What is the Inner Child?
Inner Child Therapy focuses on the core beliefs that we hold about ourselves, about others and about the world around us. These beliefs are learned during our early childhood when we are young, and do not possess the ability to determine whether the information we are basing our beliefs on is correct or not. Because this process occurs at such an early stage the information and beliefs we learn, and that continue on into adulthood, seem like an absolute truth because it has always been that way.
If we have an emotionally stable upbringing with positive experiences then the beliefs we learn about ourselves and others are likely to serve us well, as we will develop positive beliefs about ourselves and others.
If, however, we have an unstable or difficult or distressing upbringing, with little or no support, then we are likely to develop limiting and mistaken beliefs about ourselves and others, such as ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I can’t get anything right’, ‘No one can be trusted’ etc.
These mistaken beliefs learned during childhood remain with us and continue to be active, although often without our conscious awareness, causing difficulty in our lives as they affect our decision making, self-esteem, our relationships and more. However, because these beliefs are outside of our conscious awareness we feel confused and irritated because there is a ‘conflict’ between our logic and our emotions and behaviours. Ever thought something like "I know I shouldn’t feel/think/do this... but I can't help it"? That's your unconscious inner child at work.
Using Inner Child Therapy
In Inner Child Therapy, we work on the premise that the ‘inner child’, the part of our unconscious mind where the memories and beliefs of childhood are held, can be communicated with and those mistaken and limiting beliefs can be changed.
You will be assisted in accessing the specific information, through your unconscious mind, that enables you to get to the root cause of any ongoing problems and unwanted behaviours.
Using specific techniques, such as transactional analysis, your ‘adult’ part, with assistance from the therapist, is able to give your ‘child’ part appropriate information, love and support which are the components needed to change those mistaken and negative beliefs. Changing the perspective of the ‘child’ part allows both the ‘adult’ and ‘child’ part to have positive and matching beliefs about the self and experience emotional freedom.
Why Inner Child Therapy Works
Regardless of whether the root cause of a problem is outside of a person’s conscious awareness or whether they do have conscious knowledge of the root cause, the experiences attached to that root cause are usually surrounded by intense feelings of guilt and shame.
Children will accept blame very easily and in some cases they are encouraged to do so by unhealthy adults who use children to project their own negative feelings upon. Children rely upon their parents and other adults to provide appropriate information and guidance on how to safely function in life, but if the child’s parents or adults around them do not provide this information the child is at risk of making mistakes, feeling guilty and ashamed, and developing negative and mistaken beliefs about themselves.
In order to resolve these issues of blame, shame and guilt from which the mistaken beliefs have developed (and that remain within the unconscious mind), the gap between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind must be bridged. This is achieved by utilising metaphor, visualisation, appropriate information and guidance.
Inner Child Therapy allows you to develop an understanding of how and why problems have developed and how to resolve the mistaken beliefs that are holding you back from being your true self and living the life that you are meant to.
How does Inner Child Therapy work in practice?
Inner Child work is structured, with a clear beginning, middle and end. Unlike some therapy models, Inner Child Therapy work can gently and effectively deal with specific problems or distressing experiences without the client having to go into detail or talk about their past, which can be very difficult for some people. Inner Child Therapy is designed to work quickly and effectively by resolving the issues at hand and creating lasting change. Unlike some therapies, which may take months or even years, Inner Child Therapy can, on average, be completed in 10 two hour long sessions.
Inner Child Therapy can help with...
- Childhood abuse and neglect
- Lack of confidence and self-esteem
- Stress related problems
- Social problems
- Loss and Grief
- Career problems
- Compulsive behaviour
- Fear and Anger issues
- Traumatic Incidents
- Relationship problems
And much more!