Childhood experience is a substantial window into what the inner child harbors inside a person during their adult life. Within the arches of this concept is the defining factor of parent-child relationships.
These dynamics drive much of our perceptions and understandings as adults, otherwise known as—parenting.
Understanding the Inner Child
The concept of the inner child in psychology and about mental health is complex because childhood dynamics are. If you’re here reading this—you have one that is unique and apart from everyone, you know.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t reoccurring patterns or similarities among the inner children of the world. Rather, a particular sequence of events, emotions, and relationships that contributed to individual experience. Also known as psychological conditioning.
The term reparenting has multiple meanings, all derived from different corners of psychology but fundamentally alike. It can be referred to as limited parenting, or when a clinically trained psychotherapist takes on a role that mimics parenthood to establish the ability to trust in a patient.
However, as a holistic psychologist, Nicole LePera refers to it as “the act of giving yourself what you didn’t receive as a child.” She believes it can be done within the confines of one’s relationship with their self. Both understandings believe many psychological problems occur as a result of a child not having their needs met.
What Reparenting Works Toward
Whether it’s being addressed in clinical or holistic psychology, reparenting is considered a means for an individual to repair attachments, heal from trauma, and move forward with security. This type of work is also driven by the goal of breaking generational patterns.
For those struggling with their mental health, reparenting may be a viable solution to addressing the root cause of symptoms to reduce or eliminate them. Similar to cognitive behavioral therapy, it remodels behavior by rewiring patterns in the brain without the assistance of drugs.
Reparenting may be a useful form of reforming perceptions and resetting mental health as an adult. It may also work to replace individuals that had a significant impact on our cognitive formations but are not our parents.
A Note from GR8NESS
Never hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional. If the idea of reparenting strikes a chord with you, consider bringing it to their attention. If you are unable to seek the assistance of a professional, know that there are accessible, free resources for learning to reparent.
Keep in mind that even the most loving and well-intentioned parents may hesitate a child seeking help from reparenting. We as humans only ever do the best we can.