May 5, 2023

Healing Inner Childhood Wounds: Identifying and Overcoming Trauma

The inner child concept helps one understand self and others. Access adolescent experiences to identify & heal old wounds. Embrace your inner child for a brighter future.

Have you ever been in a big city and looked around, only to feel like the world is spinning too fast? Maybe it's because instead of living in the moment, our heads are stuck back in time reflecting on wounds we experienced during childhood. Whether they be physical scars, fear, or emotional damage, these inner child wounds stick with us over the years and can keep us from becoming our best selves.

Our relationship with them can determine our paths forward a realization embedded within all of us needs to be discovered as opposed to denying. It’s time for each one of us to get real about our childhood fears and anxiety, make peace with them, and use that newfound understanding as fuel for sustainable success!

Who is the Inner Child?

The inner child also referred to as the "true self" or "intuitive self," is a concept that focuses on childhood memories and emotions. It examines how childhood experiences shape our adult lives and personalities, using the reminiscing of adolescence to identify and mend psychological wounds. The idea of the inner child suggests that these emotions should be embraced rather than suppressed, leading to increased overall well-being.

While all childhoods include some degree of trauma, understanding who we were at an earlier age can help heal old wounds and lead us to greater self-acceptance and happiness. By exploring our past feelings and related injuries, we can strive for more meaningful relationships in adulthood and achieve greater emotional balance in life.

What causes a damaged inner child?

Many adults struggle with trauma from formative years that has caused their inner child to become damaged. While a struggle-free upbringing is ideal, the reality is that people often experience trauma or hurtful events during childhood due to neglect, feeling unloved, or being bullied. This can leave a person with deep wounds and stress stemming from their " wounded inner child" that has them struggling throughout life.

It is possible to heal these wounds through therapy, a spiritual path, or meditation. However, it takes time and work which many individuals shy away from as it means reckoning with painful memories and emotions stored in the past. No matter how traumatic the experience was, however, we all have the capacity to nurture our wounded inner child within us and cause it to flourish once again.

What are the core inner childhood wounds?

For adults, looking back at childhood can be a bittersweet experience. It's the time of life when children are growing, learning, and discovering their identities but it can also be a period of turmoil and struggle. Inner child wounds are the sting of hurts from those times: from feeling unheard or misunderstood to being in an emotionally neglectful family or being on the receiving end of bullying or judgment. Though these wounds can sometimes linger into adulthood, there’s still hope that with some self-reflection and self-compassion, we can reconcile our pasts and create healthier futures.

How do you identify a childhood wound?

Identifying childhood wounds is often like solving an archeological puzzle. We may have foggy, incomplete memories of past experiences, but like an archaeological dig, we must uncover the past layers of our inner child wounds to really get to the bottom of what's causing pain and suffering today.

With careful excavation and assistance from a counselor or therapist, we can begin to put together the pieces so we can discover what has been hidden away in the past and finally find answers that lead to healing.

The following signs show that your inner child needs healing

Childhood is a time that all of us can look back on with fondness. Unfortunately, the experiences that we have had at that time can affect our lives well into adulthood. Often times these traumas don’t just stay tucked away but show themselves through our emotions and behavior as adults. If you feel like some things from your past are affecting who you are today, it may be a sign of inner child healing needed in order to find balance once again.

Here, we’ll explore the signs shown by adults when their wounded inner child needs healing and how to begin the journey toward recovery.

Self-sabotaging behaviors

Breaking bad habits can sometimes be like trying to turn back time - no matter how hard we try, nothing ever seems to change. That's why many of us are turning to inner child healing as a way to bring about a fundamental shift in our self-sabotaging behaviors.

The goal is to unlock and reconnect with your younger self, thereby allowing you to tap into memories and feelings that might otherwise remain buried deep in the subconscious. Through this process, you can uncover the damaging patterns of behavior that have been holding you back and begin the journey toward making positive changes in your life.

