Healing The Inner Child
Healing is an ongoing process of self-determination and self-discipline. While the rewards are not always immediate, beautiful gifts await if you are patient and can take direction. Not until we stop denying our own past and begin sharing our wounds, will we allow ourselves to be loved by other people.
The common problems we face are from unhealed childhood wounds that have remained buried and eventually come back to haunt us. Only when we permit the window into our past to be opened, exposing the core of our adult difficulties, can we begin the healing process.
We can start by thinking about the definition of intimacy we grew up with. In the dictionary, intimacy is described by closeness, love, and trust. However, if we developed a distorted definition of intimacy during childhood, where intimacy was associated with fear and pain, then we will avoid intimacy in our adult life.
Also, what was the message given to us in childhood when we made mistakes? Were we given the message that mistakes were an opportunity to grow or rather were mistakes in our childhood met with such harsh consequences that we identified ourselves as a mistake? Were we allowed to fail at times as every human being does, or did we identify our whole being as a failure?
If we did receive negative messages in childhood, then negative inner voices will develop as we grow into adulthood. These inner voices keep us imprisoned by reminding us of the intrusive messages we received in childhood over and over again. Childhood wounds are reopened, isolating us from others. In many ways, we play roles in our lives that can bring harmful consequences to others and to ourselves.
We wear masks to hide who we really are. The little voice makes us feel ashamed and unworthy. We become self-centered causing us to feel that we have the right to act out with addictions regardless of the harm it causes others. This is destructive entitlement.
These inner voices are so powerful that even though they imprison us to destructive roles in our lives, we listen to him.
Sometimes we act in ways that do not always make sense as we hurt ourselves and others. We feel compelled to listen to the destructive inner voice in our head. Making sense of our actions is like figuring out a jigsaw puzzle. The first step is to seek help in order to understand what is broken inside.
There are three essential strategies to healing that will free us from the chains of our childhood wounds. These include: Awareness, Action, and Maintenance. Self- awareness broadens our choices but it may be terrifying to look within.
As we increase self-awareness we can better understand the choices we need to take to better our lives. If we maintain these actions we then develop healthy habits which will bring healthy boundaries and intimacy into our lives. All of these ingredients need to become a WE process instead of a ME process. This means we need the help of others as we walk through this journey together.
Reviews By Community
“…helpful to anyone who wants to break the cycle of self-defeating thoughts and self-destructive behaviors.” —Counselor magazine“Thomas has been on our program, Joy in Our Town, twice and has brought some incredible insight into what creates some of the roles each of us play in our society. He breaks it down in terms for anyone to understand and, therefore, form strategies that will help correct and/or improve their lives.”
—Evan Eley, Director of Public Affairs, Trinity Broadcasting Network
“This guide will help anyone who is confused about why they find themselves repeating in their adult relationships the harms they endured as children. Here is a way out of the maze.”
—John Leadem, co-author of Surveying the Wreckage
“Thomas Gagliano has been a guest on my syndicated radio show on numerous occasions. He is insightful, informative, inspirational and down-to-Earth. He brings a very personal perspective to universal themes. He relates his own experiences and life-lessons in a way that they become surprisingly familiar to anyone who has dealt with similar issues.”
—Richard Stevens, The Richard Stevens Show
“Tom Gagliano delivers an inspiring message of hope to individuals who have felt trapped in a cycle of self sabotaging behavior. In a voice that is powerful, yet gentle and compassionate, Tom has the ability to capture the imagination and engage the spirit of his listeners!”
—Veronica Faisant, Producer/Host
“Every once in a while, a radio guest comes along with not only pertinent information to share, but also a heart of gold. Thomas Gagliano was that guest for my show, Sharkie’s PEP Talk on Healthy Life Radio. He is one of the few people who actually takes responsibility for his life, and teaches others to do the same. His humility, positive perception, gratitude, and willingness to learn from life’s challenges are refreshing traits in a world that blames and whines about every little problem. His amazing book, The Problem Was Me, should be required reading for everyone.”
“I am a relatively successful owner of an engineering company in New Jersey. For most of my life, I defined myself by the success of my firm. When I first employed Tom I was on the verge of divorce. Tom was able to help me understand the wounds of my childhood trauma. Without Tom’s professional guidance there would be absolutely no possibility that my marriage could ever have been salvaged. Quite frankly, Tom helped save my life! I have now been working with Tom for about 3 years and I am constantly amazed how much wisdom and insight that he is able to provide for me. With his guidance, I believe that I have improved as a person, as well as a partner to my wife.”
