Updated: Aug 30
We have to remind ourselves that we are not wrong or bad. When we heal the inner child, we heal generations. We heal the world.
Our inner child is a representation of ourselves at certain points in our childhood, and our experiences during these points. Often it focuses on what we experienced, or the lack we wished we experienced.
Our inner child is connected to our natural enthusiasm, curiosity, and creativity we experienced as actual children, at various ages of our childhood. When you get in touch with your inner child, you connect with their qualities and experiences at the time. You can even physically feel how they felt.
As children, we respond to suggestibility easily and effortlessly, as we are learning, growing and depend on authority figures to establish our own identity and to provide a sense of safety within our surroundings. As children, we readily absorb what our environments and caretakers teach us and more importantly, how they interact with one another and with us.
Inner child wounds, can occur when there is either a traumatic event or chronic rupture without repair. For children, a rupture without repair can look like crying out for help but being unheard by an emotionally unavailable caretaker.
Ruptures can also happen in our daily lives throughout adulthood, from when a friend ignores you and does not acknowledge your presence, or when someone forgets to put down the toilet seat. How we internalise these feelings determines if the experience stays a wound or if it becomes processed right there.
We bring wounds, beliefs and mindsets from the past into our adulthood, almost unknowingly. In psychotherapy, part of the process of uncovering negative self talk, belief systems and behavioural patterns are often linked to our childhood experiences and the beliefs that we inherit unconsciously.
In adulthood, we have an advantage of making a choice to heal and repair our wounded inner child and create the safe, secure inner and outer environments our younger selves always wanted. The first step to inner child healing is to become aware when you are emotionally triggered and acknowledge that the wounded parts which are being brought up during this emotional period needs attention, soothing, and more importantly, a safe space for expression - to process the emotional pain and hurt that ensues, following an emotionally wrought time, that can be confusing and scary, and to safely release these emotional wounds while being supported in your healing process.
Mood regulation in inner child healing
Mood regulation is a necessary step in all of My Inner Child Clinic's therapy. In some talk therapy or psychotherapy processes, clients are asked by their therapists to consciously work on issues, revisit past trauma and it sends stress signals to the brain and may cause a state of amygdala capture - which is our fight-flight-freeze response. This is a normal bodily response but it is not always natural for a therapist to suggest to first calm the client down, regulate, before working on these issues.
As we experience and re-experience these devastating emotions, we are not able to remember the past traumatic events that took place nor have any recollection of them even, as these inner child wounds could have taken place a long time ago. However, the emotional imprints of these traumatic events remain in our bodies up to adulthood. These emotional wounds can be simple or complex. However, without understanding fully, the underlying conditions, many adults feel helpless and alone with these hurts and feelings.
There is also a lot of shame and guilt as an adult, to be told that they have inner child issues they need to work with. The shame and guilt can cause them to further push-back and avoid seeking the help they need to recover from their emotional wounds, hence compounding the hurts and pains when they choose to cover up both their inner child wounds and their feelings of hurt, shame, pain and guilt. As what other 'grown-ups' do, they tell themselves to 'shut-up' or 'suck it in'. It is highly likely that they experienced these same emotional feelings as they were growing up. However, instead of having an authority figure telling them so, they have absorbed this internally, and are now repeating it to themselves.
Discovering your strengths and your "true self" with hypnotherapy and psychotherapy
Inner child healing is the cornerstone of aligning ourselves back to our true selves. Like a compass, we align ourselves back to our true north. For many adults experiencing this debilitating painful truth, they are not only desperate to heal the inner child, but also the shame that comes with just having feelings and the feeling of isolation, loneliness, and emotional paralysis that comes with it. Unattended, inner child wounds can lead to destructive behaviours, the tendency to self-harm, seeking temporary solace in escapism, and addictions.
When we heal our inner child, we begin to create the safety and security our younger selves have always needed. By doing so, we allow the positive traits of our inner child to express in his or her full capacity, unlocking the many gifts that have remained hidden and dormant. But most importantly, to unlock our innermost capacity to live and experience our limitless capacity to love.
Regression and hypnotherapy
Depending on the needs and the situation, some clients need to visit the childhood trauma but in a safe and secure environment. This is where hypnosis helps. In a hypnotherapy session for regression, we take our clients as far back in their memory as they can go.
The process may take 2 or 3 sessions for a regression to be done. First is to prepare the client in anchored states of calm and relaxation before starting to peel the layers in the onion down towards the core traumatic experience or a deeply rooted childhood wound.
At My Inner Child Clinic, we teach our clients how to perform self-hypnosis to anchor in deep states of calm between sessions. This helps in mood regulation and also in being more aware of the choice to reframe perspectives about triggers and situations that occur at present moment, which could be unconsciously related to other past wounds.
Childhood trauma healing
When we are able to accept our inner child, be with that child as a friend and companion without unconsciously taking on its energy and persona, we are able to live our true selves. To live in the present moment.
I believe there is an inner light in everyone, a spark that is meant for us to bring to the world. If you find yourself living in the past, living the life of your loved ones (or your parents' unfulfilled wishes), or if you feel encumbered in anyway, this perhaps is a sign that you are called to discover what this spark is.
The psychotherapist's approach
The core belief behind the therapy sessions is that instead of focusing on coping and dealing with a traumatic experience as a problem or worse, an illness, our clients are encouraged to see aspects where they demonstrated resourcefulness and resilience and then help them develop skills to mood regulate and calm the physiological response when emotionally triggered.
As part of this healing process, different techniques common in psychotherapy such as mindfulness, cognitive behavioural theory can be weaved into the talk therapy process. In most cases, the outcome can be more effective with a trained clinical hypnotherapist.
A salutogenic approach in trauma recovery
The salutogenic approach to trauma healing is based on the principle of helping clients in trauma recovery discover their strengths, capabilities and resourcefulness despite the traumatic experience.
The emphasis is on uncovering capabilities, virtues and strengths in the person going through trauma and seeking new perspectives and meaning. Thereafter, working with the client to develop new strategies to be more resourceful and build on new skills and mindsets to grow through the pain.
The belief is that everyone has the capacity to heal and had demonstrated abilities which helped them survive and cope with the situation as opposed to focusing on what they lacked, could have done, and should do going forward.
We do this so that we respect and grow the dignity of our clients, then work with them to grow. This is the process of planting seeds of possibilities.
Looking for a psychotherapist in Singapore for healing past childhood wounds?
Bernadette Chin is a clinical hypnotherapist and psychotherapist based in Singapore. She practices psychotherapy in Singapore at My Inner Child Clinic. She is a trauma informed therapist who focuses on the salutogenic approach to healing trauma and combines hypnotherapy to help clients mood regulate, reframe their beliefs and mindsets and to provide hope for lasting change.
My therapy sessions are conveniently located at 36 Carpenter Street, Singapore 059915 on weekends and 9 Sin Ming Road, Thomson V One Singapore 575630.
Schedule a session with me here, and begin your first step towards healing your inner child.