World Dictionary definition – Inner Child-n – Psychol – the part of the psyche believed to retain feelings as they were experienced in childhood.

‘Not everyone was mistreated or abused as a child. No one really knows how many people grow up with a healthy amount and quality of love, guidance and other nurturing. I estimate perhaps 5 – 20%. This means that from 80 to 95% of people did not receive the love, guidance and other nurturing necessary to form consistently healthy relationships, and to feel good about themselves and about what they do’.Charles Whitfield MD

Behind our masks is a child in hiding longing to be loved.

If we subscribe to the premise that there is no such thing as a ‘functional family’, one simply doesn’t exist, we are all if we are aware of it or not a product of our early conditioning and most of us are not aware or deny the importance of our Inner Child.

Every family dynamic is unique and each child’s needs are different. Only by identifying which of the child’s needs were not met, feeling where the inner void is and ultimately grieving for the loss can healing begin. This is Inner Child Work.

When the Child within is not nurtured or allowed freedom of expression, a false or co-dependent self emerges. The inner child adds its childhood viewpoints into our adult outlook, particularly our ideas regarding relationships, love and self esteem. We begin to live our lives from a victim stance and can experience difficulties in resolving emotional traumas. The slow build up of unresolved mental and emotional hurts can lead us to anxiety, fear, confusion, emptiness and unhappiness.

There are many facets to Inner Child Therapy and I have realised over the years that clients needs vary as to which technique optimizes healing. For some talking about their childhood experiences releases some of the pain, others may prefer writing or drawing about it. For others, especially if memories are suppressed, profound healing takes place on a deeper level. Using Hypnotherapy and guided imagery the child can be connected to, listened to, rescued, loved and nurtured- the Adult part of us can now give the child what is needed.

It is through healing our Inner child, by grieving for the wounds that we suffered that we can change our behaviour patterns and clear our emotional blockages. We can release the grief with it’s pent up anger, shame, terror and pain from those feeling places which exist within us.

Re-parenting ourselves, giving the child we were another opportunity to fulfil the developmental needs which our parents/carers could not give us and by honouring and owning the child’s experiences and feelings and releasing the emotional grief energy that we are still carrying around will take us back to the complete soul we were on starting this life’s journey.