Inner Child Therapy
You could say we all have an Inner Child or Children. If childhood went relatively smoothly and we got enough of what we needed, then our inner child may come out as our sense of fun and playfulness.
However, where there have been attachment issues, trauma, loss or painful transitions in childhood, inner children are often younger parts of ourselves that have become frozen at a particular age or stage of development.
Finding and Healing the Inner Child
As a sensitive, nurturing and sometimes playful practitioner, I can support you to identify, connect with and attend to younger wounded or traumatised parts of yourself. I facilitate inner child therapy through a range of media: Grounding exercises to support you to feel safe and present; Mindful enquiry, in which we use moment-to-moment bodily awareness to ‘listen’ for/to younger parts; Symbolic work such as using stones, toys or an empty chair to facilitate interactions between parts; Writing, drawing, modelling, play and stories.
Benefits of Inner Child Therapy
When we find ourselves having exaggerated emotional reactions to situations in our adult lives, it is often a sign that a younger part is activated. In recognising and turning towards these young parts we create the distance we need from our emotional reaction to support them.
Our inner children, with their inexperience and early developmental level, their sometimes deep wounding and trauma, their strong feelings of anxiety, rage, grief and loss, are not equipped to deal with the stuff of adult life. Yet so often we leave it to them to run our lives. In my experience, when we care for our inner children and lift the burden of adult life from their shoulders, our lives become less stressful. We find ourselves free to respond to life more cleanly from the present.
Inner child therapy is particularly helpful if you have experienced sexual, physical or emotional abuse or neglect or some other trauma in childhood. I like to think of it as the two of us gently going back to ‘collect’ your child self who was left behind in a painful situation.
You and I will work together to listen to the child’s experience and learn how they see the world. Inner children often continue to live in the trauma long after we have grown up. They need us to ‘update’ them, letting them know the trouble has past and that we can keep them safe now.