What usually brings people into my office is pain and suffering from which they seek relief. Once they develop an awareness of the obvious and underlying causes of that pain and suffering, they start to feel better. The crisis passes and changes are made (ending a bad relationship, leaving a job). Awareness is developed by exploring family history, understanding the present manifestations of that history and developing an appreciation of the unconscious.
Whereas the treatment described above focuses on eliminating or reducing pain and suffering by developing self-awareness, healing seeks to restore an individual to wholeness, to make him/her sound. It is more complicated, deeper and harder to achieve. It involves a process of shoring up an existing psychological foundation or possibly building a foundation anew. Sometimes it involves a spiritual component. The work is deeper, longer and more difficult. It requires an investment of time, commitment, money and trust. It is process-oriented rather than solution-oriented.
The desire to become ones highest self involves a process of internal transformation. The focus is on developing what the Yoruba call “Iwa Pele” or “good character.” It is only when someone is far along on the healing path can he/she even begin to think of transformation into the person he/she was meant to be or has the capacity to be. No longer do suffering and wounds from the past hinder. There exists a very sophisticated level of self-awareness. One of the goals of transformation is to contribute in a positive way to the world.