Le 5 Ferite dell'Anima
Le 5 Ferite dell'Anima

The 5 Wounds of Soul – Lise Bourbeau

17 mins read

Lise Bourbeau is a Canadian author who developed the concept of the 5 wounds of soul and the related masks we wear to protect ourselves from these wounds as part of her work on personal growth and emotional healing. These wounds represent emotional traumas suffered during childhood that affect an individual’s adult life. And for each of which, whenever an external event stimulates them, we wear a mask.

To heal from the wounds of the soul, Bourbeau recommends becoming aware of one’s emotions and thoughts, and developing a loving relationship with oneself. It is also important to work on one’s self-esteem and sense of security in order to avoid wearing the mask that we believe protects us from this wound.

In addition, Bourbeau stresses the importance of accepting and forgiving oneself and others in order to overcome these traumas and move forward toward a happier and more fulfilling life.

Working on one’s soul wounds can be a difficult journey, but also a very rewarding one, and with awareness and acceptance, I believe it is possible to heal from these traumas and live a life full of love and happiness. Below I try to give you a brief summary of Bourbeau’s wonderful work. Of course, I recommend that you read the book so that you too can try to move forward in trying to heal these wounds.

Identifying the wounds and their masks

  • When the REJECT wound is activated, you wear the fugitive mask. This makes you want to run away from the situation or person you believe is responsible for the rejection, for fear of being panicked and feeling helpless. Such a mask may also persuade you to become as invisible as possible by withdrawing into yourself, not saying or doing anything that might cause you to be more rejected by the other person. This mask makes you believe that you are not important enough to take your place, that you are not entitled to exist like everyone else.
  • When the ABANDONMENT wound is activated, you wear the mask of the dependent. It makes you become like a small child who needs attention, who seeks it by crying, complaining, or submitting to what happens, as you believe you cannot cope on your own. Such a mask makes you do the impossible to avoid being left, or to get more attention. It may even convince you to get sick, or to become a victim of various problems, in order to get the support or backing you seek.
  • When the HUMILATION wound is reactivated, you put on the mask of the masochist. This makes you forget your own needs so that you think only of others’ needs and become a good person, generous, always ready to be helpful, even beyond your own limitations. You make sure that you load responsibilities and commitments on the shoulders of people who seem to have difficulty complying with what they have to do, and this even before you. Do your best to make yourself useful, always so that you don’t feel humiliated, belittled. In doing so you make sure that you are not free, which would be so important for you. Whenever your action is motivated by fear of feeling ashamed of yourself or fear of feeling humiliated, it is a sign that you are wearing the mask of a masochist.
  • When the INJUSTICE wound is activated, you wear the mask of stiffness, which makes you a cold, brusque and dry person as much in tone as in your movements. Just like your attitude, your body also stiffens. This mask also makes you a great perfectionist, and you experience a lot of anger, impatience, criticism, and intolerance toward yourself. You are very demanding, and you don’t respect your limits. Whenever you keep yourself in check, hold back or are hard on yourself, it is a sign that you have put on the mask of rigid.
  • When you experience the wound of BETRAYAL, you wear the mask of the controller, which makes you become distrustful, skeptical, on guard, authoritarian and intolerant, because of your expectations. You go to great lengths to show that you are a strong person, the kind who is not easily fooled, especially not influenced by others. This mask makes you do incredible things to avoid losing your reputation, even to the point of lying. You forget your own needs, and do what needs to be done for others to think of you as trustworthy, a person in whom they can have confidence. This mask causes you to project a façade of a confident person, even though you lack self-confidence, and you often question your decisions or actions.

Here are some means that will show you if your wounds are on the road to healing.

  • The REJECTION wound (THE FUGGITIVE) is on the way to healing when you take more and more of your rightful place, when you dare to assert yourself. Also, if someone seems to forget that you exist, you still manage to be comfortable. Far fewer situations happen to you where you fear being caught in a panic.
  • The ABANDONMENT (THE DEPENDENT) wound is healing when you feel good even on your own, and you seek less attention from others. Life is less dramatic. You have more and more desire to start new projects, and you can continue even if others do not support you.
  • HUMILATION (MASOCHIST) injury is healing when you allow yourself time to check your needs before saying yes to others. You take on much less; you feel freer. You stop creating limits for yourself. You are also able to ask questions without feeling like a troublemaker or even a nuisance.
  • The INJUSTICE Wound (THE RIGID) is healing when you allow yourself to be less of a perfectionist, to make mistakes without getting angry or having a sense of criticism. You allow yourself to show your sensitivity, to cry in front of others, without losing control and without fear of others’ judgment.
  • The BETRAYAL (CONTROLLING) wound is healing when you no longer experience as many emotions the moment someone or something disturbs your plans. You let go more easily

Depending on the mask, the way you speak and your voice differ:

  • the fugitive has a dull, weak voice;
  • the dependent uses a childish voice and a plaintive tone;
  • the masochist often pretends in his voice that he has feelings, to show interest when he does not;
  • the rigid speaks rather mechanically and restrainedly;
  • the controller has a loud voice that can be heard from a distance.

