Inner Child Therapy: Reparenting the Inner Child

Inner Child Therapy: Reparenting the Inner Child

Many clients tell me during intake, “I think
I have a split personality. I’m fine one moment, but then in the blink of an eye I can get
really upset.” After completing the intake questions, I usually end up saying, “You
don’t have a split personality. You have an Adult and a Wounded Child.” I then explain
that the Adult is a metaphor for the part of the brain that is rational, lives in the
present moment, and sees things as they are right here, right now, while the Wounded Child
is a metaphor for the part of the brain that contains the unhealed emotional wounds from
childhood and sees the present as the past. The important thing to understand is that
these unhealed wounds can be jabbed, poked, and brushed up against by current events resulting
in an intense knee jerk reaction just as if someone bumped into your badly bruised knee. Significant unhealed childhood wounds fester
in the background until a stimulus in the present brushes up against them, releasing
a flood of repressed emotional pain that instantly turns your rational Adult into an intensely
emotional and irrational Wounded Child. For example, if you were verbally abused and relentlessly
criticized as a child, and then 20 years later your spouse says, “Honey, I think you hung
the picture a bit off center,” your Wounded Child can become flooded with repressed pain
and then instantly react with an intense anger that seems to come out of nowhere. But it
doesn’t. It comes from your Wounded Child. Since your Wounded Child reactions are overreactions
fueled by past pain rather than present reality, you react in ways that seem irrational, which
is confusing to you and others. So, you feel out of control, embarrassed, and angry at
yourself, which only increases your sense of shame and isolation. Clients usually hate
their Wounded Child even though the Wounded Child still longs for what every child needs
– love, acceptance, nurturance, and protection. Thus, to heal your Wounded Child and become
whole, you must bridge the gulf that separates the Adult from the Wounded Child, which means
your Adult must love, nurture, and protect your Inner Child, which is called “Reparenting
the Wounded Child.” Now, imagine you have a daughter who is panicky,
angry, or just feels bad about herself after being teased at school. How would you try
to help her? Would you tell her she’s a worthless person who no one could love? Would you be
harshly impatient with her, rejecting, and condemning? Would you ignore her needs and
feelings and tell her she’s stupid for having them? Well, I doubt it, and yet many of us who were
wounded in childhood do this to ourselves. We treat our Wounded Child in ways we would
never dream of treating another person. Reparenting the Inner Child means learning
to love, nurture, protect, and set healthy limits with your Wounded Child. It means learning
to own the wounds that encompass the Wounded Child and then working to heal them in the
same way you would support a son or daughter – with love, protection, and nurturance. With inner child therapy, I teach you how
to reparent the Wounded Child, including setting limits with knee-jerk reactions. I teach you
to recognize when the Wounded Child has been triggered, and then coach you in getting the
Adult back in charge. In addition, I work with you to develop a nurturing parental voice
to help your Wounded Child heal and grow, which is what the Inner Child needs most of
all. If you found this video helpful, please click
the Thumbs Up button. And if you want to hear more from me, then subscribe to my channel,
Counselor Carl. I will be publishing a new video every other weekend. And if you’d like
help in learning to reparent your Wounded Child, then visit my website,,
to learn more about me and the services I provide. Thank you for watching this video, and keep
paying attention to your life. Until next time.

28 thoughts on “Inner Child Therapy: Reparenting the Inner Child”

  1. thankyou counsellor carl I now know I have to heal my inner child myself as I was an abused child , but we me and my sister are free and left our old home , we are growing all the time , how do I start please if I may ask to heal the 10 yr old me and become whole ?

  2. I keep watching your videos over and over! The calm way you talk and explain so clearly is soo very helpful. Thank you very much counsellor Carl! 🙂

  3. I feel the inner child is the dependent part of us carrying around all the thoughts and feeling that we base on how we were treated. I know what I feel, how to feel healthy is unknown to me yet.

  4. I am leading a therapy group session tomorrow for a school project and I found a lot of your information SO HELPFUL! I will be sure to cite you as a helpful resource. Thank you so much for placing this where people can get help. I look forward to watching many of your other videos very soon!

  5. My best friend, who is also my roommate, has this issue. He refuses to believe that he has mental, emotional, and social issues that require professional help. He created a poisonous atmosphere in the home, what should I do?

  6. an unhealed child self-sure but could there be a genetic factor here? I don't for the life of me see how I was ever abused or neglected. But maybe a genetic factor could be taken as the wound to overcome no different than a childhood neglect thing.

  7. I feel desperate – emotionally almost unbearable. And I keep remembering the past and the many times my parents beat me and beat me and beat me. I scream for help.

  8. Jolly interesting Carl and very helpful in regard to 'anger-management problems, over-reaction, anxiety-depression, social-alienation etc etc – shared to Facebook & Google+

  9. This has helped me massively. So simple and makes sense – I've waited for 2 years for this, but now I get it. Thank you for your videos 🙂

  10. Thank you councillor Carl for showing this video to me and people how are suffering from depression . thus and more thank you

  11. Thank you so much, that video has really helped me understand why I react when confronted , I get upset & run away in certain situations.

  12. I’ve been watching so many videos on this topic I finally found somebody that is really connecting the dots and I like the way that you present this situation in a nice calm and understanding way it has completely put into perspective how deep my problems are and what I need to do about them… Thank you!!

  13. Very good video. Thank you for doing this, it explains a lot to some that are wounded from childhood…Zuzanna


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