Inner child therapy: How it works


Inner child healing is about reconnecting with supressed emotions, for which psychology uses the metaphore of an "inner child". But what is the inner child and how does the healing work? Read more in this article:

A cry for help

Inner child healing is a method I often use in my therapy for reintegrating lost parts, for example creativity, self-esteem or self-love. It works like this: When a child experiences painful emotions, it tries to forget them. It "stuffs" the feelings and memories deep down in the unconscious mind. These stored feelings become what we call the "inner child": we hear its cries from deep in our heart, but we cannot connect with this child, because we are too scared of feeling its pain again. It's as if you can hear someone calling from the cellar, but you cannot bring yourself to go down and see what this person wants. Therefore the inner child remains abandoned, but it will never stop crying for help. This cry for help is what causes the problems in the adult in the form of depression, anxiety or negative feelings in general.


Ignoring the inner child leads to suffering

Many decades can pass in which the adult avoids facing the child and its pain. Strategies to avoid any confrontation with the inner child can be for instance: work, entertainment, drugs, food or unhealthy relationships. But the child will not stop asking for love, attention and care, and the more the adult turns away, the more the inner child will riot and cause trouble.


Healing the inner child

To heal your inner child, you have to listen to it. It's constantly talking to you through your emotions: Mindfulness, art therapy and psychoanalytic techniques can help you to understand what the inner child is trying to tell you. For most of my clients, feeling compassion for their inner child is the first step to healing it. The next step is to communicate with the inner child. For this, I use the technique of visualising the child in front of you. This is a powerful technique which often releases strong emotions, which are again extremely healing.


I'm Natalie Marby, an English speaking therapist in Hamburg, Germany. I offer psychotherapy and counselling in English, especially for expats living in Hamburg. You can book an initial session by writing me an email or calling me: (040) 46090233. Looking forward to hearing from you!


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