How to Reconnect with Yourself with Inner Child Healing
You might be hearing a lot about inner child work and inner child healing these days. But what exactly is it, and how do you even start with something like inner child work?
Inner child work is often something that comes up in therapy, but many folks are able to begin their work on their own by asking themselves thoughtful questions, getting curious about their experiences, and connecting with a younger version of themselves through inner child healing exercises.
What is the inner child?
Our inner child is the part of us that has been with us since the day we were born: it’s the part of ourselves that lives mostly in ourselves that lives mostly in our subconscious, that has been picking up messages, beliefs, feelings, values, fears, and dreams as we’ve grown and developed throughout childhood into our adulthood.
Our inner child is often able to recall or “bring up” memories and feelings from both positive and negative experiences in our lives, which includes any joyful memories, fears, successes, traumas, neglect, or big losses or changes we’ve gone through. It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what brings out our inner child, but we can start the process of identifying these things when we notice patterns within ourselves that lead us to exploring our inner world.
What is inner child healing?
Inner child healing is a way to help those younger parts of you feel safe, secure, and able to handle the stresses and challenges of your adult life. When you work on healing your inner child, you work on increasing your own sense of self-trust and self-protection, and you may find that it’s easier to have difficult conversations, do things that scare you, or even take risks that you previously felt too anxious or overwhelmed to try.
When people make space for inner child healing, it’s not uncommon to experience a noticeable shift in overall healing and movement towards inner clarity treatment progress in therapy.
How to reconnect with your inner child
To reconnect with your inner child, it’s important first to find your inner child.
Your inner child often shows up as feelings, physical sensations, thoughts, or memory flashes when you’re experiencing big emotions. Your inner child may come out when your current-day experiences feel reminiscent of experiences and memories from childhood or young adulthood.
For example, your inner child might show up as an overwhelming sense of insecurity or anxiety when you give a presentation at work—which might remind you of standing in front of your whole elementary school class and struggled to give a presentation without shaking.
You might also feel tons of joy and excitement when your new softball league teammates invite you out for happy hour, which reminds your inner child of the joy of being invited for sleepovers, birthday parties, and other fun events with your peers when you were a kid.
To find your inner child, start to get curious about the spaces, places, and people that bring out big emotions, good or bad. You might also be able to figure out where your inner child is hiding by looking at the places in your life where you feel “stuck” or where you feel helpless, powerless, or out of control. Approach these experiences with openness, curiosity, and non-judgment to learn about where your inner child is showing up and what they need to feel safe, loved, and cared for.
Many people find it helpful to explore these feelings, memories, and experiences with a trained trauma therapist who is skilled in helping them find and heal their inner child wounds. To get started with your inner child healing journey, contact me for a free consultation for inner child work in Seattle.
Questions to ask your inner child
Connecting with your inner child is important because it is a way to make sense of where your behaviors came from. One way you can connect with your inner child is to sit with yourself—either on your own, or with a trained trauma therapist—and ask your inner child questions about their experiences, emotions, memories, needs, and dreams.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to start connecting with yourself and your inner child:
- What events, memories, people, or experiences make me feel most joyful? Most fearful? Most curious? Most angry?
- What are some of my most prominent or vivid memories from childhood?
- What beliefs did I form as a child based on those experiences?
- What would my inner child look and sound like if they were with me in the room right now?
And here are some questions to ask your inner child when an emotion, memory, or thought pattern comes up:
- How old are you in this experience?
- What are you feeling right now?
- What do you need to feel safe and loved right now?
Make sure to take your time with these questions, and to offer yourself a lot of patience and time as you work through these questions—inner child work can be hard!
Other inner child healing exercises
There may be other ways to connect with and heal your inner child. Some of these include:
- Guided visualizations to connect with your inner child
- Getting creative with art projects or other activities that bring out a sense of curiosity and wonder
- Connecting to playfulness by playing your favorite games, reading your favorite books, or watching your favorite shows from childhood
- Certain types of therapy like Internal Family Systems, EMDR, or Creative/Art Therapy
Find help to heal your inner child
As a therapist in Seattle, I love helping my clients reconnect with themselves and experience the transformation offered by inner child healing exercises. If you’re in Seattle and looking to begin your inner child healing journey, contact me for a free consultation to see if I’m the right fit for you.