What is the inner child and how does a person access it?

It is a well documented fact that human beings react better to visual stimuli than most other forms of demonstrating complex, abstract concepts. Using the image of an inner child helps people to put their positive and negative childhood experiences into perspective and acknowledge them as part and parcel of what makes us who we are as adults.

Most therapies and trains of thought within the field of psychology are based on the assumption that human beings store their childhood experiences and draw on them throughout their lives.

While positive childhood experiences create a healthy, happy inner child, where a person is able to draw on positive resources like joie de vivre, spontaneity, creativity and a readiness to embrace emotions, be they good or bad, childhood trauma and negative experiences disrupt the connection to a person’s inner child and such resources. Inner child activities aim to reconcile an adult with their inner child and to heal the wounds inflicted in the past.

The broken connection with their inner child signifies a person’s desire to put some distance between themselves and the hurt or trauma they experienced in their formative years –eventually a person’s ability to act and react as a fully rounded grown up individual will be severely limited by shutting out and isolating the inner child.

People with a disrupted connection to their inner child develop an instable, distorted image of themselves, which in turn causes them to be extremely sensitive to critique and loss of love. As self esteem is not developed fully, a person develops an exaggerated dependency on the goodwill and approval of others. This eventually leads to an increased anxiety to be abandoned and to be unloved, dominating a person’s life to the gradual exclusion of other emotions and the ability to embrace life to the full.

Inner child healing uses various exercises to enable clients to access and accept their inner child. The client learns as part of the healing process to look after their inner child with care and compassion.

Used as part of inner child therapy images can assist clients in accepting their hitherto isolated and unloved self. Inner child therapy using Cards for Life for example can draw on positive affirmations such as “I am welcome here” or “I’m simply loveable” as a starting point for discussion between therapist and client. Learn more about it here.

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