This is the second article in a 3-part series. If you haven't yet, begin by reading the read the first article, Steps to Healing: Your Inner Child.
In the first article, we discussed acknowledgment of your inner child. In the second . In this article, we will be discussing about re-parenting your inner child, releasing and restoration. In the final part to the series, we will be covering embracing healing and growth.
Disclaimer: Please note that while I am a registered psychologist, I do not know your health history. This series is created for informational purposes only and should not replace formal therapy, counselling or medical treatments. Any information taken from my blogs or social media pages should not replace the advice of your therapist, or health/medical professional.
In the 1970's, Art therapist Lucia Capacchione began the movement, which we now call, “reparenting” our inner-child. It is a spin off of Carl Jung's archetype, the "divine child", which addresses the idea that childhood is where our subconscious mind is formed.
As we grow older, we often fail to realize the impact our childhood experiences have on our adult lives. With inner child work, we have the unique opportunity to use our conscious mind to address and acknowledge our childhood experiences (the good and the bad) to reparent, release and heal.
What is Re-Parenting?
Reparenting is going back to the stage we were wronged or experienced trauma or hurt in childhood as an adult. In doing this, we satisfy, soothe, heal and/or making peace with our inner child, so we can move forward in our present lives. This is done by giving the satisfactory response or fulfilling the need(s) we required at that time.
Reparenting is typically completed through therapy (recommended), but also can be completed through by self-counseling.
Reparenting involves three theoretical aspects of an individual, which are the adult, the inner child and the parent.
The Adult is who you are today. The Inner Child is the childhood stage where you may have felt wronged or experienced trauma. The Parent is your therapist (or in some cases, yourself) who provides the response the child should have received at that point in childhood.
How do we reparent our inner child?
There are a variety of reparenting techniques that are used to heal the inner child. However, as a general rule–inner child work involves three steps: connect, communicate and nurture.
Acknowledge the child within. See the first article to this series.
Then, communicate with them.
Lastly, you step into the role of a nurturing parent. From your adult self, you can restore and give your child self exactly what it needs.
Here are a few ways to reparent yourself with self-help techniques that nurture your inner child:
Affirmations that start with “I am…” For example, “I am deserving of kindness, love and compassion.” or "I am a loving human being."
Give your inner child advice and help with the things they may have struggled with during that period of time,
Keep a journal and write out your feelings and emotions through this process, as both your adult self and your inner child.
Stay in the present by practicing mindfulness.
Speak to a therapist that specializes in reparenting.
In the third and final part to this series, we will be discussing embracing and moving forward through healing.