Healing The Inner Child.
What is Inner Child Work?
Inner child work, or healing, is a way to address our needs that haven't been met as children and heal the attachment wounds we've developed. We all have a younger part of ourselves that was never quite loved the right way or the way they needed as a child,
Like any type of inner work, inner child healing involves creating a space where your subconscious is allowed to take the lead. It is the act of going inside ourselves, to explore our true feelings and parts of us that may have been rejected and labeled as "inappropriate" or "too much" by others.
By allowing ourselves time to go within, we begin peeling back our everyday coping mechanisms (being avoidant, numbing of our feelings, etc.) and are able to fully accept and integrate our subconscious into consciousness.
What Type of Work is Inner Child Healing?
Inner child work in trauma therapy, Past Work, Internal Family Systems, EMDR, sensorimotor psychotherapy, somatic work, Gestalt work, art therapy, and story or narrative therapy.
What is truly special about inner child work is its intention to speak to our inner child through their language, a language that is emotionally based and embodied, rather than expressed through intellectual thoughts and words.
Our inner child is a representation of ourselves at multiple points in our childhood, and we can have inner children from various ages. This part of us is very much connected to our natural enthusiasm, curiosity, and creativity we experienced as actual children. When you get in touch with your inner child, you can connect with their qualities and experiences at the time. You can even physically feel how they felt.
As children, we are also very impressionable, readily absorbing what our environments and caretakers teach us and how they treat us. Inner child wounds, or attachment wounds, can occur when there is either a traumatic event or chronic rupture without repair.
For children, a rupture without repair can look like crying out for help but being unheard by an emotionally unavailable caretaker. Ruptures also happen in our daily lives throughout adulthood, from when someone forgets to hold the door open for us at the store or when a friend doesn't say hi to us.
How we internalize them determines if the experience stays a wound or if it becomes processed right there. In adulthood, we have a chance to heal our wounded inner child and create the safe, secure inner and outer environments our younger selves always wanted.
Why is Inner Child Healing Important ?
As adults, we walk around carrying wounds from our childhood, whether it's simple or complex trauma, from emotional neglect to physical abuse. Many adults feel they're alone with these hurts and feelings, and so they cover them up because they feel like that's "what other grown-ups do."
That's why inner child healing is so important, to remind ourselves that we're not wrong or bad. To heal the shame that comes with just having feelings. By healing our inner child, we begin to create the safety and security our younger selves have always needed. By doing so, the positive traits of our inner child have room to shine.
We unlock our natural gifts, our inner curiosity, and our limitless capacity to love. On the other hand, when we avoid addressing our past hurts and feel alone with them, they transform into behaviors destructive to ourselves and our environment, such as workaholism, alcoholism, or racism. When we heal the inner child, we heal generations. We heal the world. We literally affect one another; that's what coregulation is.
Sign Your Inner Child Needs Healing.
Feeling highly reactive.
You can notice when your wounded inner child appears in your daily life when you find yourself highly reactive to situations, suddenly feeling very detached or irritated. Our adult self is trying to manage or control the outside that's making them feel uncomfortable on the inside.
2. Overvaluing independence.
This can look like repeating the narrative "I don't need anyone" and not allowing yourself to ask for any help.
3. Destructive coping behaviors
This can look like coping through too much alcohol, shopping, cheating, gambling, food, and even chronic procrastination.
4. Poor emotional and mental health.
This can show up in a multitude of ways, including:
Wanting more and more time alone or with friends (avoidance manifesting in different ways)
Not wanting to have sex or wanting more sex to keep partner connected
Weight gain or loss
Not as focused or productive at work
Increased anxiety in different areas of life
5. Repeating patterns in your relationships
People with attachment wounds tend to unconsciously recreate attachment patterns they experienced as a child in their adult relationships, whether romantic or not. This means they're essentially repeating patterns of childhood trauma.
Enacting an attachment pattern can look like:
Being avoidant during conflict or when a partner brings up their feelings
Being dismissive of a partner's needs or your own needs in the relationship
Gaslighting yourself into believing that there aren't problems when there are, or vice versa
Being anxious or fearful within the relationship; therefore, trying to please partner above all else
Having a deep fear of being abandoned or rejected by your partner.
Would you like to know more about Inner Child works, and How To Connect To Your Inner Child?
Grab a copy of my 'Healing the Inner Child Workbook'.
It has a 'Self Parenting Journaling Prompts' that can help you:
✨Become aware of your inner conversations
✨Develop trust within yourself (self-trust, my friends!)
✨Create a safe, supportive inner environment
As you go through your day to day life, be mindful of your self-talk and what you think about. Stay as positive and as high vibe as you can, and we hope you join us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube for more inspiration as you get on your way to a more fulfilling life and a higher state of being!
LET'S KEEP IN TOUCH!