The most natural process is for a Happy Child to develop into a Healthy Adult. Unfortunately, however, for many this is not their reality. For a variety of possible reasons their basic needs as a child were not met. These include safety and security; predictability; love, nurturing and attention; acceptance and praise; empathy; guidance and protection; and validation of feelings and needs.
When a child is lucky enough to have experienced these, they are often able to develop an attitude of fun, playfulness, lightheartedness, and curiosity. They can focus on healthy growing instead of having to rely on various coping mechanisms that are most often dysfunctional. A strong Happy Child Mode is protective for a person’s mental health. But, when there are distress and deprivation, the Vulnerable, Angry, and Impulsive/Undisciplined Child Modes become dominant. As an adult, the objective should be to have your Healthy Adult Mode as the default mode, but the Happy Child Mode should also be allowed a space to express itself. The following statements are associated with the happy child:
- I feel accepted and loved.
- I am satisfied and relaxed.
- I trust most of the people around me.
- I am spontaneous and playful.
You can explore your Happy Child Mode in the same way that you have done with the other child modes in previous sessions. By identifying activities, situations, and persons that trigger your Happy Child Mode, you can look at opportunities to bring a little bit of Happy Child Mode into your life. But, if you are an adult, the Healthy Adult Mode should be your internal superior authority. It is the overriding objective of this program to limit your dysfunctional modes (maladaptive child, parent, and coping) in order to strengthen your Health Adult Mode.
Next, we describe the Healthy Adult Mode.