Transformation Through Pain with Barbara Altemus

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On a personal level, pain is a part of life. On a broader scale, our sense of security in the world has been shaken by catastrophic events such as the attacks of 9/11, the tsunami, and hurricane Katrina. How can we avoid burying the fear and the hurt till they harden our hearts and ferment into rage? Drawing on the teachings of Native American spirituality, the elements of nature, and the spirits of loved ones who have passed on, Barbara Altemus has found ways not only to heal from pain, but to transform the spirit in the process. She defines clear strategies for reconnecting to the earth, to our communities, and to our spirituality, so that even in the most difficult times we discover our strength, our beauty, and a greater sense of who we are. "When we're aligned with that greater intelligence - call it what you want, God, Great Mystery, Great Spirit, Buddha - and feel our connection to that greater force and to all the elements and all of life, then we're protected, and we're exactly where we need to be, doing what we need to be doing." Ms. Altemus candidly shares her own struggle to overcome betrayal and loss, and shows us how to move through pain and find our lives richer on the other side. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Barbara Altemus holds master's degrees in psychology and Latin American studies. She has worked in the healing arts for more than twenty-five years, and is an active participant in the international peace movement and is a therapist and life coach.

She is the author of:

  • The Gift of Pain: Transforming Hurt Into Healing (Penguin 2003)

To learn more about the work of Barbara Altemus go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How being in pain can become a habit
  • How you can let go of the expectation of being in pain
  • What you can do to shift out of depression and into healing and joy
  • How you can rediscover your gifts and your sense of purpose
  • Why your connection to the elements of nature can help start the healing process
Host: Justine Willis Toms      Interview Date: 1/6/2006      Program Number: 3128