By Ester Kane

Abstract: A woman-centred psychotherapist explains the concept of the “inner child” and the benefits of getting to know your own inner child.

I thought it might be nice to celebrate our “inner child” in this article. I’m guessing that most of you know what I’m talking about when I say “inner child”, but for clarity’s sake, I’ll share with you what I mean by that term…

I am completely convinced that all of us grown-up women walk around with a vulnerable ‘little girl’ inside of us who gets our attention in some ingenious ways if we’re not tuned into her and can lead us down some very self-destructive paths.  Many of my client’s inner children lead them to binge on food, get into disastrous relationships, or run themselves into the ground until they are completely burned out.  Why?  So that they will LISTEN to what she is trying to tell them! 

Most often, it’s something like this:

“I wanna play!  You’re working me too hard!

 “I’m tired- I need rest”

 “I need to be loved”

 “I need to be appreciated”

 And the list goes on…

 As a therapist, I see it as my job to help women re-connect with this sweet, innocent, and often wounded little girl, learn to tune into what she needs, and then give it to her.  In essence, this is a process of “re-parenting” ourselves and learning to be unconditionally loving, accepting, and forgiving instead of beating ourselves up emotionally through myriad acts of self-destruction. 

This is not an easy or a speedy process, but with much persistence, practice, and a lot of patience, it is unbelievably rewarding.  I have done a lot of inner work personally (and continue to do so on a daily basis) and guided countless women through their own, and I hope I speak for all of us when I say that doing this difficult but absolutely essential work IS WORTH IT!

You can read the rest of “Happy Childhood” in the Summer Issue of WE Magazine for Women