Strong Wounds, Stronger Healer

November 7, 2013

By Shawn A. Tassone, MD

One epiphany helping me deepen my healing abilities was realizing my own wounds. The Center for Mind-Body Medicine training and the small group sessions opened me to this experience. One key element aiding my discovery was that of the genogram. In drawing my genogram (a generational diagram showing relationships) I was able to visualize familial conflicts and bonds helping me realize why I had become an obstetrician-gynecologist. I had struggled with my decision to become an OBGYN for a few years; the drain of being on call and running the business of private practice had taken its toll and I was burning out. Dr. Gordon describes that through genograms one may see multigenerational patterns of conformation and inspirational family strengths. Taking this concept further, one could say that the genogram is able to give one a life’s path.

In my genogram I saw the reason I had become a healer; the reason that I became a man caring for female patients. The four generations from my children to my grandparents showed lines of conflict between every mother and child. My mother and my grandmother had a strained relationship with years of hurtful silence. My father was embarrassed by his mother and was not able to be present during her funeral. In my life, my mother and I had a reversed relationship where I was the parent and she was the child; now I see she was trying to mentally cure her own abandonment issues with her mother. Finally, my daughter now has conflict lines with her biological mother. This discovery harbored the potential to heal the maternal archetype within my family. By medically caring for women and their unborn children, I am healing my wounds; healing my own maternal rift. The realization of personal wounds reminds us that suffering exists and we are on a personal path to heal.

I discovered through mind-body medicine that I am a wounded healer, but I also found that my power to heal is rooted in my own wounds. Mind-Body Medicine training and its inherent self-realization made me a better healer, in effect by healing myself.