Core spiritual therapy entails learning to go within and communicate with the inner child. There are several parts to the inner child which are largely submerged in the unconscious. As adults we have gotten out of touch with the feelings and memories attendant with this special child part which carries the potential for healing and deep spirituality. The reawakening of these parts of the personality is crucial to healing the rift between the numerous aspects of the inner child (e.g., the lonely, abandoned, worthless, abused, etc.) and the adult self.
Are You Stuck?
Without inner child work the individual remains stuck in unhealthy relationships which bear the stamp of past learned beliefs about oneself. When one sympathizes with the parents’ traumas of the past, for example, it is a justification for the avoidance of dealing with the painful experiences of childhood and developing more kindness toward oneself. When the parents have spawned the child’s experience of neglect and rejection, or not being seen or heard, the child concludes that he or she is bad or undeserving of love and affection. While the parents often mean well, the child’s cognitive ability is limited and has no choice but to blame him or herself. This is carried over into adulthood where it is unnecessary for these negative beliefs and programming to continue, and yet it does, wreaking havoc in many areas of the adult’s life, especially relationships. The justification of the parents, and how difficult it had been for them only serves to solidify these engrained beliefs about oneself.
The Inner Child
In therapy I work with the individual to help him or her to fully acknowledge the reality of one’s experience of feelings of badness or self-blame. These feelings exist at a deep, unconscious level and must be carefully dealt with so that a transformation of the “bad” child parts, and support from the therapist to undo these negative mental tapes for a personality transformation into positive self-esteem and positive self-worth.
Until the adult recognizes, in therapy, the various parts of the inner child: the hurt child, the angry child, the worthless child, etc., which are false beliefs, the programming continues on a subliminal level. I help the individual, in therapy, to develop the true self in a number of ways. Active imagination during role playing with the therapist, is very instrumental in brings the inner child parts into a whole child who can then, as an adult be present in her True self, and assert her needs, her value and worth as a human being. In this way patterns of being a victim in relationships are replaced by new patterns based on a sense of worth.
I also teach the individual to re-parent herself as well as self-soothing techniques, which survivors of child abuse have never learned. Mindfulness of the wounds is important; in doing so once learns to develop self-soothing techniques.
Repeating the Past
Low self-esteem, as a carry-over from one’s childhood, cause one to be drawn to relationship that are unhealthy and sometimes downright abusive. Dysfunctional psychodynamics in childhood, thought the parents may have meant well, must be dispelled. Starting with replacing the false self with the True Self, in therapy, is imperative for a true self to be born. Once this is accomplished, the individual find oneself developing so-called “allergies” to people who are unhealthy for them and who repeat old negative patterns. The individual begins to be attracted to different, more caring types of people in his or her life. With practice and conviction that he or she was not to blame for their negative, dysfunctional upbringing, the person achieves happiness and peace of mind, and freedom from the old, useless beliefs of the false self. It is never too late for an adult to free himself from false beliefs and to become whole and happy with who he or she is. The effect of the healing will affect not only relationships but many areas of one’s life.
When the wounded inner child is given full attention in therapy it is allowed to heal and to feel for the first time. This inner child, after all, contains the spiritual part of oneself. This spirituality you will have forever and it will continue to get stronger, helping you to weather many of life’s changes. A stable, self-forgive and other-forgiving attitude is indestructible, and is after all, true healing.