The term Identity, being a fairly clinical term, somwhat masks the richness and profit of quietly delving into this aspect of personhood.
Identity involves all of who we are. It includes our histories and our hopes, our joys, our sorrows. Identity is all that makes me, me. Its just that our Identity becomes more clear as we process our fragmented parts and become more integrated and whole; our sense of self becomes more solid. Finding a greater sense of Identity is much about self-acceptance.
Often there are forms of rejection operating strongly within a person. These rejected parts have been needfully put in place to cope with excessive emotion (either needs or rejection) experienced by a person in their formative years. This process gives rise to ‘idealised’ parts of ourselves.
One of my great joys in working as a counsellor is in working in longer term relationships with clients (2 years or more). This is where there is opportunity to see deep changes take place over time, particularly in terms of Identity and in terms of the kinds of things they are now able to tackle.
More than just treating symptoms, learning the art and skills of deep self acceptance is essential in allowing the real self to emerge.
I am pretty sure the nature of this work represents what St Paul was talking about in 2 Cor 5 when he says …..”Be reconciled to Christ.”