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What do we mean when we say "Inner Child" and "Inner Child Work"?

In today's general discourse and conversation regarding the "Inner Child" and "Inner Child Work" it is generally regarded as the "childlike" manifestations of ourselves (i.e. "play", "watching cartoons", "cosplay" etc) and a process by which we consciously "allow" for those manifestations to occur with acceptance and appreciation. And while this sort of approach can be a way by which one can access unconscious aspect of their "childlike self", this is not remotely close to what we mean when we utilize these terms within the House of Aion, its Programs, and Aion Psychodynamic Coaching. 

To begin the process of clarifying what we do mean, we will need to start by briefly mentioning and elaborating on some "Jungian" terms and likewise examine his "Model of the Psyche".

Jung's Model of the Psyche:
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Now, to be clear, we will not be going over all of the terms utilized within the graphic above within this exposition. Much of what is described above will be left for their own articles, which you will be able to find in the Educational and Informational Resources tab. 

Instead, for now we are going to be examining the following: 

  • Persona

  • Ego

  • The Personal Unconscious

  • Self


This aspect of the "sense of self" (i.e. "personality") manifests within one's Psyche ) "for reasons of adaptation or personal convenience" within systemic structures of one's family, society, and culture. 


The origin of the term comes from the masks that were worn by Greek actors in antiquity and denotes the part of the personality, the "sense of self", which we unconsciously, and somewhat consciously, show to the world.


Another way to define the persona would be  "the packaging of the ego", or the ego’s "public relations person", and, for "collective survival", it is a necessary part of our everyday functioning.


One might say that one’s social success depends on having a reasonably well-functioning persona, one which is flexible enough to adapt to different situations, and which is a good reflection of the ego qualities which lie behind it.


However trouble comes when a person is identified with their persona, and everyone will have come across people who cannot leave behind their work persona, such as a teacher who treats everyone as though they were still in primary school, or bossily tells people what to do. Although this is annoying to be with, the more serious part of it is that it may leave major aspects of the personality unrealised, and the individual therefore significantly impoverished. The persona grows out of the need in childhood to adapt to the expectations of parents, teachers and peers, and this may well mean that the persona carries traits of personality which are desirable, leaving the opposite, undesirable traits to form part of the shadow.

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