Healing Your Trauma Through Inner Child Work

photo of a young adult male standing in a field looking at something off camera

People might talk about their inner child when it comes to enjoying certain foods, playing games, or even hearing a song that takes them back to their youth. But those statements are typically light-hearted and might not fully acknowledge that the inner child is a genuine thing.

Your younger self is still within you, no matter how old you get. In many ways, that can be a good thing. However, if you experienced any trauma as a child, you could be carrying that with you, too.

Inner child work focuses on caring for that younger version of yourself and addressing needs that might not have been met when you were younger. 

Let’s take a closer look at this type of work, what to expect, and whether it could be the right treatment for you. 

What Is Inner Child Work?

As adults, we tend to build walls and bury ourselves behind layers that we’ve deemed appropriate. Many people build those walls as coping mechanisms. Maybe you’re avoidant. Maybe you don’t want to get too close to people. Or maybe you don’t want to tap into your own feelings because they’re so intense, so you try to avoid them.

Whatever the case, inner child work helps to break down those walls and peel back the layers. Your inner child can often feel like that “little voice” inside, working as your subconscious. Inner child work helps to give that little voice more volume, making it easier to integrate your subconscious thoughts into your actual conscience, so you can work through whatever childhood issues might be affecting you today. 

photo of a young adult male standing in a field looking at something off cameraIf your needs weren’t met as a child, this type of work can be effective. Maybe you weren’t able to form a secure attachment with a parent or caregiver. Maybe you experienced neglect or even abuse. This type of trauma has lasting effects, and it’s never too late to start uncovering them. 

Signs of Attachment Issues

Far too many adults don’t experience the healing they need. Understanding some of the most common signs that your inner child needs healing can help you realize where some of the issues you’re facing today stem from. The more you recognize those signs, the easier it will be to get the right kind of help. 

With that in mind, some of the signs of attachment wounds include feeling highly reactive to everyday situations. You might quickly try to “detach” yourself from things or even get angry. This provides a sense of control (even if it’s false control) that’s used as a defense mechanism to protect your inner child.

Your emotional and mental health can also suffer when you’re harboring attachment issues from childhood. You might struggle with anxiety or depression. Maybe you have trouble sleeping or practicing self-care habits. 

You might even find different ways of coping with these symptoms that do more harm than good. Drugs, alcohol, gambling, and other extreme actions designed to “numb” your symptoms might feel good for a while, but they’re extremely dangerous and will end up causing a lot of damage. 

What Can You Do?

Most notably, childhood trauma can impact your relationships today. Avoidance, being overly independent, or worrying your partner might leave are all signs of attachment issues. If you notice that you tend to repeat negative attachment patterns in your relationships, it’s a clear sign that your inner child needs to heal. 

When you get in touch with your inner child, you have a chance to create a safe and secure environment that might not have been there when you needed it. 

You don’t have to go through this healing process alone. If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out for information about trauma therapy.

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