Wounded-healer healing: a first-person narrative inquiry into wounds as places of learning

De Zoysa, Mihirini (2019) Wounded-healer healing: a first-person narrative inquiry into wounds as places of learning. DProf thesis, Middlesex University / Ashridge Business School. [Thesis]

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This thesis is a first person narrative inquiry into my life as a woman in midlife, leaning into and learning from my ‘woundedness’—with a focus on relational-wounds. Making wounds ‘useful’ and the idea of providing ‘hospitality’ as a healer is explored as part of my professional practice as a coach. In this capacity, I identify myself as a wounded-healer. I also explore such wounded-healer moments in my role as a friend, family member and partner in my personal life. As such, this research is based on two key premises: that human beings are storied creatures and meaning-makers, and that emotional wounding is an inevitable human condition.

Grounded in the methodology of narrative inquiry, the research is a consideration of wounded stories, and the influences of place, sociality and temporality for the purposes of the following: identifying dominant narratives and stuck-stories, storying and re-storying restorative meanings and generating different action choices. This is enriched with the reflective practices and action imperative of first person action research. A feminist position is taken in exploring the importance of the human need for relationality, connection and love. Dominant patriarchal structures of thought that legitimise what is valid as academic research are disrupted through the perspective and writing practice of making the personal political, sharing intimate, personal and professional stories of relational wounding and positing the need for women writing women’s stories. Empirical evidence is demonstrated through vignettes, and inquiry and the analyses of these are presented through a written dialogue of the researcher’s internal conversations in three different voices as a way of being evocative and creative in contributing to experimental ways of writing and presenting doctoral research.

This research hopes to contribute to what seems to be limited research into the importance of and practices of healing professionals attending to their own healing. Primacy is given to emotional wounds identified as ‘life interrupted wounds’, along with a brief exploration of ‘everyday wounds’ and ‘primary wounds’. Specific ideas of my wounded-healer practices of conscious vulnerability, boundaried openness, self-compassion, emotional agility and hospitality are inquired into, along with how Buddhism (as a philosophical awareness) has influenced these practices.

A Foucauldian lens is applied to examine how therapy and the therapeutic field is potentially a site for power, using the concepts of technology of the self, dividing practices and docile bodies and bio-power. Ideas of space, place and liminality are explored to expand the ideas around hospitality in wounded-healer work.

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Ashridge Business School
Item ID: 26460
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2019 11:13
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 19:15
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/26460

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