Updated: Nov 2
Did you know you have an inner child? Everyone does. Sometimes we just have not acknowledged our inner child, interacted with him/her, or given them attention they could desperately use.
Internal Family Systems, a therapy used to help heal trauma, acknowledges that we are made of many parts. We have our inner child, protectors, true self, exiles, managers, fire fighters and more. In this article I will be focusing on the inner child.
The inner child is the most innocent part of yourself who initially was exposed to the world. You could have gone through a difficult time when you were younger that wounded your inner child. Sometimes the inner child gets so wounded through childhood trauma (dysfunctional parents, getting bullied at school, death of a loved one) that you may not know what to do with them and end up sticking them on a shelf to deal with later. Even though you put them away, they are still there.
As long as your inner child is wounded and you ignore them, you will also attract people in your life (narcissists) who also ignore and may even wound your inner child even further. Narcissist, who are known for bullying, using harmful sarcasm, and emotional abuse do not care about your inner child. When you start taking the time to get to know your inner child and give them attention through inner child exercises – you will build trust with your inner child and learn how to heal and protect him/her.
Some exercises to get to know your inner child:
1. Print out a photo of yourself when you were young. Spend time looking at this photo and empathizing with this younger version of yourself.
2. Ask your inner child a question and use your non dominant hand to write down an answer
3. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Shut your eyes and visualize your inner child. Are they afraid, alone, are they bleeding because they are wounded, are they playing, or are they happy to see you? What is your inner child wearing and doing? Introduce yourself as your older self to your younger self.
Try making it a regular practice to get to know your inner child.
When I first introduced myself to my inner child she was not in good shape. I had ignored her for so long that she was alone, hurt and afraid. Through EMDR therapy I was able to have a break through session to heal my inner child. Now that I take time for my inner child I feel more confident, brave, in tune, and aware.
The above therapies are all good ways to help heal your inner child.
Adult Children of Alcoholics & Dysfunctional Families (ACA) is a wonderful program to attend if you grew up with an alcoholic parent or dysfunctional family. In this program you will attend meetings with other safe travelers who are also working on healing their inner child.
When you start taking time for your inner child, something inside of you will shift. You will start loving yourself more and caring for yourself more because you will be aware of this part of yourself that needs your attention and protection. If you need help developing a relationship with your inner child which helps facilitates healing, reach out. I will kindly and gently help you learn to love yourself and facilitate deeper subconscious healing. I am IFS informed and can provide fabulous referrals for EMDR therapy as well! Take Care of Your Inner Child ❤️