This article is sourced from Dr. Nicole LePera's Twitter account (@theholisticpsyc). Loulourose does not own any of the contents in this article.

"As adults, we carry our childhood experiences within our subconscious mind. Our inner child is the part of our psyche that carries: our attachment wounds, our core beliefs about ourselves, and our learned coping mechanisms.

How we were loved as children will show up in every relationship we have. This is why doing work to heal our inner child can change our relationships, including our relationship with ourselves.

Here's some sign your inner child needs healing:

1. You struggle to trust people.

When we were emotionally abused or neglected (had parents who were workaholics, highly distracted, etc) we can develop abandonment wounding and feel people will betray us.

2. You're controlling

When our inner child doesn't feel safe, we tend to be controlling to try to protect ourselves. We don't trust that we can handle life, so we try to micromanage people and situations. Where there's control, there's fear.

3. You're hyper-independent

When our inner child is wounded we can develop an "I don't need anyone" protection mechanism. We don't know how to ask for and accept help and become avoidant in relationships.

4. You have dysfunctional coping mechanisms

When we didn't have a parent figure who was attuned & taught us how to regulate our emotions, we adapt by doing anything we can to self soothe. Dysfunctional coping mechanisms bring short term relief, then shame.

5 You gaslight yourself

You often tell yourself it "wasn't that bad," tell yourself to "just get over it" or beat yourself up over mistakes. This is a learned behavior that is created when our childhood developmental needs aren't met.

6. You have little or no childhood memories

Chaotic, unpredictable, or unsafe childhood environments can create a pattern of dissociation. Dissociation creates a situation where we can't recall memories.

A majority of us have inner child wounding of some kind. Few of us leave childhood unscathed, and it's normal to have not had our emotional needs met.
At any time, we can start to heal our inner child by create a safe secure attachment with ourselves.


How to heal your inner child:

1. Write inner child a letter

Write a letter to the younger version of yourself. Tell that version of yourself that you're going to protect them and acknowledge everything you experienced. Let the words flow (and the tears)

2. Find a photo of yourself at age 3-6

Put this photo in a place you'll see every day (some people choose to make this photo their cell phone background. Remind yourself that you're doing this work for "little" you.

3. Use this affirmation

"You are safe now." When you're stressed, becoming critical of yourself, and feeling less than place your hand on your heart and visualize your younger self as you say these words.

4. Plan unstructured time

Many of us grew up having to achieve or perform for love. By planning unstructured time to do things you love, you nurture your curious and joyful inner child.

5. Create things

Creativity is healing balm for our inner child. Drawling, painting, writing a song/short story, or doing anything else that gets us back into the body is so important. Remember, don't judge yourself. Or overthink it."


If you found this article helpful, follow @theholisticpsyc on Twitter. Dr. LePera write threads every day on how to heal yourself. Her new workbook dives deeper into inner child healing:

The Workbook For Self Discovery - How To Meet Yourself

December 20, 2022

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About the author

Thyra Amelinda

Thyra is a content creator. Previously a social media manager at a creative PR agency, she’s been in the creative industry for almost 4 years and is currently on a quest to empower people especially young women through her musings. As an individual who aims to live a simple life, she loves spending her time reading, writing and playing tennis—anything to be away from the hustle bustle.