Healing the inner child to regain happiness and balance as an adult

For harmonious development, both physically and psycho-Emotionally, every person needs the right space and loving, protective attachment figures around. Each of us needs to find a sense of “home”, with basic needs provided (food, rest, cleanliness), with a sense of security, love, belonging and acceptance, which fill in what “home” means to each of us.

“Most shadows in our lives arise because we stand in the way of the light ourselves”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the first 7 years of life we internalise feelings of safety, love, acceptance and belonging in different ways, depending on how and how we encountered them in our family and environment. Some of us have felt protected, so that in adult life we have confidence in ourselves and can give confidence to others. For others, the experience of development has been less positive, shaping them as people who find it difficult to trust themselves and others, feel unwanted and inadequate in most situations, lacking a sense of security and support. They are people who seek refuge in their partner and job most of the time, expecting to find fulfilment and security. In even more unfortunate situations, these people seek refuge in alcohol, drugs, gambling and promiscuous sexual behaviour. These positive and less positive childhood experiences, together with our genetic inheritance, lead to the formation of a part of our personality, the “inner child”.

The inner child

The inner child represents all our good and not-so-good experiences that were formed in childhood along with the attachment figures and contexts of the time. These experiences are in the subconscious and represent the fears and difficulties felt in that period of development together with the positive experiences lived then, so that in adult life, when we refer to the inner child we talk about desires and fears.


To make “inner child” a more understandable concept, I’ll give you an example:

A couple, Maria and Tudor, have been together for 4 years. He frequently gets upset when she is not attentive to his needs and asks her to buy him his favorite ice cream, and Maria happens to forget. In moments like this, Tudor experiences replayed childhood experiences of his parents neglecting/disregarding his needs and blames Maria for not feeling important enough for her. In this context, Maria is replaying the scenario of her childhood, when she was always criticized and rarely succeeded in pleasing her parents. Thus, the inner child of the two is wounded, maintaining a dysfunctional pattern in the relationship.

The inner child is present in absolutely all of our relationships (work or school relationships, family relationships, friendships, etc.). The inner child is also present in people whose childhood was balanced, not only in those who suffered a lot of trauma during that period, because there are no perfect parents and no perfect childhood. Choosing to ignore your inner child’s unfulfilled desires and fears can lead to conflictual relationships, permanent dissatisfaction, irritability and even chronic psychiatric pathologies.

Signs of an Inner Injured Child

From my experience as a psychotherapist I can conclude that a wounded inner child is characterized by:

  • excessive politeness
  • lack of assertiveness
  • procrastination
  • low frustration tolerance
  • poor impulse control
  • the need to please others
  • neglecting one’s own physical and mental health
  • the need for fulfilment through others
  • feelings of rejection and inadequacy
  • persistent fear of “I can’t”
  • different types of addictions: alcohol, drugs, sex, work
  • inability to get out of unsatisfactory relationships


It is very important to heal the inner child that exists in each of us for:

  • to have qualitative interpersonal relationships
  • to be autonomous
  • increase life satisfaction
  • have an adequate self-esteem
  • to overcome unpleasant, even painful events more easily
  • to decrease our anxiety in achieving our desired goals
  • take care of our physical and mental health

How do we take care of our inner child?

A healthy inner child needs to have their desires fulfilled and feel protected. Thus, in healing the inner child, we act from two sides:
1. Protection (we as adults choose to talk about our difficulties, thus becoming aware of what we need, we learn to take care of the inner child that has not been protected by our attachment figures from childhood. By protection I mean learning to feel safe, learning to beware of what can be dangerous, learning to behave in a way that keeps us healthy).

2. Fulfilled desires (increased attention to being in touch with one’s own needs, to having the courage to ask for them and to fulfill them as much as possible. Here it is important to learn to say NO to others and YES to ourselves).

Both childhood fears and unfulfilled desires are main approaches in psychotherapy, leading to an improved quality of life and a healthy inner child, in touch with his needs and learning to reveal his capacities in order to feel safe. To begin practicing the development and healing of an inner child, I propose an exercise that I frequently use in my practice.

The exercise consists of doing one of the following behavioural challenges over a period of one month. Four main areas of focus are targeted to establish a balance in healing the inner child: body, job/purchasing, relationships, fantasy.


