I doubt that there are many of us who haven’t read or heard the term “inner-child healing” during our own healing journeys, mentioned in an article, or during conversation. Before I started working as a professional in the field of mental healthcare, the term made me feel uncomfortable, and tired before I had even started the work. My misperceptions of inner-child work included the thought that I would need to re-live childhood fears, or that the journey would be arduous and taxing. Knowing what I know now, it is thrilling to discover that I was wrong, and that inner-child healing can be exciting, fun and filled with joy! 

Recently, if you haven’t had your vision filled with bright pink everywhere you look because of the marketing for the Barbie movie, I have to ask – where have you been?! 

Much credit can be given to the marketing team involved, and while I haven’t yet seen the movie myself, we have to ask – why did the Barbie hype affect us all in such an intense way? Why are we witnessing thousands of people – of all ages – dress up, host themed parties and attend the movie screening in full Barbie get-up? 

I have one term: Inner Child Healing! 

Mattel’s Barbie hype is merely a vehicle for adults of all ages to tap into the child within them, and in many cases, allow that child to live out their most playful fantasies – with the permission of all those adults around them who are as excited as they are. Healing parts of ourselves that may have faced adversity or instability during our childhoods can be as simple and as beautiful as allowing our adult selves to forgo the expectations of what an adult needs to look, sound or behave like in order to be taken seriously. Dressing up as a childhood favourite doll, gathering your friends and attending an event that celebrates an iconic toy is an almost-perfect expression of allowing your inner child space and love. Especially if a Barbie was not financially within your reach as a young child, being able to fulfil that longing as an adult, is something that acknowledges and heals a wound that many of us harbour deep within. The one step further, is bringing this work into your consciousness – and I am excited to say that I can absolutely help you with that! 

Other ways in which we can allow our adults selves the gift of play: – 

  • Rediscover a childhood hobby and engage in that again 
  • Do something messy! This could be anything from finger-painting, to having a foam fight with friends, or even just doing a complicated FX makeup look.
  • Hang out with your own kids, doing what they want according to their rules. If you don’t have kids of your own, ask a friend if you can babysit their kids for a while and let them help you play!
  • Get yourself to a rage room. 

American Ferreira, an actress in the Barbie movie, says it best: “We can be a lot of things at once – we can be joyful and playful and imaginative and childlike, AND be a grown person; a professional who is taken seriously.”  

If you would like to begin the journey towards self, contact me and we can navigate the path together! 

Author: Ria Naidoo