Inner Child practice or therapy can take the form of a workshop, it can be a form of regressional therapy given during a healing practice or it can be part of an integral personal daily practice for long term spiritual development. What I hope to do here is to introduce you to the core concept and explain how I can guide your further.
There have been many explanations of the Inner Child practice over the last century. Freud identified a connection between our childhood psychological development and our current behaviours and habits. And, where there has been much critique over the deep causes of these primary developmental stages, there has been much development in the ability to neurtalise these early developmental energies. It is with this understanding that we set out to modify our current behaviours and habits. Alongside these basic premises, we have developed the ability to gain a profound insight into our whole emotional history. This is where Inner Child work is considered to be a tangible and practical way for us to understand our deeper psyche and mend or heal past wounds and traumas that are holding us back from thriving and being whole.
Dream Work and Interpretation
For bringing you into a full and nurturing relationship with your Inner Child, we will use a technique of Dream Work. In Dream Work you will request from your Inner Child messages through the sleeping and dreaming process that we will interpret and work with in order to appease the Inner Child part of your emotional self. I have found that this is a very profound and effective method in recieving information from a subconscious level that we need to re-harmonize ourselves with our Inner Child, and to heal and grow.
More on the Inner Child
Healing the Child Within
The child within refers to that part of each of us which is ultimately alive, energetic, creative and fulfilled; it is our Real Self—who we truly are. With our parents’ unknowing help and society’s assistance, most of us deny our Inner Child. When this Child Within is not nurtured or allowed freedom of expression, a false or co-dependent self emerges. We begin to live our lives from a victim stance, and experience difficulties in resolving emotional traumas. The gradual accumulation of unfinished mental and emotional business can lead to chronic anxiety, fear, confusion, emptiness and unhappiness. Denial of the Child Within and the subsequent emergence of a false self or negative ego are particularly common among children and adults who grew up in troubled families. Yet, there is a way out. There is a way to discover and to heal our Child Within and to break free of the bondage and suffering from relying on our false self.
The Drama of the Gifted Child
The damage done to us during our childhood cannot be undone, since we cannot change anything in our past. We can, however, change ourselves. We can repair ourselves and gain our lost integrity by choosing to look more closely at the knowledge that is stored inside our bodies and bringing this knowledge closer to our awareness. This path, although certainly not easy, is the only route by which we can at last leave behind the cruel, invisible prison of our childhood. We become free by transforming ourselves from unaware victims of the past into responsible individuals in the present, who are aware of our past and are thus able to live with it.
The Anatomy of A Calling
I now spend a lot of time practicing various versions of an Inner Child Meditation. Rather than judging or resisting the meltdowns of my Small Self, I finally realised she calms down much more quickly if I just treat her like a beloved child who needs my help. I ask her what she needs, listen patiently to what she wants me to hear, and promise her that she doesn’t have to worry about any of it anymore, reassuring her that I am an adult and can handle it for her, so she can relax and go play. I let her express whatever emotions she might feel-sadness, fear, anger-and I sit with her emotions without belittling her or making her wrong for feeling what she feels. Then I comfort her until she feels better, holding her in my arms like I would my own daughter.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child
As children, we were very vulnerable. We got hurt very easily. A stern look from our father could make us unhappy. A strong word from our mother could cause a wound in our heart. As a young child, we have a lot of feelings but it’s difficult to express ourself. We try and try. Sometimes, even if we can find the words, the adults around us can’t hear us, don’t listen, or won’t allow us to talk. We can go home to ourselves and talk to our little child, listen to our child, and respond directly to him. I myself have done this, even though I received love and care from my parents. This practice has helped me tremendously. The child is still there and may be deeply wounded. We have neglected the child in us for a longtime. We have to come back and comfort, love, and care for the child within us.