Your Inner Child

Posted on June 29th, 2012 by Denise | No Comments

Your Inner Child


Denise Koonce OTR

Are you in touch with your inner child?  Do you know where it is hiding?  Probably just behind that wall we call “adulthood”.  As a child we so wish to grow up and as an adult we so wish to have that playful peace I consider my inner child.  I spoke last week about imagination and I believe it appropriate to also add to the discussion your inner child.  Why?  Because I believe it is essential to possess both. 

What is your inner child?  It can mean different things to different people.  I like to think of my inner child as that playful, happy, giggly place. It’s the place that you have been trained to push down or suppress in order to grow up.  It is the place that says yes when it should be “no”.  It is that innocent, wonderful, joyous, loud, honest, place that children wear like a second skin.

Why is it so important to therapy?  Why is it important for you as a therapist to find yours?   Motivation!!!!  Kids can sense whether or not you are in tune to your inner child.  They demonstrate by how they gravitate to certain individuals.  Ever notice in a family situation which teenager or adult the children want to be around.  It will be the one that has the most prominent inner child.  It will be the one who dies to his/her adult self in order to make the kids laugh and have fun.  It is the individual who will play on the playground and actually play tag or hide and seek.  It is the individual who has the tickle fests, plays fort or catches fire flies and rollie pollies.  It is the person who sits through the tea parties, and fashion shows, and impromptu acting performances.  It is the person who lets the child wear a tutu with gum boots or a Spiderman costume to eat pancakes.  In some small way it allows adults and children to be on the same level or wavelength.

Knowing your inner child during therapy can be one of your largest assets.  It can be used along with your imagination to help drive the internal motivation of the child to succeed during the treatment session.  It helps you to engage the child in activities that they might not otherwise be willing to try or do.  Sound hard?  It is probably easier to engage your inner child than you think.  For practice, begin to notice those little moments of “I wish I could” before your adult constructs say “no.”  For example, when you have the urge to play in the rain, spit watermelon seeds, or make mud pies but hesitate because you don’t want to get dirty or take the time to clean up since you should be doing A, B, and C;  your inner child just ran head first into your adult construct.  Next time go with the urge and allow yourself to connect with your inner child.  It will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship and a great tool during therapy.

Mary Poppins said it best “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”  Same premise applies here “Just a little inner child helps the therapy go well.”  Please share with us some of your inner child moments in therapy and the outcomes that occurred.

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