They also differ in the way they dance:

  • the fugitive does not particularly enjoy dancing. When he dances, he moves little, evanescently, so as not to be noticed. What emanates from it is a “don’t look at me too much.”
  • the dependent prefers dances that involve physical contact, so he can glue himself to his partner. Sometimes he feels like he is hanging onto the other. What emanates from him is a “look at how my partner loves me.”
  • the masochist loves to dance a lot, and he takes advantage of this to express his sensuality. He dances for the pleasure of dancing. What emanates from it is a “look how sensual I can be.”
  • the rigid dances very well and has rhythm, despite the stiffness of his legs. He is careful not to get it wrong. He is the one who most often enrolls in a dance class. Super stiff ones are very serious, they stand up straight and almost seem to be counting steps as they dance. What emanates from them is a “look how well I dance.”
  • The controller takes up a lot of space. He likes to dance and takes advantage of it to seduce. Above all, it gives him an opportunity to be watched. What emanates from it is a “look at me.”

What kind of car do you prefer? The following description tells you which personality, in you, influences the choice:

  • the fugitive prefers a car with dark colors, which goes unnoticed;
  • the dependent prefers a comfortable car, different from the norm;
  • the masochist chooses a small car, where he feels cramped;
  • the rigid prefers a classic car, with good performance, because he wants it to match what he has spent.
  • – The controller buys a powerful car, which will be noticed;

The way of sitting indicates what is going on in a person as he talks or listens:

  • the fugitive makes himself small in the chair, and he really likes to hide his feet under his thighs. Since he is not rooted to the ground, he can then more easily escape;
  • the dependent sinks into the chair or chair, or leans against something, for example, the armrest of a neighboring chair, or the back of his own. The upper back is tilted forward;
  • the masochist sits with wide legs. Since he mostly chooses an unsuitable chair or armchair, he seems to be uncomfortable;
  • the rigid person sits upright. He may even tighten his legs against each other and align them with his body, which will further accentuate the rigidity of his posture. When he crosses his legs and arms, it is so that he does not feel what is happening.
  • the controller sits leaning his torso back, with his arms crossed when he listens. When he is the speaker he leans forward to better persuade his interlocutor;


  • the fugitive’s greatest fear is panic. He does not realize it because he eclipses just before panic seizes him, and very often in the event that panic might be possible. The people around him, on the other hand, notice very well because it is the eyes that almost always betray him.
  • the dependent’s greatest fear is loneliness. He does not see it because he does his best never to be alone. When this happens, however, he may give himself to understand that he is fine alone, not realizing at all that he is always feverishly searching for something to keep him busy to pass the time. In the absence of a physical presence, it is the television or the telephone that will keep him company. For people who know him, it is easier to see and especially perceive this great fear of loneliness of his, even when he is around people: even in his case it is his sad eyes that betray him.
  • the masochist’s greatest fear is freedom. He does not believe or feel free because of the many constraints and obligations he has created for himself. The people around him, on the other hand, consider him to be very free, because he generally finds ways to do what he had decided to do. He does not wait for others to show up to make his decisions, and although what he decides will prevent him from being free, in the eyes of others he has all the freedom to decide otherwise if he wanted to. His wide-open eyes on the world show us a great interest in everything and his desire to have many, diverse experiences.
  • the rigid’s greatest fear is coldness. He has difficulty recognizing it because he sees himself as a warm person, who really does his best to make sure that everything is right and harmonious around him. He is also, in general, loyal to his friendships. People around him, however, often see coldness in him, and not only in his eyes, but also in his dry and rigid attitude, especially when he feels he has been wrongly accused.
  • the controller’s greatest fears are dissociation and disavowal. He does not realize that he himself creates conflict or problematic situations for the purpose of no longer talking to a given person. Although he draws separations or situations to himself in which he will disown someone, he does not realize that he is afraid of them. In fact, he gives himself to understand that these separations or disavowals are the best thing for him. He thinks that this way he will not be fooled again. The fact that he is a people person and is easily open to new acquaintances prevents him from seeing how many people he has set aside in his life. The people around him realize this more easily. Again, it is his eyes that betray him: they become hard and can almost be frightening, so much so that they push others away when he is angry.