Unhealthy coping skills

A wounded inner child can be a source of many unhealthy coping skills, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. We all have an inner child that is affected by both intentional and unintentional events in our lives, leading to our current mental state. Though these early experiences may influence an individual's reactions to stress, they don’t have to create long-term pain or hinder our ability to learn healthy coping skills.

Proven methods such as psychotherapy and mindfulness can help open up pathways for us to heal or even see beyond our trauma, allowing us to develop proper means for addressing negative emotions without having to resort to potentially harmful ways of coping.

Low self-esteem

A wounded inner child could very well be the cause of low self-esteem. After all, if we aren't receiving the care or attention we need as children, our overall view of ourselves can suffer significantly. With a mindset already in protective mode, emotions can run high and it may seem as if nothing quite measures up.

Entering adulthood with a wounded inner child can feel like an uphill battle against ourselves, a situation that's likely to leave one feeling far less than adequate. But healing is possible by compassionately peeling back layers of self-doubt and cynicism to reveal the inner strength, beauty, and power that has always been inside us.

Relationship Problems

Without a doubt, trying to form relationships when your inner child has sustained emotional wounds is no walk in the park. The past can have a powerful impact on our present relations, and it's no surprise that those sporting deep scars from their childhood are particularly susceptible to continuing this hurtful cycle.

A wounded inner child can often mean an anxious and stressed adult looking for resolution in all the wrong places. Through therapy and self-care these issues can be addressed, hopefully leading to healthier connections with others in the future. So before you blame your romantic woes on bad luck, perhaps take a look at what your inner child needs too!

Mental and emotional problems

When faced with the question of whether a wounded inner child has mental and emotional problems it can often seem like a no-brainer of course they do! After all, their inner selves have been hurt in some capacity. But the truth is that without actively healing those wounds, most often our mental and emotional struggles tend to perpetuate.

A wounded inner child's world turns upside down, resulting in depression, sadness, anger, or any other type of emotion being magnified until something is done to address it. We may think that our past experiences don't matter but the reality is that they have lasting impacts on our present selves. So yes, when a wounded inner child isn't healed they can suffer from severe mental and emotional issues, don't be caught unaware!

How do you heal an injured inner child?

Those of us who have an injured inner child know that it can be filled with aching, loneliness, confusion, and trauma. But what do you do when your inner child is hurt? How can we heal from the wounds of the past and learn to feel safe, nurtured, and connected in the present? I will explore some tips and techniques on how to best nurture your inner child’s healing process from understanding its needs to prioritizing yourself as its father, mother, or caretaker. With a bit of patience and determination, you too may soon find comfort in connecting with this part of you - allowing both it and yourself to heal!

Connect with your inner child

A happy, healthy inner child is key to living a fulfilled life, so if yours has suffered an injury, it's time to reach out and connect with the raw emotions that often lay dormant beneath the surface. This can be intimidating at first but you have the strength within yourself to make repairs and bring the fun, peace, and harmony back into balance. Take your time, allow space for introspection and connect and speak with that hurt inner child as a loving mother would. Watch as time passes, healing takes place and both of you emerge more resilient and in tune with each other.

Listen to your inner child

Start off by listening to your inner child. Acknowledge both the pain and despair and try to understand where those feelings come from. This will help you determine what needs healing and which comforting voice or words you need to tell to calm yourself. Nurture yourself the same way you would nurture another in need - with patience, love, and understanding. You might find that healing your inner child is easier than you had anticipated if you listen closely - because they always know what's best for them.

Bring back your childhood joy memories

Believe it or not, recovering adolescent joy and rekindling forgotten childhood memories can actually be quite fun. Bring back some of the simple pleasures and enthusiasm you experienced as a carefree kid—ice cream dates with your father and mother, roller-skating at the local rink, or building your own mini residence from Lego blocks.

Start small and remember to laugh; genuine belly laughter rewards you with a sense of childlike glee that no one can ever take away. With practice, you'll begin to remember how to tap into the wide-eyed wonderment that comes so naturally in young people, thereby activating your capacity for resilience.

