Recognizing Core Wounds and How to Heal

Jeff gives an overview of the four types of core wounds. He explains the lies that we believe, how they impact our relationships and behaviors, and concludes with a few simple steps we can take to start the healing process.

Snippet from the Show

When suffering from a core wound, the most important first step is identifying it. Then, you can invite God to help you start the healing process. 



BIY Virtual Conference on February 18-20:

There will be four main sessions beginning Friday night and ending on Sunday afternoon. Each session explores a different dimension of continuing a life immersed in the Word of God, and each session will include a presentation either by Father Mike or Jeff Cavins, an opportunity for fellowship with other Bible in a Year listeners, an interactive prayer experience, and the chance to reflect on what you’ve experienced, either in your virtual small group or on your own. 

Seating is limited! Sign up here: 

Additional Resource for Today’s Topic:

Today’s topic is wounds of the heart. Jeff has an in-depth resource that can further help you deal with the suffering in your life and offer it up to Jesus. The book is When You Suffer and can be found at

Disclaimer: Jeff Cavins is not a psychologist, but shares these observations on suffering based on his time serving and helping people during his years as a pastor. These are general observations on the symptoms of suffering and basic recommendations for ways to begin healing.

Introduction to Core Wounds

Each core wound speaks of different lies we believe and vows we have made to ourselves that keep us bound and unhealed. These influence our perception of reality and dictate our behavior.

NOTE: Not everyone has a core wound! But if you do, it is important to be made aware of it so you can start to heal it and invite God’s grace into the healing process.

“When God sees sin, he sees pain in our lives” -St. Julian of Norwich

General questions to ask when considering wounds:

What do you believe in your heart about yourself? (A lie)

What do you believe in your heart about others that’s not true? (A judgment)

Have you managed the lies and the judgments, or sought to silence them with vows that we take?

Only the light of Jesus Christ can shed light on these things and help us take care of them.

The Four Types of Core Wounds (and How Jesus Responds)

  1. Rejection

a. The Result: a need for attention.

b. Negative Awareness: “I do not count;” “I am overlooked.”

c. Lies Believed: “I am not important;” “I have no value;” “I am not desired.”

d. Vows Made: “I will never let myself be rejected by anyone;” “I will meet everyone else’s needs and please them so I will be liked and needed.”

e. The Truth: Jesus will never reject you. 

John 6:37 “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me.”

  1. Abandonment 

a. The Result: a need for affection. Self-indulgence and self-medication become coping mechanisms.

b. Negative Awareness: “I am not connected” “I am not loved.”

c. Lies Believed: “I am all alone” “No one understands or cares”

e. Vows Made: “I will never get close to anyone” “I have to grasp for my needs” “I will fill      my emptiness with food, sex, drugs and/or work.”

e. The Truth: Jesus will not leave you or forsake you. 

John 14:18 “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”  

Heb 13:5 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”

  1. Helplessness

a. The Result: a deep need for approval. Often paired with self-hatred.

b. Negative Awareness: “I am not competent” “I am not good enough.”

c. Lies Believed: “I don’t know what to do” “I can’t change it” “I am a failure” “I feel trapped.”

e. Vows Made: “I will prove myself; I will not fail” I will never show weakness, etc.”. 

e. The Truth: 

Phil 4:13 “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” 

Is. 40:29-31 “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

  1. Fear 

a. The Result: a need for affirmation. Causes feelings of isolation.

b. Negative Awareness: “I have no courage” “I will have to do it all myself.”

c. Lies Believed: “If I trust I will be hurt” “Something bad will happen.”

d. Vows Made: “I will take all kinds of risks to show I am not afraid” “I am not going  to do anything to risk, because I will just get hurt (play it safe”) “I will protect myself (walls, control, etc.)

e. The Truth: 

Is. 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” 

Matt. 10:31 “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

How to Start Healing Core Wounds

“The LORD said to Cain, ““Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.’” (Gen. 4:6-7)

What is important is identifying these core wounds, and perhaps how they began, and then to start addressing them.

1. Be honest with yourself.

2. Take it to the Lord in confession.

3. Identify how the Lord can heal that wound and allow him to address it, and dress it.

4. Stay in the Word of God and memorize a verse for each wound that pertains to you.

The good news is that these wounds can be addressed and dressed!


Ascension is pleased to offer our new and improved online bible study programs and sacramental preparation programs digitally to help you minister with flexibility. Go to to view all our offerings

Meet Your Host: Jeff Cavins

Jeff Cavins is passionate about helping people understand Scripture and become disciples of Jesus Christ. Though he was born Catholic, Jeff went to Bible school and served as a protestant minister for twelve years before reverting to the Catholic Faith. Jeff then received his MA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Since then, he has become a leading Catholic evangelist and author.

Jeff created The Bible Timeline learning system, which revolutionized Catholic Bible Study for millions of Catholics. Since its introduction, Jeff has developed The Great Adventure series of Bible studies to help people better understand Sacred Scripture and its meaning for their lives. 

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Never Miss an Episode!

Get show notes, exclusive bonus content, and more sent straight to your inbox.