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Inner Child Work: Healing the Past

Updated: Jun 3

Inner Child is not an abstract concept. We all were children at some point in life going through a number of situations that affect who we are now as adults. How we choose to express ourselves, our reactions and behavioural patterns start to form at the early edge when we learn to make sense of ourselves and the world. According to the theory of Transactional Analysis (TA), Inner Child is one of the three ego-states among Inner Adult and Inner Parent. The ego-state of Inner Child is a collection of all experiences, emotions, thoughts, decisions we had when we were growing up. The hurts we felt, the love we lacked, the beliefs we created. When we integrate these experiences, we unconsciously take them into our adult life. Some of them positively impact our life. Other regrettably make it more difficult. For example, if we grew up in a home with angry or overly critical parents, in our adult life we might carry the pattern of being a pleaser doing anything we can to not provoke a negative response from people around us. This pattern is draining since such people try to make everyone else happy while not recognising their own needs. They also luck healthy boundaries that may result in burnout and resentment.


The Inner Child Work addresses the negative patterns and scenarios and helps to heal childhood traumas.

Another pattern learnt in the childhood is manifested in the need for excessive control. People who were brought up at home without stability and a sense of protection as adults feel the need of control at all times to prevent the vulnerability they felt when they were small. To gain a sense of power, they may often use anger as a weapon. These people don’t like going out of the comfort zone as it makes them feel week and unprotected. They have a hard time to trust others and prefer solving problems themselves even when they need help.


The Inner Child Work addresses the negative patterns and scenarios, that we learnt or inherited as children, and helps to make new decisions and new choices. In the therapy process, we start with gaining awareness of the harmful patterns, learning to recognise them and their impact on our live. We learn to look at them with compassion through bringing the image of our Inner Child doing his or her best at that time. We often thank the Child for creating these patterns as coping mechanisms because they helped us to survive. And we learn to support our Inner Child asking for its exact needs and wants and fulfil them growing in self-love and self-acceptance.


These are just a few aspects that Inner Child work can include. Overall, it is a delicate and complex process that includes facing our pains and sorrows. It includes looking at what we don’t like or feel ashamed of. It can be uncomfortable but is so worth it as a step towards healing the wounded parts of ourselves and reconnecting to our self-worth, our values and wholeness.


If we take responsibility to heal the childhood trauma we have a chance discover how free and joyous our Inner Child can feel.


I often complete the therapy process by asking the client to say to their Inner Child: "You it is Me and Me it is You", thus facilitating integration of the healthy Inner Child within themselves.

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