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Inner child work is usually about getting in touch with the child within you. This is the child you were when you were young. In therapy, it helps to get in touch with your inner child when you experienced abuse, were mistreated in any way or survived a trauma of some sort. When children go through such trauma, they are greatly affected, more so than an adult would be because they are not developed enough emotionally or intellectually to understand and process what is happening to them. As a result, they develop symptoms such as nightmares, fear, feeling unaccepted, depressed and being insecure. By getting in touch with your inner child, you can help her heal and therefore help yourself heal.
A therapist can guide you as to how to talk to your inner child. It can help to have a picture of yourself as a child so you can be reminded of who you were. Each therapist handles accessing your inner child differently so I'm not sure what technique your therapist might use, but the goal is the same- to help you nurture your inner child and feel more whole as a person.
I just want to check that I've understand this, if that's okay please?
I understand that issues in childhood will affect us in adult life but, by connecting with the inner child, are you saying that 'little Sue' needs to deal with the abuse before me as an adult can finally lay this to rest?
This sounds like it can be quite a scary journey. I don't actually like myself as a child as I blame myself so much ... will this process also help with that image I have of 'her'.
I will dig out a photo and take it with me. Is it important for the picture to be of any specific age (before the abuse started or as a 6 year old, which was when I first remember him raping me)?
Sorry Kate. So many questions spinning round my head because this frightens me.
Sorry, one last question please.
Is this/can this be quite a long process?
It depends on what you discover about your inner child and what you and your therapist feel you need to work on. This is a voluntary process so if you feel at any time you need a break, tell your therapist how you are feeling.
I'm not sure whether my previous question came through Kate, as my laptop crashed, so I am re-sending it ... apologies if you have already received this. I WILL talk to my therapist as I think I probably need to take this slowly anyway. Thanks.
I just want to check that I've understand the basis of the inner child work, if that's okay please?
Sorry Kate. So many questions spinning round my head because this frightens me. I want to do this though as it feels like the time is right to finally put this to bed and move on with my life.
It's ok that you have questions. It can be a scary prospect to face your inner child.
Little Sue may have never received the love, attention and protection she needed to feel emotionally safe. She was exposed to abuse and not cared for as she should have been. So she develop ways to cope the best she could. But coping only goes so far so she was emotionally traumatized by what she went through. By working with her, you can provide her with the love, care and attention she deserved. You basically take the place of a parent or caregiver that she should have had to provide her with what she needed. This helps heal you "from the inside out" so to speak.
By working with your inner child, you can explore why you did not like her, which could have been a reaction you picked up from those around you. Children tend to see things much differently than adults. If someone dislikes you as a child and abuses you, your reasoning becomes that everything is your fault and you hate yourself. By working on your inner child, you can learn to love her and therefore love yourself.
A picture of yourself during the worst of your trauma might help, but anytime you feel is significant is good too.
It's ok to be frightened by how you feel. Therapy is work and often it can feel overwhelming. But you have support and people who care about you now, and you are an adult and have control. This will not hurt you. It may bring out feelings that feel overwhelming, but the process is good. It is healing a wound. It takes time and patience. But in the end, you will feel much better.Kate