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We empower, equip, educate and support individuals and families who are affected by alcohol and drug dependency to action change that will allow them to live a meaningful and satisfied life on their self-determined recovery journey, through psycho-education, social skill training, therapeutic groups, individual/couple/family counselling and psychotherapy.


To be a leading voice in our local community and AOD sector and to be recognised as effective, innovative AOD specialists who provide treatment for our clients (both individuals and families) that result in an improved, lasting quality of life for them.


We empower, equip, educate and support individuals and families who are affected by alcohol and drug dependency to action change that will allow them to live a meaningful and satisfied life on their self-determined recovery journey, through psycho-education, social skill training, therapeutic groups, individual/couple/family counselling and psychotherapy.


The Inner Child - Understanding the Inner Child Within

It doesn’t matter how old you are, there is a little child within who needs love and acceptance. If you’re a woman, no matter how self-reliant you are, you have a little girl who’s very tender, and needs support and help. If you’re a man, no matter how macho you are, you still have a little boy inside who craves warmth and affection.


As children, when something went wrong, we tended to believe that there was something wrong with us. Children develop the idea that if they could only do it right, then parents and caregivers would love them, and they wouldn’t punish them. In time, the child believes, there is something wrong with me. I’m not good enough. As we grow older, we can carry these false beliefs with us. We learn to reject ourselves, especially the vulnerable parts of ourselves.


There is a parent inside each of us, as well as a child. And most of the time, the parent part of ourselves will scold or push beliefs onto the child part, which doesn't allow the child to be free to be oneself! If we start to listen to our inner dialogue, we can hear the scolding or negativity. We can hear the parent tell the child what it is doing wrong or how it is not good enough or how it needs to be stronger. We need to allow our parent to become more nurturing  and accepting to our vulnerable child.


Integration: Loving All Parts of Ourselves

I have found that working with the inner child is most valuable in helping to heal the hurts of the past and present. At this point in our lives right now, we need to begin to make ourselves whole and accept every part of who we are. We need to communicate with our inner child and let it know that we accept the part that was perhaps shy, angry, fragile or anxious, the part that was awkward or funny looking, the part that was scared, the part that was very foolish and silly - every single part of ourselves. We must embrace every part of ourselves to experience true healing.


Love Heals

Love is the greatest healing power I know. Love can heal even the deepest and most painful memories because love brings the light of understanding to the dark corners of our mind. It is important to love our inner child daily as this helps us find holistic acceptance and healing. In the privacy of our own minds we can make new choices and think new thoughts. Thoughts of acceptance, forgiveness and love for our inner child, the vulnerable part of ourselves. This will open new pathways not only for ourselves but also for others, and the Universe will support us in our efforts.

Dr. Diamond's Forthcoming Book - Psychotherapy for the Soul

Destructive and negative thoughts and behaviours towards self and others in adults bears the impulsive quality of child-like frustration or narcissistic anger and aggression.

Destructive and negative behaviour towards ourself and others takes various forms:

  1. Subtle self-sabotaging and self-defeating patterns, e.g. the inner critic that leads self to self harm.

  2. Passive hostility to severe self-destructive symptoms, like rage, aggression and, sometimes, horrible deeds, e.g. suicide, harming another.

  3. An irresponsibility and angry refusal to be an adult: known as the 'Peter Pan syndrome',

  4. Childlike vulnerability, neediness, dependency, and dread of abandonment, e.g. stuck in the victim stance of helplessness.

  5. Isolating and withdrawing from others is often a protection strategy that can lead to emptiness and loneliness.  

  6. Self abandonment and rejection of every part of ourself often is a result of believing false accusations, negativity and expectations that do not fit with who we are as an individual.


Dr Diamond states that the eternal child - provides the basis for what has come in pop psychology and self-help movements (for example, the writings of Dr. Eric Berne, Dr. Alice Miller, or John Bradshaw) to be known as the 'inner child'.


What exactly is this so-called inner child? Does it truly exist? And why should we care?

To begin with, the inner child is real. Not literally. Nor physically. But figuratively, metaphorically real. It is - like complexes in general - a psychological reality, and an extraordinarily powerful one at that. Indeed, most mental disorders and destructive behaviour patterns are, as Freud first intimated, more or less related to this unconscious part of ourselves. We were all once children, and still have that child dwelling within us. But most adults are quite unaware of this. And this lack of conscious relatedness to our own inner child is precisely where so many behavioural, emotional and relationship difficulties stem from.


