Woundology and Change

Like Caroline Myss who coined the term as far as I know, I believe that woundology can thwart our change process. What is woundology? It's about having our wounds - our history as a child or any traumatic event or illness since - be such a focus in our lives that it becomes part of our identity. We talk about it to others, spend a lot of time trying to fix it, and create a social life around it by participating in groups with people who share a common wound.

To clarify, receiving support from people who have had similar experiences can be helpful as we can learn about ourselves, gain insights, develop new resources and tools, and receive compassion. Using a wound as a portal to learning and growing or as inspiration for giving to others are also healthy ways to integrate our past suffering. Woundology gains ground when the person's story or wound continues to be their focus long after it's helpful.

For instance, a client who had repeated to anyone who would listen that he was an alcoholic was challenged by me to let go of using that label. Yes, alcohol was toxic to him, and it was time for him to stop identifying himself in this way. He was someone who had not used alcohol or drugs for over twenty years. It was time for him to see himself as primarily someone who is creative, resourceful and whole instead of an old identity that focussed on his wound. The old label kept him in the past and took away his power when, in fact, he had integrated sobriety at every level. He was honest about himself, took responsibility for his life, and accepted and explored all of his feelings. He later reported that his decision to let go of the identity of 'alcoholic' had a major impact on how he saw himself, encouraging him to even more deeply claim his wholeness and well-being.

What I know is that when clients let go of a self-label, in other words, stop using the word "my" in front of any feeling, trauma or sickness, change happens. They are ready to live in a new perspective rather than through the eyes of their wound. A sense of confidence and wholeness grows.


I see myself as creative, resourceful and whole. It is safe for me to release the old. I focus on my strengths, what is right in my life, and what I can create for myself and others.


© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

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