Therapy Toronto Psychotherapy Definitions
- Inner Child
- Inspired by Transactional Analysis as first developed by Eric Berne, built upon in the recovery movement in the 1980s by John Bradshaw and others and further developed by Sol and Sidra Stone, Dr. Margaret Paul, John Rowan, etc., the "Inner Child / Inner Adult / Subpersonalities' approach deals with the many voices within our Self.
Throughout life we 'collect' and integrate the messages and values of our environment. As children we depend on those messages to give us safety and guidance in life, to help us find a sure footing in this new and vast experience called life. We don't only react to those messages that are clearly spoken but also to more subtle expressions: unspoken rules, approval and blame, the behaviours of parents and care givers, etc. But often these messages are contradictory, go against our own experience or feelings, and / or based on the fears and issues of the people who state them.
As adults we may find ourselves repeating these same messages to ourselves, often subconsciously or in self-destructive behaviours. We may find it difficult to make decisions because our inner messages, thoughts and beliefs are contradicting each other or make us feel 'bad' for following our heart and intuition.
Working with these inner messages and voices, following them back to their origin and becoming aware of the belief, thought, and behavioural patterns that we have build allows us to make changes in the here and now. We effectively learn to become the Adult / Parent / Grown-up to our Self that we may have needed when the patterns were first established.
Becoming aware of self-talk, self-denying or self-destructive behaviours, faulty thoughts and beliefs, we can change, adjust and transform those less than helpful energies and become the joyful, self-aware, respectful and loving Self that we were born to be. We take more responsibility for our own lives, take back our personal power, and with that become able to be more honestly and fully available for our loved ones and life in general.