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What Is Inner Child Work And What Can It Do For You?

Written by: Dr. Adriana Popescu, Senior Level Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

When I became seriously ill over 25 years ago and was struggling with physical, emotional, and mental symptoms from a mystery illness that was later identified as Lyme disease, I began seeking a different possibility. Western medicine seemed to offer me very little in the way of lasting relief and healing and I was told with many symptoms that I would simply have to “get used to it.”

Young woman relaxing herself practicing meditation at her home.

I knew for me that settling for this kind of situation was never going to be enough. I went on a journey, with the help of spirituality, energy psychology and many eastern healing traditions, of discovering what is actually true for my body and me and what I desire to create in my life and the world.


What unfolded was a profound and exciting path of transformation and healing that made my life so much greater, and inspired the work I do today. For in the course of recovering, I found some amazing tools, techniques and modalities that not only contributed to my body, but to my overall outlook on life. It was like falling apart and putting together all of the parts and pieces of myself again and truly healing from the inside out. I am so very grateful that I was able to go from this place of illness and debilitation to one of the possibilities, creativity and joy. You can find out more about my story and the amazing tools I learned in my new book, What If You're Not As F***ed Up As You Think You Are?


For many of us, when we go through the kind of illness or life crisis that I did, we may call it a “low point” which forces us to choose and demand something different. However, you don’t actually have to go through a “dark night of the soul” or “bottom out” to have a lighter, happier life that is congruent with your purpose, and to discover tools and techniques to create a more emotionally and spiritually connected life.


One way I have found to reconnect with lost parts and pieces of you and to integrate them into a greater stronger whole, is through inner child work. This approach was a key component to healing myself of the traumas I had experienced as a child that later contributed to making me sick. I often use inner child exploration in my private practice, at the drug and alcohol rehab where I work, and with those who are suffering with trauma at my center Firebird Healing.


Inner child work is a process, through meditation, imagery, or simply writing and creating, of reconnecting with the younger versions of you. We all have an inner child or children within us. I have found in my work that acknowledging and addressing the unresolved wounds of the inner child is essential. This is especially true if we are at a place where life feels difficult or unsatisfying or even miserable to the point where we know we have to change; that is when we must begin the conversation with our inner child within.


In therapy, inner child work may show up as inviting a client to rest and relax with some deep breaths or perhaps a guided meditation or visualization. Then we go through an exercise of meeting their inner child, communicating with them and allowing them to have a voice. What does your inner child look like? What feelings and emotions are they experiencing? What would they like to say? What would they like to express? What do they require? How would they like to play and interact with the world?


These introductory exercises of inner child exploration can be incredibly freeing and healing. Many people find that they have more of a sense of connection to themselves and their bodies through inner child work. Others find it helps them to reconnect with what makes their life fun, joyful, creative and worth living. Many clients note that it helps them with their relationships, most notably with themselves.


My Firebird Healing colleague, therapist Nicole Collins, has seen clients with profound changes after inner child journeys. These changes are mental, emotional, and spiritual. We recently spoke about this type of work and the challenges that our inner children can go through, especially during the holidays. You can find the replay of that HERE.


In the course of my own healing, I found that by getting to know my inner child and embracing her with the kindness, caring, and allowance I had longed for as a child, I was able to accelerate my own ability to heal, change, and grow both personally and professionally. Not everyone enjoys or finds it easy to do this kind of deep work on their own as it can often involve opening old wounds or dealing with difficult feelings. You might find it easier to work with a trained therapist or practitioner who can offer you guidance and help.


We were thus inspired to create a new six-part series offered through Firebird Healing called Nurturing Your Inner Child, in which participants will receive facilitation, guided exercises, coaching, and support in this process of inner child healing. It starts on January 4th, 2023. Find out more HERE.


Inner child work can be profoundly rewarding and can pay huge dividends in all areas of your life. What would happen if you were to begin that conversation? What gifts would your inner child like to give you? What would this create as your future?

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and visit my website for more info! Read more from Adriana!

 

Dr. Adriana Popescu, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Dr. Adriana Popescu is a licensed clinical psychologist and empowerment coach with over 25 years of experience in the mental health field. She specializes in treating addiction, co-occurring disorders, and trauma, and has directed a number of treatment programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. Adriana has a private practice in San Francisco and travels around the world coaching and facilitating transformational and empowering workshops. She coauthored the Conscious Being, Conscious Recovery, and Conscious Creation Workbooks, and she hosts a fascinating podcast called Kaleidoscope of Possibilities – Alternative Perspectives on Mental Health. She loves to empower people to overcome their imagined limitations, release their self-judgments, and discover the brilliance within – creating a life of infinite possibilities.

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