Think about the way you interact with yourself. Do you treat yourself in ways that you would treat someone else? If not, chances are that there’s an important part of you, your inner child, that you’re neglecting to meet your needs with loving kindness and care. Healing your inner child can help resolve attachment wounds, release negative thought patterns, and improve your overall happiness and mental health, allowing you to be more effective and mindful in your daily life. Here’s how to start healing your inner child today so that your childhood self can finally feel loved and accepted as an adult.
What is Inner Child Healing?
Inner child healing is a way to address our needs that haven't been met as children and heal the attachment wounds we've developed. We all have a younger part of ourselves that was never quite loved or nurtured in just the right way or in just the way they needed as a child. Even when our parents did give us love, there may have been certain aspects that were lacking. When things like emotional availability and protection don't get met, they form holes inside that need to be filled.
Challenges in Childhood
No matter how much love you had growing up, there are going to be challenges. Abuse is incredibly damaging to a child’s psyche. So is being neglected or feeling abandoned in any way. Many people who have been through these situations grow up without knowing how to love themselves because they haven’t seen it modeled by their parents. One of the best ways to learn how to love yourself and meet your own needs is with inner child healing therapy.
Protecting Your Inner Child from Future Abuse
If you didn’t get your emotional needs met as a child, it can feel overwhelming to think about getting what you need as an adult. But, if you’re willing to reach out and make that first connection with someone who can meet your needs—maybe a coach or therapist—you can learn how to connect with others in healthy ways. Protecting your inner child from future abuse begins with finding someone who will nurture and support you. The best way to do that is by practicing self-love!
Reclaiming Your Lost Self
You need to reclaim your lost self to complete inner child healing. When you were a child, you had a real self, with real needs and emotions that deserved to be met. Through inadequate caregiving and communication (or lack thereof), you learned to give up on yourself and your needs, losing your true identity in favor of what others wanted from you. This process often goes on unconsciously—you may have even forgotten how it started.
Seven Core Needs
Attachment theory states that humans are born with seven core needs. These include trust, security, belongingness, playfulness, autonomy, competency, and meaning. Often these needs go unmet for various reasons and we grow up to harbor a wounded inner child who is always looking for love but does not know how to ask. This can manifest in numerous ways such as addictions and compulsions. Not getting our needs met as children can be described as attachment wounds.