Try Journaling Exercise

After some soul searching, I came across two strategies that I found really helpful: try the shadow work journal exercise and meditation. It sounds cheesy, but hearing from my inner child in a safe and private space allowed me to raise my awareness of the hurt and better address them.

Meditation also allowed me to shut off the flow of constant thoughts cluttering my mind, so I could be more compassionate with myself and get back in touch with my authentic self. In any case, inner child healing is no easy feat – but try hitting it head-on if you feel like you need to!

Consult a therapist

While consulting a therapist is always an excellent idea, there are some simple activities that you can do on your own to nurture your hurt inner child. Describe your feelings of pain and anger by writing them down or speaking out loud. This helps create a space for releasing those emotions instead of holding them inside. From there, dedicate some time to self-care, meditating, and focusing on positive affirmations in order to reaffirm your worthiness. Above all else, loving yourself no matter what is key!

Healing Inner Child Wounds Using Attachment Imagery

Healing our inner child wounds can be a tough journey and at times anxiety-inducing. But with the use of attachment imagery, we can create a safe supportive space to safely explore these hidden feelings. Attachment imagery isn't about remembering the past, but building relationships in the present to support our inner healing.

It's about creating an imaginative bridge for us to access those parts of ourselves that we need help connecting with. With courage and patience, we can build understanding, compassion, and resilience to begin healing from parts of us that have been crying out for comfort and love long before today.

What is inner child syndrome?

Inner child syndrome is a bit of a strange and funny concept - essentially, it's the idea that although we are adults, our mindset and behavior can be dictated by emotions and experiences we came into contact with when we were children.

If you struggle to let go of those 'inner child' behaviors, then you may have inner child syndrome, essentially longer-lasting effects from childhood traumatic experiences. It doesn't sound exactly comforting, but thankfully, there are various forms of therapy to help us manage our emotions in ways more suitable for adulting.

Does everyone have a wounded inner child?

Intense, ongoing feelings of emptiness, helplessness, and hopelessness are frequently experienced by people who have got a wounded inner child. Ever feel like you can't handle the realities of life? That you'd rather just retreat to your inner world and ignore the unpleasantness? Well, it's a common emotional experience among humans and can be attributed to our wounded inner child within.

You might not see them poking around inside but they're definitely there, likely donning tattered clothes with a wounded expressions on their face. Whatever your wounded inner child may look like, make sure you give them the love, guidance, and care that their soul craves.

How do you know if you're emotionally wounded?

Let me tell you if anxiety and worry are frequent companions of your thoughts and if you find yourself constantly looking for ways to hide your sadness, that's a pretty clear-cut signal that you may be dealing with some sort of emotional wound. It's hard enough getting through regular life struggles without having to deal with underlying issues born from an emotional backstory. So, if you feel like it's bogging you down too much, it may be time to reach out for help.

What is emotional healing?

Emotional healing is the process of restoring a person's emotional balance so they can move forward in their spiritual path. It involves identifying negative emotions or patterns of behavior and replacing them with positive ones.

To heal a person emotionally, it is important to start by creating a safe and supportive environment that builds trust, eliminates any judgment or criticism, and allows them to express their feelings without fear. Then, mindful communication should be encouraged such as active listening and creating space for further exploration of issues beneath the surface.

Ultimately, emotional recovery is about creating an atmosphere that enables deep sense, self-awareness, and personal growth through gentle acceptance and learning how to better manage frustrations and stresses in life.


The inner child is a powerful concept that can help us understand ourselves and others better. It allows us to access our adolescent experiences and emotions in order to identify and heal old wounds. By acknowledging and embracing our inner child, we can move forward in life with increased confidence and an overall bright future!

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Dive into your shadows and heal the deepest parts of your subconscious mind!
Solve your internal struggles by increasing self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-love. This workbook will guide you every step of the way, with plenty of prompts and advice to help you engage with your shadow self.
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Shadow Work Journal

Solve your internal struggles by increasing self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-love. This workbook will guide you every step of the way, with plenty of prompts and advice to help you engage with your shadow self.