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Taking Stock and Reconsidering Inner Child Work: Time for Unflinching Honesty & Unfinished Healing?

By Francesca Starr, Ph.D.

As you step through the doorway from one year to the next, it’s natural to do as Janus does: look back and ahead. But this year, instead of just reflecting on the past year or making New Year’s resolutions, consider using this first part of the year to take stock of your life. Take time to hear the voices calling to you from deep within. They will help give direction and focus for your personal and spiritual/consciousness growth in 2010.

Who all are you? What parts of you have had plenty of expression in your life, and what parts are yearning to be expressed? What have been the major beliefs and values from which you have lived your life? Have any of those beliefs prevented you from fully facing and experiencing parts of your life that were harmful to your very being? What deep needs have and have not been met?

When you discover who you really are, and learn how to express more of your talented Inner Selves in your life, you stop living on auto-pilot and start to live with choice and purpose.

No matter how much work you have done, please don’t close your heart and soul to the ongoing task of breaking down the “wall of silence”. This is the impenetrable system of defenses you (we) constructed to deny and repress the pain and brutal truth of some of your childhood experiences. What you had to deny and repress to survive childhood must be fully faced and experienced in adulthood. If you don’t do this you will never be fully conscious because you won’t know who you are.

Behind the wall is the seed of your authentic, essential nature. This is the neglected, abandoned, lonely child who waits for you to gently and safely allow him/her to speak, and to feel. We fail to grasp the consequences of failing to do the step-by-step, careful work of resolving childhood repression and learning to live with the truth. Abuse of any kind does not go away unless its effects have been totally faced and felt. Spiritual work alone does not resolve this material.

Many of us have experienced therapies that crack or break open the door to this territory and allow us to feel the child for periods of time. But then we are told to “move on”; “stop being a victim”; “get over it”; “it’s in the past; just look away to a more positive future”; and “it is now time to forgive those who harmed you”. The danger inherent in these messages is that they reinforce the childhood inductions: “if you weren’t flawed in some way this wouldn’t happen to you”; “it wasn’t that big a deal”; “the perpetrators weren’t that bad, or they were doing the best they could, or they were sick and not able to treat you any better”.

This re-traumatizes the Inner Child because his/her actual experiences and feelings are ultimately minimized. The defensive Selves re-emerge and once again bury and repress the child…often for the rest of our lives.

It would be a different matter if this unfinished business of facing and feeling the truth simply remained repressed in our own psyches, and had no further consequences. But it doesn’t conveniently go away. We are horrified and confused when we abuse others, or we continue to attract perpetrators into our lives. We helplessly stand by as abuse of some kind shows up in the next generation, just as it existed in our parents’ lives and their parents before them. At what point do we wake up to these facts and do the difficult, yet vital work that will finally stop this generational trauma, and mutilation of souls?

Without a voice, how do we get the message that we continue to repress, isolate, and abandon the very child who can heal us? The cries for our attention are in the continued abuse of ourselves and others; in our addictions, illnesses, self-sabotage, ruined relationships, depression, and other mental illnesses.

As you take stock ask yourself: What is your body telling you? What deeply suppressed feelings are still waiting to be welcomed and experienced? What needs healing?

This year, consider that your body symptoms and self-destructive behaviors are literally messages from your deeply hidden Inner Child.

Ask yourself honestly: Is 2010 my time to step courageously, carefully, and with respect to my well constructed system of defenses (Primary Selves), into this long-awaited, transformative healing process?

If your answer is yes, one option is to work with Francesca Starr. Francesca specializes in profound Inner Child work of this sort. Using her unique synthesis of Voice Dialogue and other valuable therapeutic models, she guides you into a very respectful, safe, and effective relationship with your Soulful, Emotional, Essential Child Self. In the process the child is lovingly empowered to finally, fully express his/her truth. Then you both will find an unparalleled freedom to be all you are.


Francesca Starr, Ph.D., CPC
Certified Professional Coach, Post Graduate Voice Dialogue Training with Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone (Creators of Voice Dialogue), Ph.D. Counseling Psychology, MA Transpersonal Psychology, MA Education. Francesca brings finely honed skills and knowledge from previous careers (1. education, 2. business, and 3. counseling) to her passion as a Voice Dialogue Coach and Trainer. Gentle conversations with your Inner Selves that transform your life. Inspired, breakthrough coaching to resolve life and work issues, generate conscious choice and creative action, and evolve consciousness.