The Wounded Healer

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The well known phrase “Physician Heal Thyself” explains why many folks take up a career in the healing traditions in the first place. They have a wound to heal. It’s their ‘Story’.  Explaining how they healed the wound is the story their clients relate to. The ‘Why you do what you do’ creates an important emotional connection with your clients.

The ‘reason’ many take up a healing profession is to help others as a way of helping ‘thyself‘ – hence the quote above. When people discover what works for them, they want to share it. Clients relate to that passion.

For example, Janet discovered she was Celiac after the bloating and fatigue cost her two relationships. She went on a mission to learn everything she could about what she could now eat and what she couldn’t. Today she’s an expert running workshops and nutrition consultancy for the growing number of people like her. Jeff was more than 100lbs overweight through High School. Teased often. He lost his weight through weights, exercise and running. He’s a Personal Fitness trainer now, lean, healthy and full of life. His ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos are part of his story on his website. What story could you tell your clients?

Here’s Ricardo’s Bio, below.  It’s a story, with a beginning, including an ‘inciting incident’ –the reason the rest of the story kicks off. Then a middle, the journey, with hurdles to overcome. Finally, the end, what he’s offering now.

Ricardo, was burnt out after years of feeding the creative beast in a top ad agency in Brazil. A massage for a cricked neck gave him the first bit of relief in months. Enough of a wake up call to know he needed to relax and take care of his body. And take a break.

It was on holiday in Rishikesh, India, that he discovered how powerfully meditation helped him not to worry about the future and stay in the present. A massage course also helped him get in touch with his body, which for so long had been pushed aside by his very creative mind. He needed balance. For the next few years, he worked less and less at the agency, and took more and more courses, searching for just the right massage modality. Finally Ricardo settled on Thai Massage and the power of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.

Ricardo qualified in Acupuncture at Grant Mackewan, Edmonton, one of the most demanding courses the University offers. Ricardo’s Edmonton Clinic offers massage, Chinese Medicine, yoga and advice on nutrition, meditation and lifestyle.

Why does a bio like this work?

  • Ricardo’s story is more engaging than a list of qualifications, which often don’t mean much to ordinary folk. Leave the credentials for the bottom of your bio. In bullets.
  • Build in some high stakes in the beginning of your story. Ricardo was burning out. I as a reader can relate to that, and I want to know if he’s going to make it.
  • Most of us can related emotionally to being stressed out like Ricardo, so his story means he’ll relate to ours if we go for a session. Many of us have also hit relative rock bottoms in our lives, and we’re looking for people we can relate to, who won’t judge us because they’ve been through it too.
  • Ricardo also did something about his rock bottom, he changed his life. He didn’t continue suffering and moaning about it, or taking it out on others. This isn’t to say everyone needs to become a massage therapist but we do all need balance, whether we know it or not.
  • Write colloquially. If you write too ‘corporatey’ it’s not engaging.
  • And please, a big mistake many therapists make is to write in a really ‘new agey’ way, using all these big words about metamorphosis, transformation, angels and aliens. Keep it real and keep it simple.

So, give it a go. Re-read your bio in your brochure, website whatever, whether you’re a healer or not…does it engage people? Re-write it and test it out on friends. And ask them for honest feedback. Really honest feedback.

P.S I just did yoga and am on a retreat swimming with dolphins in the wild in Bimini, Bahamas. Look out for the next post. About networking in a bikini.



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