top of page

Six Stages of Healing Core Wounds

Why Would You Want to Feel Core Wound Pain?

Core wound pain can feel so excruciating that most people want to turn away from it. Core wound pain, which is the very worst we think and feel about ourselves, hits the upper limit of our pain tolerance threshold. And when too much emotional pain builds up in your system, it will push you to focus upon what you do not want in your life. When overwhelmed with core wound pain, you will find yourself obsessively focusing on other people who upset you and outside circumstances you do not want.

Yet, the good news is, as the emotional chaos continues to build within you, your nervous system will no longer be able to hold it, and it will need to reorganize at a new, higher level. This is because your current nervous system, at some point, especially if you are on a growth journey, must cease to exist in the old way.

For this reason, meeting intense core wound pain is transformative. With compassion and calm, your strength of presence invites a death and a rebirth inside you, and a quantum leap ensues. With enough presence to your core wound pain, you can spontaneously reorganize at a higher, more complex level.

Your new nervous system can easily handle the input, complexity, and intensity your old system could not handle. What was once overwhelming is now efficiently dealt with—it feels neutral. So, it is essential to know that every significant change you experience will always be preceded by overwhelming emotional chaos. So, if you can remind yourself while in the throes of core wound pain that this is the prelude to positive change, you will likely feel much more motivated to stay calmly present with what is happening.

Below are the six stages of healing your core wounds.

1. A Life Challenge

Typically, the healing of a core wound starts with a problem in your relationships, work, or family. During a life challenge, outdated maps of reality and conditioned ways of self-protection get stirred up because they need to become more functional and resourceful. As the unconscious parts of your Internal Map of Reality come up into your conscious mind, you might experience anxiety, discomfort, unrest, or confusion.

This indicates that coping mechanisms and defense strategies that worked when you were younger are no longer working. This is the beginning of the end of continuing to act from patterns of thought and behaviour that no longer serve you. Your old ways of staying safe are being pushed up into your conscious awareness, and you are getting ready to do things differently.

2. Strong Emotions

At this point, your emotions become so strong that it becomes difficult to suppress, repress, or deny them. It is important to identify what is happening (for example, I'm feeling angry). Whenever you feel strong emotions, you are getting ready for a change. Being honest about your feelings and not going back into denial is crucial at this stage.

Staying rooted in the aspect of you that can neutrally witness everything you are feeling is a skill that can be cultivated. For example, when you are angry, step back and say, "Here I am feeling angry," then watch yourself being angry. Pay attention to where you feel angry in your body. Notice if the sensations in your body stay in one place or move around. Care about what your feeling does, says and moves. Be deeply curious and watch it shift and change.

Be aware of your tendency to become unconscious again through distractions such as food, TV, social media, drugs and alcohol, sex, overworking, and so on.

3. Fully Feeling and Owning

At this stage, the energy of your thoughts, feelings and emotions is heightened, and they need to be fully felt - all the way through. This involves total ownership and self-responsibility. "I am upset because this is my emotional core wound to heal...I am not the victim of outside forces. I am upset because I have been wounded similarly in the past, and I don't want to feel that pain ever again."

At this point, it is essential to surrender to what is happening to you emotionally and let it all be okay. When you are curious and caring about what you are feeling, you are not resisting, and you will not suffer as much. With enough presence practiced over time, you can become curious instead of resisting what is happening inside you.

4. Discovery of Your Core Wound Belief

At this stage, you will become aware of a core wound belief underpinning your emotional reactions. Notice how your mind will see whatever is necessary to prove the "truth" of its programming. If you are not aware that you are looking through the "glasses" of your past wounding, your core wound beliefs will seem to be manifesting in your everyday life. So it is helpful to write down what you say to yourself whenever you are emotionally triggered.

A core wound belief causes you to see everything through a fearful lens - to protect you from not getting hurt in the same way again. The acronym F.E.A.R. stands for "False Evidence Appearing Real." So pay attention to what you say to yourself when in despair. You might say, when emotionally triggered, for example, "I am never good enough," or "There is something wrong with me," or "No one will ever love me."

5. Reorganization

When you fully feel your emotions in a completely conscious way, you will experience a significant shift of awareness. Your full conscious awareness of the emotions that result from your painful core wound beliefs is now ready to resolve and reorganize at a higher level. You are now ready to replace an old, outmoded way of being with one that is more mature and resourceful for you.

Non-resourceful, immaturely formed core wound beliefs can only drive your emotions, thoughts and behaviours when they are unconscious. As soon as you bring full awareness to how your unconscious conditioned programming is causing you pain, it can fall away and be replaced with something that works better for you at this stage of your life.

6. Reprogramming

In this final step of healing your core wound, you will incorporate your new way of seeing into your Internal Map of Reality. What has formerly been a source of pain now becomes a new strength. Your core wound no longer has to be something that has to be repressed and avoided. Your core wound no longer exists as an automatic response that causes unconscious suffering for you. It is now replaced with loving thoughts, healthy behaviours and good feelings that are intentional, conscious, and resourceful.

*This article has been inspired and informed by transpersonal psychologist Dr. Beverlee Marks Taub.

With love,



bottom of page