What is “inner child work” ? Over the years working with clients I have found that parts of our selves split for different reason at different ages. In shamanic terms you would call it soul loss, in psychotherapy this is called inner child work. In principle anyone can become fragmented, for an example if you experience an upsetting difficult situation or event at any age in your life. There are usually very strong thoughts, emotions and physical impulses that are connected to this kind of experience. Including the inner urge to physically get away from what is happening and this can create a division energetically, resulting in a split.
For those individuals who experience abuse or trauma, they can experience multiple fragmentation including having the sensation of being out of their physical body and hovering above the scene. Others have a sense of floating away from the event or having a sense of being in a completely different place. Apart from splitting due to traumatic events we can also split when we have intense pleasurable experiences. For example when you have had a holiday you really enjoyed and then it comes the last day. You needed to pack your bags to go home and internally you do not want to go home but stay with the people, the laughter, the place etc. There can be a part that splits off to stay in the memory and does not wish to be back in the every day life.
Some clients come to explore their feelings of not belonging, or they have a feeling as if they’re watching their life go by before them, looking from the outside of life. Alternatively It could be that the issue of fragmentation or dissociation comes up during the session.
First of all it is important to identify where any fragmented parts are within the client. Without realising the memory of the situation also becomes fragmented and some energetic parts become hidden, suppressed or dissociated from the rest of the feelings, thoughts and physical sensations. Although the memory of the event may become split and separated, it is worth understanding that all parts are connected energetical by energy threads even though these may be extremely thin or tangled. After identifying if there are any spilt inner parts then next thing to explore is the perspective and awareness of all parts involved. To explore the connections, roles to help bring integration. It is important to understand why our energy fragments, to help ensure that there are things in place to prevent this from happening again.
Inner child work is interesting and complex because we tend to think, oh well, it’s part of our energy so it should do and obey what I say. Unfortunately it is not this simple. These split off parts may have left you when you were five years old. They in some way become independent of you, they may have different thoughts to the adult you are today. The essential issue here is, if you are fragmented, if you are dissociated and not fully whole and fully present. You can not live the life that you truly wish to have because you are missing some of your energy, that could be enabling you move forward.
You may have one or a numerous number of parts of you that have split off. Some may be stuck in some sort of time loop, where they keep repeating the same thoughts, emotions, behaviours, and responses. You may notice in your life today that some of your reactions to situations are over exaggerated and connected to your childhood. This would be a good indication of your inner child calling for attention, to be found, to be heard and helped to heal.