A lot of our “psychological baggage” as adults is the result of unresolved trauma from childhood.
In order to heal this emotional damage, it’s helpful to start at the source—the age when the trauma happened.
This is what us therapists call “Inner Child Work.”
Connecting with our inner child requires us to cultivate our inner observer, which is the part of ourselves that’s able to call out the discrepancy between our false self and true self.
Sigmund Freud—the OG of psychology—was the first to call this our consciousness.
Often when our childhood wounds are triggered, we experience “fragmenting” or “splitting.”
Fragmenting is the surfacing of other “selves” or “ego states” that have different ages, emotions, and ways of behaving.
How we become fragmented also stems from our early years.
Our parents/caregivers were our first teachers who provided us with a foundation for how we love and view the world.
Until the brain develops critical thinking and reasoning skills, a child is highly dependent upon those who care for them.
A child needs healthy mirroring, or validation of their being, in order to feel seen, heard, and loved.
In some family dynamics, there’s a lack of healthy mirroring, which may be due to a parent’s own negative childhood experience, physical or mental illness, abuse, or addiction.
As a result, a child will learn to hide parts of the self, causing a false self to emerge in order to receive validation.
Depending on the home, the false self can even stay under the radar.
As the false self arises, we lack an anchor or connection to our body and our feelings.
This distance from our own somatic (or bodily) experiences and emotions results in abandonment of the self.
The new false self is created to respond to others’ needs, which is known as ‘acting in agency’.
In other therapeutic modalities, “accommodation” and “enmeshment” refer to similar phenomena.
The earlier in life that we develop a false self, the more it becomes ingrained in us, and the harder it can be to overcome later.
As we move through life, this pattern of acting in agency can contribute to immune system stress, and undermine our sense of resiliency, often resulting in physical and emotional suffering.
And that’s no good.
That’s why our skilled therapists are here to help you access your Inner Child by using a variety of research proven techniques.
One technique we use is called guided visualization.
Guided visualization actively works to heal childhood wounds through visualizing and participating in a dialogue with the younger self.
We also work on building your mindfulness skills and somatic awareness, so you can better anchor your body and increase your attention to somatic cues, which are connected to your emotions.
While we can’t erase psychological scars, trauma, and pain, we can heal them and change our experience of them by creating a more empowered way of relating to our past and present selves.
STEPS TO HEALING THE INNER CHILD
Here’s a breakdown of the steps we help our patients take in order to heal their inner child:
- First of all, you have to acknowledge that you have an inner child. We’ll help you come to terms with your past trauma and the fact that you may not be fully healed from it. The healing process can’t begin until you are willing to start. Makes sense, right?
- You need to connect with your Inner Child’s feelings. This can be anything from anger and insecurity to feelings of anxiety and guilt. These feelings can surface in different ways, like for example, when situations don’t go your way.
- As we mentioned before, we can walk you through the letter writing process. This can help you understand why you acted certain ways as a child and how that translates to your present life.
- Strangely enough, you can also connect with your inner child by playing! This can be helpful if you had a really negative childhood or only remember traumatic experiences.
It’s extremely important to take breaks in your work and adult life, and incorporating play and making time to have fun can be one step toward healing your Inner Child.
OUR INNER CHILD THERAPY METHODS
Therapy can successfully improve your life by helping you minimize the anxiety in your life, identify and change underlying thought and behavioral patterns that contribute to your struggles, and provide you with strategies to decrease discomfort while restoring an overall sense of peace.
To experience true and lasting joy in our life, we must face and conquer our pain by healing our underlying trauma and confronting our fears.
Our evidence-based, scientifically proven interventions are demonstrated by research to be effective in healing depression, anxiety, low-self esteem, and trauma that get in the way of healing our inner child.
WANT TO TALK? SPEAK WITH AN INNER CHILD EXPERT NOW
If you have any questions, contact one of our inner child specialists for a free consultation any time.