Inner child work has recently grown in popularity. The treatment has proven to be extremely effective in resolving mental health issues and treating addiction. The goal of this treatment is to address the needs of this inner child. We work to access childhood memories and feelings to examine the negative conditioning that brought the issues about. There is a child within each of us - delightful, spontaneous, and mischievous. This child can also throw tantrums and behave unreasonably or inappropriately. If someone was not damaged in childhood, this inner child is secondary to the adult persona. It can be controlled by adult will. If there was damage or trauma as a child, this spontaneous child has been damaged as well, and an outlet must be found. By depriving this inner child of this need for delight, the adult child will continually feel helpless or hopeless. And, in some cases, the self-esteem needed to function and/or remain sober isn't present.
Sometimes as traumatic events occur in childhood, the child is ignored by the adults around them. This is usually because they do not notice the child's unmet needs or simply don't know how to deal or cope with the situation and/or event. There may be things that seem typical in adulthood, such as family bereavement, that go unexplained. This leaves a scar on a young child. The child’s feelings are never validated and self-worth begins to diminish.
These feelings have to be dealt with at some point. More severe abuse can result in more severe damage and even lower self-esteem, in and throughout, adulthood. Sometimes, therapy just involves growing more in touch with the child-like feelings that are inside and helping oneself get through the struggles and traumas of everyday life.
Many that have suffered in childhood have benefited from inner child work. Traumas where inner child therapy is effective includes the most common forms of abuse: sexual, physical, and emotional. This is especially the case for those that suffer from disassociation, in one form or another. The inner child work enables the victim to understand their feelings of guilt and shame, reduces the nightmares they may experience, alleviates panic attacks, and ongoing anxieties.
- The neglected child was often left along and did not receive nurturing or love. This child does not believe they are worthwhile or lovable. The child will want to cry or hide and as an adult, has a difficult time showing love.
- The abandoned child has been left during a time of trauma such as adoption or divorce. The part of this child that feels abandoned will always fear being left alone again. They are starved for extra attention and need reassurance that they are wanted and safe.
- The playful child is creative, fun and spontaneous. They long to play and have fun, and because many adults forget how to do this, their inner child will desire to do these things without guilt or anxiety.
- The fearful child was criticized and insulted when they were younger. They now experience feelings of anxiety and panic much of the time. They need positive affirmations and encouragement.
- The spoiled child still wants what it wants no matter what, and there will be a temper tantrum if this does not happen, in childhood or adulthood.
- The disconnected child never learns to connect or be close to anyone. They are isolated and intimacy is scary and alien. Their major issue in adulthood is trust.
- The discounted child was ignored and felt as though they weren’t worthy and did not exist. They do not believe in themselves, and they need a great deal of love and support.
Many clients at Legacy have come to us only to find out that their main underlying cause of their mental health issue and/or drug and alcohol abuse stems directly from a childhood event or events. Once we help you get in touch with your inner child, we can access these events directly thus alleviating the need or want to drink or use addictive drugs. The goal is to stop these behaviors permanently, helping you to achieve and live a sober life, free from relapse.
Mental Health Therapy and Substance Abuse Treatment that Works!
Legacy Freedom Treatment Centers accept most major health insurance plans, cash, check, and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express). We do not accept Medicaid or Medicare at this time. Call today to find out more about our programs and how you can start living life again and become the person you want to be TODAY!
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse and/or mental health issues, please contact our addiction treatment center.