Guidelines to working with Inner villagers
or "Life in the Inner Village"
Some things you need to keep in mind:
pleasing, fighting, fleeing,
folding, bargaining, anaesthetising, medicating or
- Everyone has an Inner Village. And every character in everyone's Inner Village is real. None of them are
imaginary figures or hypothetical models. Every one of them is alive, a hard-working individual little character who really lives,
thinks and feels inside us. They are a normal part of us.
- Most inner villagers love to talk with you about what they are doing. Some
not only want to talk, they have vitally important information that they are
very anxious to talk about. It is this information about ourselves that
gives us self-awareness, one of the most powerful tools we can ever have if
we want to make changes in our lives.
- When I talk to inner villagers (something that anyone can do after a few
minutes instruction) they tell me that they live inside you and me in a place that they like
to call their "village" or something similar. It may be for you,
more like a ship or perhaps a
spiritual or tribal community. If it is a Village they will probably
happy to be known as a group as." The Inner Villagers". If it some
other kind of community they will probably choose a different group term,
for example "members of the tribe", "the congregation".
The term you choose is not important.
- The character we know as our own inner child is the most important person
in every story and every village. Of all the characters in all the stories
your Inner child is the most real.
- Other people have their own Inner villages and their own inner children as
well. It is important to honour and respect their own inner children, their
own inner villagers and the stories they tell. And it is very
important to acknowledge that
they are just as real and as valuable as ours.
- Almost every character in your Inner village will be in some way concerned
with the welfare of your Inner child. Sometimes they are protecting it from
fear or pain or vulnerability. Sometimes, if they cannot make the pain go
away, they help the Inner child to cope with its negative feelings of fear
or vulnerability. At other times they look after the inner child in some
other way that seems to work best at the time (for example: pushing,
Most of the characters who live in our Inner villages were created in
early childhood. Although some of the may walk and talk in what they think
are very "grown-up" ways, their emotional age is almost always
quite young. Some have an emotional age of only one of two. Many are
emotionally age is between five and eight years. Few of them are more than
14 years old emotionally.
In working with the characters in the village it helps to keep in mind
that logical, rational, analytical explanations and lengthy technical or
psychological words are going to be a problem. If the average adult would
have to work hard to follow the explanation, there is no way it could be
understood by the average Inner villager.
So if we are trying to help someone make really significant changes in
their life, (that is changes that will make a real difference) we need to
explain to the people in the inner village how these changes can work within the Inner village. But the language and
explanation we choose must be one that can be easily grasped by an
intelligent eight to 10-year-old. Abstract psychological explanations are
often wasted. Inner villagers aged emotionally from five to ten years
just can't follow them, even though they might say they do. See separate
page A fable about using
Every character in every village lives, works, loves, struggles to
survive, laughs and cries inside you and me each and every day of our lives.
And like real people they love to talk to you and me about what they do and
their purpose for being here. Which, by the way is always about trying to
help us or protect us in the best way they can.
See separate page for a full and deeper
psychological discussion of the model and why it appears to get
Other pages connected to this discussion:
A deeper psychological discussion of the theory behind the
experimental Village and the Awareness Hill storytelling approach
the terms used in Growing Awareness differ from Classic Voice Dialogue 2004
search for a way to speed up the changes and to make them last longer
A fable about
villagers - "refugees" from someone else's village
Feedback - please e-mail me John Bligh Nutting -
Copyright © John Nutting 1996-
- 2004 and ©
GROWING AWARENESS All rights reserved World Wide LAST
UPDATE Thursday, 07 February 2008 17:31
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