How to love, nurture and protect your inner child.

Growing Self Awareness

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DISCLAIMER: Growing Awareness Pty Ltd as publishers of this web-site and John Bligh Nutting as author do not dispense or recommend medical or psychiatric advice, nor prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for any diagnosable medical or psychiatric condition. Any such action should only be taken by you as your personal choice and either directly or indirectly on the advice of a physician or a qualified therapist.

Writing to your Inner child

Writing, using both hands to communicate with your inner child is easy and very safe. Keep in mind that this is not a party game. The Inner children and any other very young  selves you contact in this way need to be taken very seriously.

Here is how you do it:

First find a place where you can be alone, free of possible interruptions. Take the phone off the hook, switch off your mobile or cell phone. An interruption to written dialogue caused by another person is not a serious problem but you may find it hard to get back again.

Use an exercise book preferably un-ruled. With your usual writing hand, write as the more aware Grown Up part of you on the page that matches that hand. (right handed - use right page)

Then change your pen or pencil over to the opposite hand and opposite page to write the response. (Right handed. Then use your left hand and write on the left page).

If your usual writing hand is the left hand then reverse all the above directions. You as a Grown Up will write first on the left hand page. Then switch to the right hand and right side page for your inner child’s response.

These interviews are valuable as later references so a book is better than loose sheets of paper.


1. Begin with your dominant hand, writing something positive about yourself (and your inner child) ‘You are ....... ‘  or a positive, reassuring welcome message to your Inner Child.

IMPORTANT: When you write, address your own Inner child by his or her own name not just as “my inner child”

2. Then transfer  your pen or pencil over to your non-dominant hand, allow your mind to go free of analytical thoughts (like ‘this is silly’ or ‘I can’t do this’) and just let the pen do whatever it wants to do, draw lines, write, doodle for as long as it wants to.

3. Replace the pen in your dominant hand and respond in a friendly or complimentary way about whatever the other  hand (your Inner child) said or drew  on its page. Then perhaps ask an easy question (see example on the next page).

4. Keep going as long as you want to or as long as your inner child wants to, backwards and forwards from one side to the other. Do not be surprised if you go on for half an hour or more and fill  several pages.

5. When you are writing as the More aware Grown up be gentle and understanding. Don’t get parental or pushy, any more than you would in a face to face interview with a vulnerable child.

6. If you are asking questions word them in the way you would for a child and make sure they are easy and unbiased. Avoid logical or analytical “why” questions that would worry a small child.

When writing with your non-dominant hand expect a childish scrawl and spelling errors. If it helps to print the letters that is good. See  my own example opposite.

Do not be at all surprised if your inner child  seems very young. If so it may not even be able to write words and may just draw pictures or have feelings.

If English is not your first language, the words  written may be those of your childhood home.

Take it seriously

Many inner children contacted when writing this way tend to be the shyer or more wounded ones that came into your life when you were a child and who may not be willing to come out in group sessions. (Keep a box of tissues beside you.)

Often your most vulnerable inner children talk to you this way which is why these sessions must be treated as serious activities.

Do not be surprised if you gain some incredible insights as a result of the responses. Your inner child often has a great understanding, and often true wisdom about life, your life in particular.

Ending a written dialogue session

When you conclude the session, close with a written ‘embrace’ from the dominant hand, and a reassurance, specially if your Inner child has expressed fear or vulnerable feelings.

Close with an assurance that your more aware Grown up side wants to love and protect your child and any of the other very young selves you have been writing and  talking with.  

Writing, using the opposite hands to communicate with your Inner Child has been around for more than 25 years.

In 1988 Linda Capacchione published ‘The Power of Your Other Hand’ and then in 1991 her best known work ‘Recovery of Your Inner Child’ which includes some fascinating case studies on what people experience when they write, using opposite hands  to communicate with their inner child.

Michael Rowland teaches and recommends the same technique, calling it ‘ambidextrous writing’.

The example below is what actually happened one day, when I wrote to my Inner Child, Little John while I was working on this book.