🌟 sari rope 🌟 enjoy a favorite childhood dessert or food 🌟 dancing 🌟 swing like you did as a child 🌟 sign up for the sport you wish you had done as a child


🀄 learn a foreign language that sounds fun
🀄 learn to play a new game
🀄 recite a poem
🀄 learn/participate in courses/activities not necessarily related to your profession


👩‍👩‍👧‍👧 get together with friends for a game night (Mime, Mafia, Activity) 👩‍👩‍👧‍👧 spend time with friends to do “nothing” together 👩‍👩‍👧‍👧 meet up with family and look at photo albums or recordings from your own childhood (here too the perspective of the past changes) 👩‍👩‍👧‍👧 enjoy a short, unplanned meeting with family members (no need to wait until Christmas for that)


🔮 watch your childhood movie 🔮 read a book you haven’t had time for before 🔮 reread your favorite story (pay attention to what drew you to it) 🔮 meditate

It is essential to be patient and gentle with ourselves in this process. Healing the inner child is not a race, but rather a long-term journey to self-discovery and healing. Through this journey, we can rediscover the joy, innocence and curiosity we felt as children, bringing them into the present and turning them into a source of strength and wisdom.

By healing our inner child, we give ourselves the chance to live an authentic, self-determined and happy life. So let’s take the time and love we need to connect with this part of our being and bring balance and harmony into our lives.

Author: Ioana Bejan – Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist
terapia cu pisici beneficii sanatatea mintala

Cat therapy – myth or reality

Studies from all over the world also support scientifically what we – intuitively – have perceived: the company of cats is a real help in everyday life, and even more so for people with disorders or conditions such as depression or anxiety. We have summarized for you in the following lines the 10 most important mental health benefits that come with furry friends:.

terapie de cuplu

About dependency and independence in relationships – health vs. toxicity in couples

A huge challenge facing many couples today is finding a balance between dependence – the need for the other person – and independence – supporting and focusing on our own interests. Where and how do we find the fine line that separates healthy attachment and normal, natural dependence from the tendency to spend a lot of time away from our partner, with interests and concerns that do not include them?

echilibru intre job si viata personala

Work – life balance – can we find the balance between personal life and work?

There was a time when the boundaries between work and home life were clear. In today’s society, work often takes precedence over everything else in our lives. Our desire to succeed professionally can push us to set aside our own well-being. We tend to fall into the trap of thinking that we can be productive all the time or that an eight-hour day at work equals eight hours of being productive. However, this is difficult, if not impossible, for many of us.

Depression and its management in the family

What to do when a loved one is experiencing depression? What NOT to do when you want to help someone with depression? When a member of our family or a close friend suffers from depression it is challenging for everyone, but depression is treatable and emotional and social support greatly improves treatment outcomes.

Mental disorders and personality disorders – definitions, comparison/limits, examples, therapeutic approach

Mental disorders and personality disorders are two distinct categories of psychological disorders that significantly affect an individual’s mental state and behaviour. Although they have different characteristics and symptoms, both can cause significant difficulties in a person’s daily life and require therapeutic intervention.

Impostor syndrome

Impostor syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that affects many people, even those who are professionally accomplished and arguably successful.

Addressing the mental health of children and adolescents as a couple

The mental health of children and adolescents should be a major concern nowadays, and the recognition and proper management of their problems becomes vital. However, the situation can become complicated when one parent doesn’t admit it or is completely against it.

The phases of dementia through the eyes of carers

Dementia is a neurocognitive disorder characterised by a global cognitive deterioration, resulting from a progressive and irreversible decline in brain function. Depending on the stage of the disease, in addition to cognitive impairment, dementia also involves other pathological manifestations in the behavioural and emotional spheres.

Burnout – How holidays help us avoid overwork

Burnout is an occupational phenomenon, defined as a conceptualized syndrome resulting from a chronic imbalance in the workplace that has not been successfully managed, arising between the demands of the job and the work resources of the person involved.

What is obsessive-compulsive disorder? Symptoms, causes, treatment.

A number of stereotypes and myths have developed around obsessive-compulsive disorder over time. It is a mental disorder that is often misunderstood. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is more than an obsession with symmetry and neatness, it is a pervasive medical disorder that affects people personally as well as relationally and professionally.

Appointments in IAȘI:

0747 202 212 / 0332 505 114

Appointments in TIMIȘOARA:

0754 431 431 / 0356 800 300

Contact Iași:

Str. Străpungere Silvestru nr. 60, bl. CL11, sc. B, ground floor, Iași, county: Iași

Contact Belcești:

com. Belcești, B entrance, Bl. 4, county: Iași

Contact Timișoara:

Str. Simion Bărnuțiu nr. 34, Timișoara, county: Timiș