A scar is a result of the body's natural healing process. Sometimes we may not get the opportunity to heal from the emotional wounds we incur. In our design process we often unpack past events especially during the empathy seeking process but also in all the other phases. As you are trying to understand challenges people have you are bound to unearth an unhealed wound or re-open a scar that did not heal properly.
Initially there is an aversion to wanting people to share in this way so you may avoid or side-step digging into an emotional inflection that you hear. There have even been workshops where people comment in defense of someone else's story. Here is what we did not understand at first and here is what the people"defending" did not take into account.
People will answer questions they are comfortable answering and tell stories they are comfortable sharing especially if you create a safe and transparent space. Much like a physical wound in order for it to close it needs to be tended. That means it needs attention. It needs to be looked at, it needs to be poked, and more pain needs to be released in order for proper healing to take place. Our emotions are the same way. In order for wounds to turn into scars we need to pay attention to them and express them. Sometimes in the process of empathy seeking it will be a person's first time actually healing the wound. Welcome and embrace their bravery.