Unit 3 Healing the Inner Child

From my own counselling practice over the last 15 years I have noticed more than anything, how present the inner child is in the therapy room with the majority of clients. Healing the inner child not only offers profound healing but also transformational change. It is often the last piece of the jigsaw for my clients who have been in therapy for many years, imagine what would happen if we could recognise the presence of the inner child sooner in therapy? Not only do most of us need to heal our inner child but this often links in heavily with psychiatric diagnoses such as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). My own therapeutic practice has been focused on making real, tangible change in a clients healing and working with the inner child does just that.

The aim of this unit is to enable learners to understand how to work with the inner child based on the theories proposed by Freud, Jung, Diamond, Berne, Bradshaw & Parks. It focuses on contacting, understanding, and embracing the inner child. The unit explores the qualities of the inner child (joy, innocence, sensitivity, playfulness, anger, fear, shame and jealousy) and the benefits of healing repressed memories and feelings as a route towards integration. Learners will be invited to embrace their own inner child as an experiential route towards learning how to work with the inner child in the therapeutic setting. 

The unit also aims to enable learners to explore key models of human growth and development in relation to counselling. This unit gives learners an opportunity to consider the theoretical concepts underpinning models of human growth and development. Learners will explore the main physical and psychological factors affecting human growth and development. Learners will have the opportunity to explore the impact of these concepts on themselves and the counselling process. 

Learning and Assessment

Learning will take the form of directed study, personal development opportunities, role play, self-directed study and enrichment activities. Assessment of the unit will be through a range of role play and simulation, discussion, journal writing, assignments and a creative project which all demonstrate theoretical understanding and interpersonal  reflection.  

Learners are encouraged to use their knowledge of developmental models to explore their understanding of themselves, their colleagues and clients to investigate appropriate forms of communication. They should especially identify and evaluate the impact of the use of a developmental model on their counselling practice. 

Essential Reading

Recovery of Your Inner Child: The Highly Acclaimed Method for Liberating Your Inner Self

by Lucia Capacchione 1 Mar. 1991

The Counsellor’s Guide to Parks’ Inner Child Therapy (Human Horizons) (Human Horizons): For counsellors seeking a complete resolution of trauma and abuse based on cognitive imaging techniques

by Penny Parks  24 Mar 1994

Growing Up Again: Parenting Ourselves, Parenting Our Children

by Jean Illsley Clarke   5 May 1998