Inner Child therapy is appropriate with clients who present symptoms that may originate in a childhood lacking in love or emotional support, such as: General lack of confidence, Insecurity, Low self-esteem, Emotional and relationship problems, Eating disorders, Depression, Anxiety.
The Inner Child process is also the ideal gentle, healing and non-invasive way to prepare the client who has, or may have been abused for subsequent more direct or confrontational sessions if required. At the same time, the client may very well gain from their inner child more insight into what actually did happen. The wounding that needs to be healed is thought of as the result of being raised in a shame-based, emotionally dishonest, spiritually hostile environment by parents who were raised in a similar way. The 'disease' which afflicts us is a generational disease that is the human condition as we have inherited it. Our parents did not know how to be emotionally honest or how to truly love themselves. So there is no way that we could have learned those things from them. We formed our core relationship with ourselves in early childhood and then built our relationship with ourselves on that foundation.
"It is through healing our inner child that we can change our behaviour patterns and clear our emotional process. We can release the grief with its pent-up rage, shame, terror, and pain from those feeling places which exist within us.
"Our broken hearts, our emotional wounds, our scrambled minds, and our subconscious programming, cause the abandonment of self, the abandonment of our own inner child - and that inner child is the gateway to our channel to the Higher Self.
"It is necessary to own and honour the child who we were in order to Love the person we are. And the only way to do that is to own that child's experiences, honour that child's feelings, and release the emotional grief energy that we are still carrying around." (Quotations from Co dependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney)
The therapist's focus is to resolve the issues that bring clients to counselling and to help them to establish or re-establish their lives as a thriving process. Counselling acts to enliven and release the forces of positive growth already present within you.
The orientation often refers to John Bradshaw's writings and teachings, and integrates a humanistic, transpersonal and family systems perspective with a grounding in the Alcohol Anonymous' 12-step approach to recovery. In addition to verbal forms of therapy, therapists may utilise symbolic methods (dream work, art, psychodrama, and sand tray therapy) that gently yet dramatically create change by invoking the unconscious.
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