Recovery: The role of inner work

Dr. Martina Melzer, published: 09/26/23


Important notes in advance:

  • In so-called mind-body syndromes, abnormalities are often found in special examinations, but there is usually no organ or tissue damage.
  • Always have new symptoms thoroughly clarified by a doctor. It may be mind-body syndrome, but it may also be another disease, or it may be a combination of both.


Stressful childhood experiences, trauma and chronic stress make us sick. Not only, but especially in terms of mind-body syndromes. Besides brain training, the right mindset and lifestyle adjustments, inner work is often needed to get out of it.

Inner work is a term from psychotherapy. Essentially, it means dealing with one's inner psychological world. To recognize and understand the reasons for thoughts, emotions, beliefs and behaviors.

Often one has acquired negative beliefs and unhealthy behaviors - shaped by childhood and other influences. Such psychological factors can put one permanently in survival mode, contributing to mind-body syndrome. That is why it is important to work on them.

Suppressed emotions can also be a major contributor to being stuck in survival mode. This issue, in my view, is often overlooked and can be the missing piece of the puzzle in the recovery journey.

You can do inner work as part of traditional psychotherapy such as behavioral therapy or depth psychology. Or in more specialized forms, such as various types of systemic therapy or psychodynamic therapy. In addition, in my experience, a lot of personal initiative is needed to address the aspects that are often not adequately addressed in psychotherapy. This involves, among other things, expressing emotions, working through trauma, and feeling physically.

Translated with the help of DeepL


Important: The statements in this text are the result of my research from scientific studies, professional articles, books, courses, education and training as well as my own recovery process. I have done the best possible research, but nevertheless make no claim to accuracy. In science, something is considered a hypothesis until it is clearly proven (or disproven). That is then evidence, a fact. The statements in this text are a combination of hypotheses and facts.

Also, the content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for talking to your doctor or other therapist. Please talk to your doctor or therapist before making any decisions about your physical or mental health. Every way into a mind-body syndrome is something individual, and every way out.