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The Concept

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The inner child can be referred to as being the smaller self that resides within your psyche. This concept encapsulates all the memories, emotions, and experiences from your childhood. This aspect of your identity retains your childhood feelings, experiences and learnings, influencing your current thoughts, emotions, and actions.

It's Origins
Phenomenology, Psychoanalysis & the Inner Child

The Inner Child concept, introduced by psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, is a critical part of consciousness. It’s been adopted and refined in phenomenology. Inner child therapy, a transformative personal growth therapy, is based on the idea that our childhood experiences shape our present lives. By confronting our psyche through our Inner Child, we can resolve its incompleteness, leading to improved emotional well-being and authenticity.

Inner Child and the Unconscious Self

The Influence of Our Formative Years

Childhood is not merely about play and education. It’s a crucial period that significantly contributes to your present identity. The way your family interacted with you, your upbringing environment, and your past experiences play a vital role in shaping your self-perception and interpersonal relationships.
 

The Significance of Childhood for Self-Assurance & Trust

Why are our early years so critical for our self-confidence and trust in others? This is the time when we begin to feel secure and valued, or perhaps the opposite. Positive childhood experiences can foster self-assuredness and ease in trusting others. However, adverse experiences can lead to insecurity and difficulty in trusting others, which can be problematic in adulthood.

The Role of Parents in Shaping Us

Our parents or caregivers during our early years significantly influence our self-perception. Their words, actions, and even their emotional states educate us about our identity. If they were kind, supportive, and attentive, we tend to develop a positive self-image. However, if they were frequently upset, inattentive, or harsh, we might grow up with diminished confidence.

The Dual Aspects of Our Childhood: Light & Shadow

Every childhood comprises bright moments (the ‘Light Child’) and darker times (the ‘Shadow Child’). The Light Child retains the joyful, triumphant moments, while the Shadow Child recalls instances of sadness, fear, or loneliness. Both these aspects persist within us and influence our emotions and actions as adults.

Why do adults with strong reasoning abilities find themselves ensnared in unwanted feelings or behaviours?

Our childhood experiences, far from disappearing, remain deeply embedded within us. These memories, especially the emotions associated with them, persist in our psyche, subtly influencing our emotions and behaviour. We may not always consciously recall them, but their impact on how we navigate our adult lives is significant. 
Our identity is shaped by our core beliefs and experiences, which are rooted in early childhood. This foundation has been imprinted with the understanding of a child, who lacks comprehensive knowledge about life or certain life concepts.

The Unmet Needs of the Inner Child

The Consequences of Unmet Needs

If these fundamental needs are not fulfilled during childhood, we may face difficulties as we age. We might experience loneliness, decision-making struggles, difficulty in finding happiness, or feelings of inadequacy. These emotions can surface in our relationships, work, and self-perception, leading to feelings of stagnation or unhappiness.

Over--Compensating Personas

Life Scripts & Interpersonal Transactions

Life scripts are narratives that shape our lives, including our interactions, accomplishments, relationships, and self-perception. They establish the framework for our behaviors and relationship dynamics, creating patterns that either affirm our beliefs or mirror our childhood experiences in adulthood. Consequently, we develop internal strategies that seek evidence to reinforce our life position’s narrative, thereby attracting similar experiences to those we encountered or learned about during our childhood.

Personas are constructed to socialise ourselves with others and function within an "identity of self" in order to function in a way that maintains our basic needs. The issue is that when the identity is living only through the personified self lens, where there is no awareness to what is driving particular behaviours, emotions, communication styles or general ways of being that leaves them feeling  at odds with others, themselves and the world around them. The protective "persona identities" are created to shield the authentic natural self from being able to express from, live from, behave from, engage from the place of Natural Free Child.  

Emotional De-Regulation

During childhood, there were situations that due to being hypersensitive or  highly sensory, often struggled to integrate socially into their environments or express themselves. They may have been feeling things that were too big to process. They may not have been able to regulate their emotions or they were  told that certain emotions are wrong. One of the most common causes of emotional deregulation in children is childhood trauma. 

The Role of Puberty

This is quite a significant area of development that is often overlooked. When we look at the next stages after childhood that pertain to the physical body for a man and woman, this can bring up feelings or experiences of rejection, shame, humiliation and deep inner confusion.  Sexuality and concepts around sexuality begin to arise where these learned behaviours and concepts around sexuality are also carried through to adult life. Early stages of puberty and late stages of puberty also have a major impact on the transitional stages into teen and young adulthood.

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The Inner Child Program

Synthesis, through a guided process 

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