Inner child therapy has been designed to help those who, as children, have been hurt by adults and circumstances around them. They may have been hurt, not just by major, easily recognized traumas such as physical or sexual abuse or death of, or abandonment by, a parent, but also by the daily traumas such as neglect, rejection, criticism, humiliation, bullying, denial or confusion.
The process of inner child therapy is twofold. We work in current time to change bad habits of thinking, to learn new interaction skills in order to improve relationships and to create new ones. We learn awareness of what exactly is going on with us, when we are behaving ‘in child’ and when ‘in adult’ and work to discover why we say and do certain things that may not be in our best interests and when we are deceiving ourselves and others. We also work in past time, to uncover the trauma points at which our inner selves retreated to hide from the pain of our circumstances, hiding, in the mistaken belief that it was our fault; that we are undeserving and bad and that we need to hide our real selves and build a false self, the ‘mask’ or idealized self-image, in order to get the attention and affection that we crave. Gradually, in therapy, we change that mistaken belief and break down the mask and as we learn the re-parenting techniques that allow the ‘inner child’ to feel the love, respect and affection that was missing in childhood. The child part of us comes out of hiding and joins us in the real world, working the apparent miracle of self-esteem and confidence.