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Inner Child Work: What It Is and How to Work Through It

Angeli Sivaraman
Angeli Sivaraman
5 min read
Inner Child Work: What It Is and How to Work Through It
Janahan (my brother) and I, cerca 1992. My 3rd birthday party was at Pizza Hut!!!

Table of Contents

This post idea came to me in a dream this week. How neat! Another reason why everyone needs a dream journal 😎 If you haven’t got your dream journal yet, get it here today!

What Is the Inner Child?

  • The idea of the inner child became popularized by the Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung.
  • The inner child is a part of your subconscious throughout your lifetime, no matter what your age. Everyone has an inner child.
  • The inner child carries all of the events of childhood - the joys, triumphs, and creative moments, as well as the sorrow, pain, and beliefs about yourself

The Basic Needs of a Child

Every child needs two things: physical safety and a feeling of acceptance and belonging.

If the child does not get both of these things, it can significantly impact their life later on. The psyche of a child is extremely delicate.

So what if you had a seemingly pacific childhood? You came from a loving family and had food on the table every night. Something could have happened (anything) to have caused a deep wound that follows you into adulthood.

What is Childhood Trauma?

Childhood trauma is anything that could have caused pain to the child without being healed at that moment. As a child, you are completely dependent on your parents for your needs. When your needs aren’t met, you may feel incomplete or wounded.

Even something that appears to be very minor can feel extremely damaging to a child.

When I was a baby, my dad took a trip for a few days. When he got back, he tried to hold me. According to my mom, I was screaming and crying endlessly.

She thinks I forgot who he was. But I really think what happened was, I was upset with my dad being gone for so long. And it formed how I felt about myself, even as a baby, before I could formulate words.

I’ve come to realize it has impacted me relationally, as somewhere along the way I carried the belief I was unlovable and unsafe in relationships.

While that sounds woefully sad, there are ways to reparent and heal yourself so that you can believe in yourself and love yourself better.

Why Do We Want to Heal our Inner Child

We want to heal our inner child so that we can heal painful moments in our lifetime and live more freely and fully.

If childhood wounds remain unhealed, then we tend to look outwardly for someone else to comfort our inner child and make them feel safe. However, it’s not really on others to heal our pain and if we think that it is, we are left feeling overwhelmed, rejected, and unfulfilled in our relationships.

Further, our subconscious finds more situations to keep rehashing the wounds we felt as children until we sit down with the pain and process it. Most of us were taught not to feel our pain, or that “good children” were ones that behaved and smiled politely.

But if we hide our pain, eventually it becomes subconscious. At that point, it is out of plain sight but insidiously directing our beliefs and behaviors.

Healing our inner child means giving that child version of you the love, attention, and safety they so wanted, so that they can be seen, heard, and validated. This is an important step to healing.

How to Know If It’s An Inner Child Phenomenon

Any time you feel triggered, trapped, rejected, hurt, scared, abandoned, too much, or too little is a good sign it’s your inner child. There was probably something that happened in your past to make you feel this way.

Connecting With Your Inner Child

As mentioned before, there are two parts to the inner child (the joyous side and the wounded side).

  • One way to connect to your inner child is to honor and celebrate the positive aspects, imagination, creativity, and hobbies of your inner child
  • The second way is to acknowledge the ways that your inner child has been wounded and nurture that inner child back to safety

We want to both celebrate and honor our inner child as well as be there in times of need.

How to Converse with your Inner Child

There are multiple ways logistically to do this. One would be to work with a trained therapist who can help guide you.

Another would be to meditate. You can imagine your inner child in front of you or in your lap.  Imagine taking your inner child into your arms and conversing with them.

You can also use EFT (emotional freedom technique, aka tapping on certain acupressure points in the body while reciting phrases to acknowledge pain and reprogram the subconscious) to connect with your inner child.

You may use the line “even though my inner child feels _____, I deeply love and accept my inner child.”

Here is another really good video on EFT for the inner child.

The best way to heal the inner child is to reparent them. This means you are acting as the loving parent and giving them what they need.

How to Reparent Your Inner Child

  1. Acknowledge the child within. Be aware that your inner child exists inside of you and is with you in every moment.
  2. Have a conversation with them. In your meditation, ask them what they are feeling and why. Even if all you get back is an upset feeling without words, that is progress.  Remember that your feelings are momentary, and that by opening your awareness to them, they will pass. Feelings only get stuck when you suppress or ignore them. If you don't feel your feelings, your body will remember those feelings and they’ll resurface later.
  3. Nurture. You can reparent the inner child by holding space for them and soothing them. “Hug” your inner child (in your meditation) and let them know that you hear them and you are there for them. Let them know they are safe and protected. If you use EFT here, you can say, "My inner child is safe with me, I deeply love and accept them".

I use EFT all the time when I feel triggered and it helps me move from a state of panic to a state of love and acceptance fairly quickly.

We may not be able to completely heal all childhood wounds in one go, but we can use tools to acknowledge root causes and rewrite our stories. Each time we do this, we rewire our brains and subconscious and move towards wholeness.

The Bottom Line

Reparenting the inner child takes an immense amount of self-awareness and inner work. The good news is, you can reparent yourself and set yourself up for new relational success.

By using the steps above, you can connect, communicate with, and nurture your inner child to create a healthier relationship with yourself. And in turn, with other people.

You break out of old patterns and into a newer and healthier version of yourself. You build a new relationship with yourself made of love and acceptance.  

Love yourself by giving your inner child what they need!

Please let me know if any of this resonated with you. I know this can be a painful topic, so take good care when reading through!

Sending you all my best wishes!



"Hold the hand of the child within you. For this child, nothing is impossible." - Paulo Coelho


  1. Aiyana, Sheleana. Becoming the One: Heal Your Past, Transform Your Relationship Patterns, and Come Home to Yourself. Chronicle Prism: 2022.
  2. "Inner Child Work: How to Heal By Reparenting Yourself." Big Self School.
  3. "How to tap with Jessica Ortner". Youtube. Date Accessed: June 13, 2022.
  4. "Healing the Inner Child|Tapping with Renee." Youtube. Date Accessed: Aug 14, 2022.
inner child workinner childwhat it ishow to work through itreparentingreparenting your inner child

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Angeli Sivaraman is a spiritualist, meditator, nature junkie, and dog mom. She is the creator of Sage Elephant, a blog about spirituality and wellness. She can be reached by email!