Known for his work in healing the wounds of dysfunctional families, Bradshaw was a pioneer in furthering the “Inner Child” theory.
What is your “Inner child”?
When I talk of the inner child in all of us I often get funny looks. For me, the term refers to our psychological make up; the fears experienced at a young age; the part of us which feels a sense of dread when we are close to your parents; the part which beats itself up for making a mistake; the part of us which feels guilt after setting a boundary; the part of us which is desperate for love and will suppress our true self for fear of losing it; the part which feels a deep anger when someone speaks down to, or simply ignores us.
But it also represents your fun side, the times when you want to be silly, play games and climb tree’s. Our spontaneous side, which enjoys each experience, loves to learn and try new things.
This book acts as an introduction to the child inside and provides a process to embrace and nurture the most important part of your personality.
Broken into 4 stages, the books covers key developmental phases (such as Toddler, Pre-school and school age), the negative experiences that might influenced the natural evolution of this phase and how to heal the subsequent wounds so they no longer impact your adult life.
I love John Bradshaw’s honesty on his own life experiences, the fears of his childhood and how it influenced how his adult self reacted to external situations.
The book is full of tools to help connect to the child inside. Visualization is a key part of the therapy, reliving difficult past experience but creatively replaying the event differently, imagining your adult self walking into the room and protecting your child self, saying the reassuring words you needed to hear, and beginning the process of providing the emotional nourishment needed to grow into a strong, healthy and happy human being.
Another technique is a fascinating letter writing exercise between the adult and child self using both dominant and non-dominant hands. I have used this exercise with all my clients and the responses always provoke thought and often emotion.
By embracing the hurt child inside, we can let go of past experiences which are having a toxic affect on our present lives. This allows more freedom to just be, to truly relax as you feel secure in your self and with the knowledge that there is nothing in life you cannot handle.
I hope this helps, please feel free to comment and share.