will look at the activation of the numinous experience as it was induced at the Asklepion Healing Sanctuaries, which included the individual integration of the mind, body, and spirit. Attendees participated in sports, dance, dramatic theater, poetry, music, rituals of purification, and sacrifice. Fasting, reintroduction of wild foods, the drinking of and bathing in the pure waters of the spring nearby further prepared one to enter the Abaton, the space where ultimately patients slept to induce healing dreams. After reviewing the historical and mythological motif of the wounded healer represented by Chiron, Asklepios, and Hippocrates, we will reflect on the psychological interpretation of the myth of Asklepios in which we find the archetype of the Wounded Healer as amplified by dreams and psychological case material of modern women and men. Finally we will reflect on Jung’s thoughts on healing and Marie-Louise von Franz’ understanding of the shadow of the wounded healer as we consider analytic and clinical applications.


Willow Young, M.A., L.M.F.T., is a member of the Core Faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute and serves as Chair of the Counseling Psychology Program. She teaches Clinical Practice I, II, III and Jung's Depth Psychology, Mores and Values in Cross Cultural Counseling, and received the Pacifica Distinguished Service Award in 2008. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an IAAP certified Jungian Analyst with the C.G. Jung Study Center of Southern California in private practice in Santa Barbara and Ventura. Willow presented the following seminars as part of Pacifica's Legacy Tour at Eranos in Ascona, Switzerland–Jung and Nature: The Nourishing Life of the Soul and Psyche Soma Dynamism in the Asklepion Healing Tradition.