Most early maladaptive schemas are embedded in childhood experiences that were emotionally painful. The distress often continues into the future, driven by memories of these critical experiences from the past. When they are activated, the vulnerable child modes resurrect these memories that continue to hurt us, which seem impossible to resolve. It is helpful to become aware of how our present feelings are influenced by what happened to us in the past. The healing is done in two basic steps: (1) Understanding and clarifying your Vulnerable Child Mode, and (2) Limited Reparenting of your Vulnerable Child Mode.
The first exercise is similar to the activities completed in the previous session with the dysfunctional parent modes. It is in the form of a worksheet designed to explore and clarify your Vulnerable Child Mode. The objective is to clarify when, how, and why it is triggered, and how it makes you feel and behave. It also gives you the opportunity to consider best ways to anticipate and react to your Vulnerable Child Mode before or when it is triggered. Make sure that you take enough time to think each question through closely.
Download and print worksheet to understand your vulnerable child mode here: Enhance Personality – Session 6 – Vulnerable Child Worksheet
Next, we conduct an exercise of limiting reparenting of your vulnerable child.