“My name is Dr. Alan Zwerdling and I am a licensed psychologist in the state of New Jersey. I hold a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Maine, and have advanced postdoctoral training from the Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy Institute of New York and New Jersey. I have been in practice for over 20 years, specializing in psychotherapy for adults and couples, and have supervised the work of other masters and doctoral level therapists. My experience with Tom is that he is that rare, natural, intuitive, therapeutic personality who, just by having a conversation, somehow manages to make people feel better. I have met only a handful of people like this in my life. It does not appear to be an effort and may not even be an intention. Tom typically will say something that hits home and makes a difference. His natural, hard earned wisdom is conveyed in an unpolished regular guy manner that matches the man with the message and makes it attractive to the people around him. Tom’s recovery model integrates foundational components of several major models of psychological treatment: the core beliefs and thinking patterns (schema) of cognitive behavioral therapy, the childhood wounds, repetition compulsion, and trauma recreations. The theory makes sense in a practical way that I believe will be accessible to anyone looking to lead a happier, more successful life.”
—Alan Zwerdling, Ph.D, Licensed Psychologist
“Tom’s coaching methods have helped me see things more clearly. To be honest, it didn’t wipe away my resentments immediately but without his encouragement I would have given up a long time ago. I trust him with all of the secrets that keep me bound with this devastating addiction. I have always found it hard to trust people, but I do trust Tom. He is a very dear friend and confidant that I will always be grateful to have in my life. I believe his insights and directions will help many people in all walks of life. If he can help others the way he helped me his message must be heard.”
—Greg H., Lakewood, NJ
“Over the past several years Tom Gag1iano has had a profound impact on the Jewish community, bringing healing and serenity to people and families that have long given up hope. He has helped thousands of people and in turn has touched tens of thousands of lives in a positive way. Tom’s approach is unique and admirable. He is truly a remarkable person. Seeing his caring, compassion and understanding of another’s pain and agony has taught me a lot over the years. His approach is so successful I have incorporated some of his methods in my own counseling and clergy work. My conviction comes from seeing the results over the years. People who have been going to mental health professionals for years unsuccessfully, yet by Tom helping them you can see a real shift in their lives. If I could get all the clergy in the state to hear one speaker I would have them hear Tom. The things I learned from him cannot be taught in school or by another individual. He is unique.”
—Rabbi Yossi Hirsch
“I am writing to express my great admiration and respect for Tom Gagliano and his unique ability to help others through life’s challenges. Tom has been my life coach for the past two years. During this time he has helped me to skillfully handle the challenges and difficulties I have encountered in my life. I am always amazed that, after listening to me describe a dilemma or struggle that perplexes me, Tom’s response gets right to the heart of the matter. In doing so, he often uncovers motivations and dynamics that are not readily apparent to me. With his keen insight into the human person, Tom guides me to consider various plans of action and respects the course I choose. I know others Tom has assisted; they report similar experiences as mine. Indeed, sensing his great talent many seek Tom out for his wise counsel and guidance. He has helped many live better, emotionally healthier and more meaningful lives. He has guided couples through the challenges of relationship and has been an effective facilitator of healing and intimacy. With all his giftedness, Tom is a man of great humility; there is no arrogance or air of superiority about him. I highly recommend Tom Gagliano to you. He is an extraordinary man with a special gift of being able to guide others through life’s challenges.”
—Rev. John J. Werner, Priest
“I recently went through the stressful process of moving my family to a new country. I was overwhelmed with fear and doubt. Tom helped me to see that my fears were based on the messages I got when I was young. I was also afraid that my children would not like the new school they attended. I was going to let my fears block me from moving. After doing Tom’s inventories I started to realize that all of these fears were stories I was making up in my head and were based on the one belief that I did not deserve happiness.”
“I truly believe I would not have found the courage to take the steps needed to leave my job and go out on my own if it wasn’t for Tom’s coaching. I also believe his methods, when dealing with intimacy issues, helped save my marriage. Tom showed me the ways to trust myself and others again, something I lost a long time ago.”
“I always found myself in a dead-end position with a boss who constantly told me I wasn’t good enough. The problem was I believed this message. I employed Tom as a coach and he immediately asked me where this voice came from. Eventually, I realized it was the voice of my father. As a coach he helped me identify this and stop this voice from controlling my behavior. Today I am self-employed, doing better than I ever dreamed. I didn’t realize the hold my childhood messages had in affecting the decisions I made in my economic decisions. Today I enjoy what I do and I make more money than I ever have.”
—Michael, Monroe Township, N.J
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