Holistic Depth Psychotherapy - Nicole Ann Ditz, MA CMHC

Voices of the Inner Child

"Tales of a Lovable Bunny" (cont'd):

"Can we make mommy an artificial emotional arm like her physical artificial arm, ARTY?" Small Bunny inquires earnestly.

"I'm not sure we can give your mommy an artificial emotional arm, but we can recognize that just like she can do so very much with only one arm, she can still give you many things with only one emotional arm," Nicole replies slowly and thoughtfully.

"I know a lot about her," I jump in."I know she loves you very much in her own way and that she really wanted a daughter just like you."

"She did? For real?" Small Bunny sounds almost incredulous.

"For real. I heard her say that with my own ears. I know it's hard for you to understand that she doesn't know how to always be a great mommy for you and that at the same time she still loves you." I smile at her.

Mother Bunny

"I know it is hard for you to understand that she doesn’t know how to always be a great mommy for you and that at the same time she still loves you."

~ My Bunny

"My Bunny, is it really, really true?" Her blue eyes regard me solemnly.

"Yes, Sweetheart, I promise that it's really, really true. Think about the times you do feel loved by mommy like when she reads books to you, and makes up funny riddles with you at bedtime, and buys you special sugar cookies at the farmer's market and cuzzies with you on the couch… And during those times you feel really special to her," I say warmly.

"Yeah…I like those times…so she does love me even when I'm bad?"

"Yes, she does. And I thought we'd agreed that you're not bad, sometimes you are just naughty!" I can't help smiling at her.

"I think we should drop the word 'bad' from our vocabulary," Nicole says, quietly.

I am gob smacked, trying to consider the ramifications of dropping 'bad' from my work in therapy.

"I don't think I can do that." I manage.

"Why not?" Nicole sounds very curious.

"Well, because my life is so bad all the time, I don't know how else I'd describe it." I flounder around.

"Hey! You used the word! You're not supposed to say 'bad' anymore!" Small Bunny exclaims with glee."Whoops! I said it, too. BAD!"" She sweeps her hand in front of her mouth, laughing, her eyes dancing with delight at being safe enough to reprimand me. "Look! I just batted that word away from my mouth!" Nicole is laughing, too.

Nicole continues firmly but kindly: "It may take some practice to let go of that word, but I think it will be good for us not to be so focused on the negative. I like the way you keep swatting the word away every time it comes out of your mouth, Small Bunny. That is so very smart of you."

"Yeah, I am batting it away, swooping it away like a bat swoops down on a mosquito! " Small Bunny seems delighted with her own creative solution to this 'bat' problem!

Hugging bunnies

"I feel warm and safe with you."

~ Small Bunny

"You are smart and very lovable," I tell her, smiling.

"Really? Even when I'm ba - I mean-naughty?" She is so needy for reassurance, poor little thing.

"Yes, Sweetheart, even when you are naughty," I tell her.

"You are lovable all the time, Small Bunny," Nicole sounds both warm and completely serious."And we both love you."

A wide smile crosses her small face."I'm glad you do," she sighs."I feel warm and safe with you."

Nicole and I have explained to Small Bunny that we will continue to be 'mommy helpers' by offering corrective emotional experiences -a gentle form of re-parenting, which helps her (and me as well.). We are showing her all the different flower feelings in the garden so that they are less confusing, so she can cope with the brambly, thorny emotions like shame and fear and jealousy. We hope she will come to recognize and embrace more excitement and joy and hope in her life. We want to create a safe garden for her where she is seen, heard, understood and loved: a place where she can continue to grow, change, and bloom.

I have been in therapy, on and off (mostly on), for over 30 years now, from Behavioral to Jungian, and have also taken innumerable college classes in psychology as an adult. My inner child depth work with Small Bunny has been among the most creative, freeing and educational experiences I've ever had. Inner child work has helped me change my basic belief system about myself, has taught me new ways of viewing my past and present and has helped me integrate these new ways of seeing my life into how I live it. I am extremely grateful to Small Bunny for her presence in my life."

Nicole Ann Ditz, MA CMHC, Holistic Depth Psychotherapist

Voice Mail: (401) 573-6396  Email: info@holisticdepththerapy.com

Serving Rhode Island and Southeastern Connecticut