All of us have an inner child – it is that part of us that has been hurt, rejected, scolded, or in some cases abused or traumatised.
Inner child therapy has been proven to confront, or deal with any painful memories that have been lurking within since childhood. Whether you have experienced a major trauma as a child or not, it’s safe to say that none of us come through childhood completely unscathed! Even a cross word from a family member or a fall off a bike may have been traumatic at a young age. So all of us can benefit from getting to know our inner child.
Communicating with our inner child can help us identify fears that we have had for years and we can learn to be more accepting of ourselves, build upon our self-esteem and love ourselves unconditionally.
Many of us have rejected our own inner child and need to go within to find him or her. It is a process and can take some time to do. But starting with a couple of simple exercises can help. (If you have experienced major trauma as a child it may be advisable to carry out any inner child work with a trained professional, rather than on your own).
Take a few minutes to relax, take some deep breaths and gradually still your mind. When you feel relaxed and calm, focus your intention on meeting your inner child. Allow a vision of that child to come to you. He or she may be any age. Try to get an idea of what he or she looks like. What are they wearing? What are they doing? Are they happy or sad? Are they looking at you? Go up to the child in your mind and introduce yourself. Tell them you are the grownup version of them. See if you get any response. Provide reassurance to your inner child - let your child know that you’re here for them. Reassure your child that you love him or her unconditionally and that you will always be here to take care of them. See if the child responds to you in any way. Be aware that the child may be upset or angry with you. Reassure them that is OK.
On a separate occasion, prepare yourself to communicate with your inner child. Take a pen and pad and write down the following questions:
How old are you?
Are you happy to talk to me?
What do you enjoy doing?
How are you feeling?
Is there anything you’re unhappy about?
Is there anything you would like to know from me?
Is there anything you would like to tell me?
Then prepare yourself by sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and allowing your mind to become calm. This may take a few minutes. When you are ready, set your intention to communicate with your inner child and allow an image of them to form in your head. Reassure your child they are loved. Take out your pen and put it in your non-dominant hand. Ask the questions to the child and write your responses (if you are right handed, write them with your left hand). You may find your child is very talkative. On the other hand, they may not wish to communicate with you at all. If they don’t want to talk, that is fine, let them know you are here to listen and you that they can talk whenever they are ready. Make sure you give your child plenty of love and reassurance. When you have finished, thank your child for working with you.
Prepare in the same way you have for the other exercises. Take out a piece of paper and hold your pen, pencil or crayon in your non-dominant hand. Set your intention to communicate with your inner child and allow an image of them to form in your head. Reassure your child they are loved. Then ask them to draw a picture of themselves. With your non-dominant hand, start to draw and see what emerges on the paper. Once the picture is finished, thank your inner child for working with you.
If your inner child has been quite talkative or expressive, you may have learnt quite a bit from what they were saying. Often if we have neglected our inner child for many years, they are angry with us and may not trust us to communicate. Just keep communicating and reassuring them. You can apologise for not having spoken to them for a long time and reassure them that you are here for them now.
If anything you learn through these dialogues troubles you, you may wish to explore this with a trained professional.
Lindsay Heath is a hypnotherapist and energy healer helping people to achieve lasting change. Find out more.