9 Steps To Inner Child Healing When Addicted To Porn

how to heal your inner child

Inner child healing has become a really popular concept of late. Just recently, I became an Inner Child Recovery Specialist. It’s becoming so popular because it makes a ton of sense and the approach really works! If you have felt stuck in your addiction to porn, are acting out in ways that are far from mature, and continually feel confused about how you got to the point of relapsing once again, then this approach is definitely for you. The concept of how to heal your inner child is one thing, but what I want to do is walk you through the 9 steps I am helping my clients with on a daily basis. Let’s unpack this so you leave feeling like you have a grasp on the ideology as well as the practicality. 

What is inner child healing?

Simply put, inner child healing is this: In your past, you experience pain, loss, and pleasure. Those moments get seared into your brain and stored in your memory bank. These moments produced feelings, emotional responses, thoughts, and beliefs… all of which are stored in your brain as you grow. Now, as an adult, you go through life living one day at a time, however, being fully present one day at a time is basically impossible… Why? Because your stored memories from when you were younger get activated on a subconscious level and can send you into “child mode”. Basically, when something in the present moment triggers what you felt, thought, or believed during a formative moment (pain, loss, or pleasure) that has been stored in your brain, you will experience a flood of how you felt when you were just a kid. This is the concept that Eddie Capparucci talks about in his book “Going Deeper”. We must separate what we “feel” vs. what is “real” to be able to understand what is going on when we begin making seemingly immature and childish decisions. And to bring clarity to these immature decisions, it’s best to look at times you live from a fight, flight, freeze response… These can be amazing indicators as to what is going on inside of you (feel vs. real).

I recently wrote an article on how the inner child affects dads in their desire to be better parents. porn addiction symptoms affecting your life as a dad

Think of inner child healing this way. When there’s a problem in your life, there’s a response. The question is, where is that response coming from? You as an adult, or you as a child? That’s the question at the heart of this approach and it’s crucial to keep in mind as we move forward.

To learn more about how your inner child and porn addiction are related, listen to this interview from Eddie Capparucci (The author of “Going Deeper”) at mantalks.com

Why does inner child healing matter?

So many people go through life struggling with porn, masturbation, erectile dysfunction, drugs, etc, all without any inclination as to why they struggle… That’s point one. Point two is that 99% of them condemn the heck out of themselves! This is why inner child healing matters! It offers you the chance to understand your pain, temptations, triggers, and coping choices… not because understanding them is everything, but because it opens the door for you to say “Oh! That makes sense why I fear this, or hate that, or want this, or being triggered by that!” When we can get to this point, we can then offer ourselves compassion. What? Offer compassion? Yep! We all need love and care when we’re in the dumps, not condemnation and rigidity. That’s why this works. You’re going to practice the art of “loving before you lead”. 

One of the best ways to understand this idea is to look at Jesus. It’s His LOVE that draws us to repentance, not wrath. This is the perfect example of love leading us to do what is right in the eyes of the Father. This is why this inner healing approach works! It allows us to locate our inner child, see the area of need, understand it and then speak love and truth into it… even better, it opens the door for Jesus to enter into a part of you that has been hurting for a long time, likely, a part of you that has not trusted Jesus. This then has the opportunity to lead to a rock-solid identity in Christ as you align your inner child and wounded parts with the love of Christ one by one.

If you’re wondering how to heal your inner child then consider working with a coach from Secret Habit! Shawn is a trained specialist in this approach and has seen so many men find freedom from porn through it! Read our blog on: where to find porn addiction accountability partners

How to heal your inner child

The steps of how to do inner child healing may differ from person to person, but my approach is a combination of the inner child, internal family systems, and inner healing prayer. I love how these 3 pair together to create a Christ-centered deep healing practice that has worked on countless people from all sorts of backgrounds and cultures. I care so much about this because it’s intended to help adults be adults rather than children! We need mature adults leading marriages, families, churches, and businesses. Without maturity, we see what happens, and it’s not pretty… Here are the 9 steps I walk my clients through to help them develop understanding, care, and leadership with their inner child. (Written to men (my main audience), but applicable to women as well)

  1. Ask your inner child what he’s afraid of (how does he protect himself?)
  2. Ask your inner child what triggers these fears (What triggers him to feel the need to protect himself?)
  3. Ask your inner child what he does to protect himself when he gets triggered
  4. Ask your inner child what he really needs when he is experiencing these triggers and begins protecting himself
  5. Offer him compassion for what he’s gone through, offer him understanding, sit with the pain of him not getting his needs met, and thank him for how hard he has worked to protect you from his greatest fears becoming reality.
  6. Explain to him that his way of protecting may have seemed to work for a while but it is no longer working and you need him to take a step back and relax while you take the lead
  7. Explain to him why facing the fears matters to you and how it will lead to a better outcome than what he has been experiencing
     
  8. Invite Jesus into the pain of your inner child and one by one, tell your inner child that when he gets triggered by ___ or fears ___, you and Jesus will be right there to support him and help him get what he needs.
  9. Remind your inner child of the truth found in the Word, Promise, and Character of God, and help him experience the loving touch of his savior

These 9 steps of inner child healing help you do 6 key things:

  1. They help you pinpoint the fears keeping you from mature decisions. This will allow you to see clearly when feelings are overriding what is real
  2. They help you name the things that trigger the inner child to activate. This will help you plan ahead and strategize for when these happen.
  3. They help you understand what the inner child does to protect and cope. This opens your eyes that certain decisions you make and actions you take are a sign that your inner child is taking charge.
  4. They help you become aware of what your inner child needs so you can see what the real problem is
  5. They help you grow in love, care and leadership so you can help your inner child feel seen, supported, and led to follow your leadership as a mature adult
  6. They help you invite Jesus into the very areas that need His love so you can experience more and more of His goodness.

In conclusion:

Now you know all about inner child healing and how to heal your inner child. You’re well on your way to the deep healing available when you practice an approach like this. Remember, this is all about you growing in reflection, introspection, curiosity, compassion, and leadership. This is not about you fixing yourself, but rather growing in ways you have yet to grow so you can outgrow what is immature. May you be blessed as you experience Jesus in all of this! I pray that all of Jesus would enter into the parts of you that need His touch.

In you need help getting started with the inner child healing process but don’t know where to start, check out our porn addiction help page to learn more about working with Shawn

* Much credit to Eddie Capparruci and his “inner child recovery process”, as well as “Going Deeper”; Kim Miller for her work in “boundaries for your soul”; Drew Boa for his work with Husband Material (Where I am also a certified HM coach)

Shawn Bonneteau

Shawn Bonneteau

Author of this Article

Shawn is the co-founder of Secret Habit. He loves to write, speak and coach men. He has a story of addiction to porn and masturbation, as well as a struggle with Erectile Dysfunction that haunted him for many years into his marriage. He feels called to use his story to bring hope and healing to those stuck in sexual bondage.

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