Developing the Healthy Adult Mode is an important goal that is best pursued by also working on limiting the dysfunctional coping, parent, and child modes as in previous sessions. It is an integrated and balanced process. The Healthy Adult Mode is present when your needs and the needs of others are balanced and met in a given situation. Otherwise, you know that any one or more of the dysfunctional modes are active.
In the Healthy Adult Mode, you should also know when to talk about your feelings, and when it is not helpful or appropriate. You can solve problems rationally, without undue influence by your emotions. You have enough stability and safety in your life to balance your own needs and responsibilities with those of other people in your life. When you believe that you are unfairly criticized, abused, or exploited, you can protect yourself or let it go. Some steps that you can take to build your Healthy Adult Mode include the following:
- Cultivate self-awareness and mindfulness by being connected with every moment to ensure balanced thoughts and feelings.
- Step back and identify your dysfunctional schema modes and patterns.
- Address cognitive distortions (i.e. inaccurate or illogical beliefs, assumptions, and thoughts) that maintain your schemas.
- Experiment with healthier alternatives to break or replace your self-defeating behavioral patterns.
- Formulate and continually refine your values and goals and engage in activities and relationships that support those as it will more likely increase meaning and satisfaction.
- Integrate your feelings into problem-solving processes rather than allowing it to drive your reactions.
- Also: (1) validate and nurture the Vulnerable Child Mode; (2) set limits for the Angry and Impulsive Child Modes; (3) promote and support the Happy Child Mode; (4) combat and eventually replace the maladaptive coping modes; and (5) neutralize or moderates the maladaptive parent modes, using the approaches previously described.
Next, an exercise is provided to help you explore your inner healthy adult.