How important do you feel healing yourself is before trying to heal others?
It's very important. I think taking care of our own mental and emotional health should be a priority. Especially if we value helping others, or if we work in a helping field. Every mental health professional has a variety of tools for self care, most are created and designed for those who help others.
Slowly....like any injury it takes time for the scar tissue to close the puncture. With time it's closes up, the tenderness is gone but visually it's a reminder of the trauma.
More time passes and it becomes something you remember without real physical/mental pain. You visit it like a spectator watching a video, somewhat detached but aware.
*traumatic pain...physical or emotional can reach a management level if you don't feed it.
My personal experience when i make short visits to my historic past ie...something reminds me or see that person again, I recommit myself to the facts!