The fact is that the majority of so-called adults are not truly adults at all. We all get older. Anyone, with a little luck, can do that. But, psychologically speaking, this is not adulthood. True adulthood hinges on acknowledging, accepting, and taking responsibility for loving and parenting one's own inner child. For most adults, this never happens. Instead, their inner child has been denied, neglected, disparaged, abandoned or rejected. We are told by society to 'grow up', putting childish things aside. To become adults, we've been taught that our inner child - representing our childlike capacity for innocence, uniqueness, wonder, awe, joy, sensitivity and playfulness - must be stifled, quarantined or even killed. The inner child comprises these positive qualities and holds our accumulated childhood hurts, traumas, fears and angers.


'Grown-ups' are convinced they have successfully outgrown, jettisoned, and left this child - and its emotional baggage - long behind. But this is far from the truth.


In fact, these so-called grown-ups or adults are unwittingly being constantly influenced or covertly controlled by this unconscious inner child. For many, it is not an adult self directing their lives, but rather an emotionally wounded inner child inhabiting an adult body. A five-year-old running around in a forty-year-old frame. It is a hurt, angry, fearful little boy or girl calling the shots, making adult decisions. A boy or girl being sent out into the world to do a man's or woman's job. A five or ten-year old (or two of them!) trying to engage in grown-up relationships. Can a child have a mature relationship? A career? An independent life? Yet this is precisely what's happening with us all everyday to some degree or another. Then we wonder why our relationships fall apart. Why we feel so anxious. afraid, insecure, inferior, worthless,  small, lost, empty and lonely. But think about it: How else would any child feel having to fend for themselves in an apparently adult world? Without proper parental supervision, protection, structure, love or support?


This is the confusing state of affairs we so frequently see in seekers of psychotherapy. It is not dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality), but rather a far more common, pervasive and insidious sort of socially sanctioned dissociation. But if we can recognise this problem for what it is, we can begin dealing with it, by choosing to become psychological - not just chronological - adults.

How Is This Accomplished?

First, one becomes conscious of his or her own inner child. Remaining unconscious is what empowers the dissociated inner child to take possession of the personality at times, to overpower the will of the adult.


Next, we learn to take our inner child seriously, and to consciously communicate with that little girl or boy within: to listen to how he or she feels and what he or she needs from us here and now.


The often frustrated primal needs of that perennial inner child - for love, acceptance, protection, nurturance, understanding - remain the same today as when we were children. As pseudo-adults, we futilely attempt to force others into fulfilling these infantile needs for us. But this is doomed to failure. What we didn't sufficiently receive in the past from our parents as children must be confronted in the present, painful though it may be. The past traumas, sadness, disappointments and depression cannot be changed and must be accepted. Becoming an adult means swallowing this 'bitter pill', as I call it: that, unfortunately for most of us, certain childlike needs were, maliciously or not, unmet by our imperfect parents or caretakers. And they never will be, no matter how good or smart or attractive or spiritual or loving we become. Those days are over. What was done cannot be undone. We should not as adults now expect others to meet all of these unfulfilled childhood needs. They cannot. Authentic adulthood requires both accepting the painful past and the primary responsibility for taking care of that inner child's needs, for being a 'good enough' parent to him or her now and in the future.


At least in the sort of psychotherapy I practice, the adult part of the personality learns (and this, like much of therapy, is a learning process) to relate to the inner child exactly as a good parent relates to a flesh-and-blood child, providing discipline, limits, boundaries and structure. These are all - along with love, support, nurturance, and acceptance--indispensable elements of loving and living with any child, whether metaphorical or actual. By initiating and maintaining an ongoing dialogue between the two, a reconciliation between inner child and mature adult can be reached. A new, mutually beneficial, cooperative, symbiotic relationship can be created in which the sometimes conflicting needs of both the adult self and inner child can be creatively satisfied.


Has your adult self spent time with your inner child today?


The above writing is from Dr Diamond's forthcoming book Psychotherapy for the Soul: Thirty Three Essential Secrets for Emotional and Spiritual Self-Healing.

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