It is one of the greatest therapy goals to identify and acknowledge our deep seated emotions such as anger, fear and sadness connect with them and heal them for good. This is what we call the process of healing the wounded inner parts of ourselves. Whether such wounds were caused by an incomprehensible childhood loss such as a family member’s death, physical or psychological abuse, or a broken relationship; the pain that results from such experiences lives with us for the rest of our lives until we decide to let go of it, heal it and integrate such experiences in the here and now. We do so through reconnecting with some of the reasons for our fears, unexplained repetitive patterns, and addictions. The magic of healing leads to channeling and transforming the wounded self and eventually integrating them with other parts. In this process, we learn to reparent such parts and move forward with independence and resiliency.
Many of my clients inquire about and express interest in ending unhealthy coping habits such as binge eating, shopping, or repetitive insure attachments. I often explain this work of healing the inner child pointing out to the sad fact of learned helplessness, as well as internalized suppression of emotions, and negative self beliefs. When negative experiences and losses such as divorce, death, relocation …etc. are not discussed with children openly, children are left to create their own narrative about such experiences.
They internalize emotions of shame, guilt and resentment. As we grow, we are reminded of such suppressed memories once we encounter experiences that resonate on a subconscious level. This activates the same neural pathways in our nervous system. We over-react, experience a panic attack or just withdraw and lose interest. We might also present with unexplained confusion or overwhelm.
How can we heal this inner child and help heal negative emotions we might be holding on to. Such baggage we carry from our childhoods can be very difficult to release, especially when we’ve been exposed to deep trauma. We just need to begin with acknowledging the inner child and treat them with respect, compassion, and acceptance. In that sense we derive a lot of wisdom from Buddhist practices of mindful awareness of emotions to restore ruptured relationships through meditations and exercises that aim to acknowledge and transform the hurt that many of us may have experienced as children. Various modalities we practice rely on such philosophical foundation; ACT, AEDP, and even EMDR.
Ola is a Registered Clinical Counsellor offering a holistic approach to healthy relationships, life transformation and fulfillment.