INNER CHILD WORK
“Three things are striking about inner child work. The speed with which people change when they do this work; the depth of that change; and the power and creativity that result when the wounds from the past are healed.” — John Bradshaw
A lot of us have a younger part of us still within us called “the inner child.” This part of us — which can be a child, adolescent or young adult — was not seen, heard or treated the way it wanted or hoped, and as a result feels ignored, abandoned or unloved. Memories of such unresolved emotions are carried into our adult lives and often become buried in our subconscious. The younger part within us remains waiting to be found, to be listened to and nurtured, and keeps acting out in attempt to be attended to and discovered.
Many leading authors like John Bradshaw, Erika J. Chopich, Margaret Paul and Charles Whitfield have written about the importance of building a relationship with the inner child, and 12-step programs also mention it. Doing so can help with many issues including loneliness, fears, depression and confidence. The journey of discovering younger parts within us can be surprising and awkward at first, but can also be very rewarding.
Because I personally find the John Bradshaw statement to be true and have had astounding results with inner child work, I integrate it into my practice. You can read an article I wrote about inner child work for Psychology Today’s blog, “A Child Within Us Wants to Talk.”
- Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child by John Bradshaw
- Healing the Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families by Charles L. Whitfield, MD