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Nurses as Wounded Healers

For the purposes of this chapter, spirituality will be taken to relate to both soul and spirit, that is to the essence of who we are, which is not separate from but pervades and unifies body, mind and emotion (Carson, 1989). Our spirituality involves our connection to that which is beyond self, whether universal values or the divine, as well as connection to nature and to other people who, as Carson (1989) points out, provide love, meaning and purpose in life. For some there is a framework for their spirituality in the form of a belief system, or religion, however, the extent to which this is helpful may depend upon their own spiritual path and understanding. Seen from the perspective of this chapter, as outlined above, spirituality cannot be set apart in a church or temple, but is present in the everyday reality of disrupted or changed body functions, destabilised emotions, disrupted thought patterns and lives changed or torn apart.

This chapter presents the notion of the wounded healer as a pattern for the preparation of a healer who is equipped to work with the whole person, body, mind, emotion and soul/spirit.

Contents include

  • Introduction: Spirituality as nursing business
  • The wounded healer: A pattern for healers
  • Using the pattern of the wounded healer for nursing: Considering Woundedness
  • The journey to healing
  • Walking the labyrinth: A path to healing
  • Conclusion: The nurse as wounded healer
  • References
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Author / Editor Biographies

RN, RM, BAppSci (Advanced Nursing Education), MEd, FRCNA and FACM.
Jane is a nurse-midwife and healer. She has a private practice and consultancy in healing and education. She is a teacher and practitioner of Therapeutic Touch and a practitioner of Healing Touch and Kinesiology. Jane has extensive experience in women's health, especially birthing. She also has a background in administration as a senior nursing adviser in the Victorian Health Department in Australia. She was a senior lecturer at the Australian Catholic University and continues to guest lecture at several universities. Jane is also a member of the inaugural Nurses Board of Victoria. Jane conduc...

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