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Document Type

Article

Abstract

For many the world can be a dangerous place. Life is random. Survival is conditional, and individuals inevitably sustain physical and psychological wounds along the way. Challenged by change, human beings seek meaning in the making and remaking of personal myths that acknowledge both failure and the heroic achievement to endure and flourish. Revealing the heroic character of their creators, this impulse to make and share stories also elevates prosaic, day-to-day struggles into inspirational tales that can transcend context and speak into others’ lives. The sharing of stories permits others to purposefully consider their own struggles and can inspires them to make changes in the world. By applying the narratives of heroism science and humanistic psychology to the vocational and personal lives of therapists, this article suggests that they are heroic, not least because many may have discovered their vocations by transforming their personal wounds into healing for others. It is suggested that, by using critical autoethnography to capture and analyse therapists’ personal and vocational journeys, the phenomenon of the story and the heroic role that it plays in changing and directing therapists’ lives may be more thoroughly acknowledged.

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