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Even the best of parents are not perfect – leaving us all with varying degrees of father and mother wounds. All the same, it’s still best to see these wounds archetypally and not directly related to the particular relationship we had with our mom or dad. And the same is true when we consider the impact of a brother wound.

In short, a father wound is experienced whenever there’s a presence of the negative or an absence of the positive in our relationship with father figures, and a mother wound whenever this is experienced with mother figures.

In a similar way, we can also experience a brother wound. This might include being bullied by other guys on the playground or being made fun of in the locker room. It might also come from the absence of genuine friendships with other men or the lack of understanding and affirmation as we tackle the challenges of life. Whatever it looks like, this wound tends to strain our peer relationships with other men.

For some this fuels their insecurity and causes them to retreat from brotherhood altogether – their shared life with other men. For others it might lead them to a Cain-like jealousy and pride – unable to tolerate other men succeeding.  Still others might become so desperate to fit in that they lose their unique strength as they merely try to mimic others.

Of course, healing our father or mother wound can help offset the impact of this brother wound. But our relationship with the masculine, for example, is not just with the archetype of the father, but also the brother. And we often need healing in both of these relationships to thrive. Said another way, this is learning to relate to God as Father and Jesus as Brother, as it’s intended to be reflected through our relationships with other men.

In the end, brotherhood is strained when we don’t address the wounds lingering beneath the surface. Find the deep healing your soul needs to live in harmony with other men, and together make an impact for good in the world.


Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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