Inner Child

Inner Child Work

What is it and why do we need to do it?

Rediscovering the inner child

Look at a photo of yourself when you were a child. What do you see? What do you remember? How do you feel? If it is all happy memories and fun, then maybe you don’t need to read this. But most of us had some trauma in our childhood. Maybe you have lost someone you loved, been bullied, experienced neglect or abuse, or simply never felt safe.

At the same time, this child in the picture loved to play, explore, learn, laugh with friends, and enjoy all the positive aspects of life. They also had coping mechanisms to deal with difficulties.

But as adults, we physically look nothing like the child from the picture. So where has this child gone?

No matter how old we are, our inner child remains within us. Just because we are in an adult’s body doesn’t mean that the child part of us doesn’t exist anymore. Yet it does and subconsciously, quite often, our inner child is in control when we are in a difficult situation.

As children, we learn to adapt to the environment and develop coping mechanisms to deal with the things that hurt us. We then carry those coping strategies into adulthood, and when triggered, we may react with a sudden outburst of fear, anger, or jealousy without intention.

Exploring Past Trauma

In transactional analysis (TA), the term “inner child” is used to describe the individual’s childlike aspect, which is an unconscious part of who we are. If, as a child, we have been mistreated and had to deal with a lot of negativity, we might have learned to internalise that negativity. We might have started thinking that we deserve to be treated badly.

Adults with a wounded inner child often fear abandonment and feel unloved, no matter how hard people try to show them the opposite. They may feel guilty about things that are out of their control. They may have developed trust issues as a defence mechanism because they have been hurt too many times in childhood. They may also often struggle to set and maintain boundaries. Anger issues are also common.

Inner Child

If, as an adult, you often feel any of the above without a logical reason, you might not have overcome the trauma that happened to you as a child. Looking back and exploring your past trauma could help you better understand your behaviours and get to the roots of your fears.

Healing your inner child might start with simply expressing yourself without shame, without being judged, and might help you to accept, respect, and love that part of you which you might have tried to keep hidden for so long.

Get in touch

If you want to rediscover your inner child, contact the Nightingale team. You can either call us on 0141 353 9373 or use the contact form on our Contact Page.

Dafina Ganeva

Nightingale Counsellor, Therapist, Couple Counsellor and Parenting Consultant

No matter how old we are, our inner child remains within us. Just because we are in an adult’s body doesn’t mean that the child part of us doesn’t exist anymore.

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