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  • Writer's picture Zalman Nelson - Therapist

How to Heal Your Inner Child: Listening

Updated: Dec 24, 2023

listen to inner child

We all have an Inner Child. It's who we were until around 12, the part that absorbed all the formative messages and experiences growing up and through the school years. The good stuff about who we are, the unmet emotional needs that we continue to struggle with, that go unmet, and are at the heart of the emotional triggers in our relationships.

How to Heal Your Inner Child

How do you work with your Inner Child and heal her? A crucial part of healing is to validate her by hearing her, like with a good friend who's struggling and comes to talk with you. You put down your phone, are present, and tune in. The hearing and paying attention are validating. It's a statement that your friend is of worth: worth your time to stop what you're doing and turn in. Our Inner Child – think 7-year-old you – needs the same thing: to be regularly treated in ways that demonstrate she's worthy, valid, lovable, cared about, safe, secure, and matters.

Hear, Listen, and Understand Your Inner Child

Listening, hearing, and understanding are essential. When someone comes to you to talk and share what's on their mind or what they are going through, you don't have to "do" anything other than hear, listen, and understand. Of course, bear in mind that hearing, listening, and understanding don't mean 1) agreeing or 2) forfeiting your right to share or have your views and opinions.

And when you hear, listen, and understand someone, you've just done so much for them. You don't have to fix the issue or give the advice to make it go away. That's step two if the speaker even wants advice and help. Instead, what needs to be done for someone, first and foremost, when they share is to hear, listen, and understand. You've given them so much: a sense they count and matter, are essential, are allowed to feel, are cared about, and more.

Use Triggered Moments

The same applies to your relationship with yourself, your Inner Child. When feelings come up when you're triggered or notice yourself overreacting, that's your Inner Child trying to communicate with you. Work on giving him/her the same hearing, listening, and understanding you give to others when they talk with you.

Use the feelings chart in The Trigger Method, or try these four statements. The next time you sense triggered emotions coming up for you, try to connect with them.


Click here for a consultation with me, where we will review your triggers and emotional needs and show you the road map for success.

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