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Inner Child Healing

What is Inner Child Healing?

Inner Child Healing is a deep and profound psychotherapeutic healing experience. It goes to the source of the problem and cuts through much of the intellectual chatter which prevents us from living our dreams. We connect and heal the inner child in order to become whole and feel joyful and loving. Inner Child Healing is generally done through a combination of traditional talk therapy, guided meditation, heart-centered hypnotherapy, and breathwork. Inner child healing has roots in Jungian therapy as well as addiction recovery work, but is useful for many problems.

Who is the Inner Child?

The inner child is the creative, spontaneous, loving, trusting, confident and spiritual part of us that may have gotten lost or learned to hide earlier in life due to feelings of fear and shame stemming from experiences of trauma and betrayal. This may have been due to abuse, mistreatment, misattunement or misunderstanding in childhood. It is a rare child who has adults around him or her all the time who are able to be fully present to his or her aliveness. As adults, we can return to childhood memories and ‘retrieve’ and heal that lost or hidden part of us to bring creativity, spontaneity, love, trust, confidence and deep spirituality fully back into our lives.

Why do we need to use Inner Child Healing?

As we move gradually through childhood and into adulthood, we face many disappointments in other people and in ourselves. Unless our feelings about these disappointments are acknowledged and validated, we unconsciously hold onto the disappointments and they inform our present approach to the world and to ourselves.

Signs of the Need for Inner Child Healing:

As I work with clients, I see them express sadness or anger about some present disappointment, and then I hear them attack themselves, dismissing their own feelings, minimizing their own problems in relation to those of others, or rationalizing how others are mistreating them. They are not compassionate with themselves as they might be with a good friend.

Also, clients may be blocked in their relationships or their life path, and the loss or wounding of this child part is the reason. Healing the child part can lead to profound changes in attitude and in actual life changes.

How Does it Work?

I usually try to trace back with clients the source of the feelings they are experiencing now. Many times they release grief and resentment from many years in the past, and find themselves finally free of the burden of carrying these old feelings.

Exploration of the Self-Attack:

Often clients are surprised when I explore the tendency to self-attack, as this attitude may feel so natural to them, that they had no idea that they have a choice to treat themselves otherwise. Sometimes the self-attacks are hard to give up because as children they took on the belief that indeed they and their feelings truly were without value.

Old Belief Systems and Old conclusions about the self:

These old belief systems were put into place when they were children. In this healing work we help release those old beliefs, and this allows room for a new understanding, and a new positive approach to themselves and the world.

Letting Go of Mistaken Beliefs and Self-Attack:

It takes a some intensive work to help clients let go of mistaken beliefs and self-attacking behavior, but it is possible, and clients report long-standing depression and anxiety as well as physical symptoms resolving after doing the work.

Healing the Inner Child:

As we let go of mistaken beliefs about ourselves, we can begin to love ourselves, and especially the naïve and trusting child part of us who was once hurt and wounded. As we heal, we can then also begin to love others more deeply. Clients who do this work suddenly find themselves reassessing relationships with partners and with their children, being able to be closer and to offer more caring to others and especially to themselves.

Copyright Francesca Richardson, 2009