The Happy Child is in the eye of the beholder, (Dutch) guilty pleasures are too

We all have schemas, we all are repeating patterns we have once learned earlier in life

A therapeutic relationship is an important, but difficult one. There is no strong boundary between health and illness. You as a person are coping with symptoms like anxiety, depression, difficulty in relationships. As a therapist, I can too.

That’s when schema therapy pops in. We all have schemas, we all are repeating patterns we have once learned earlier in life. The degree to which the Healthy Adult and Happy Child parts are present can differ between you and the therapist. It is not that I want to show you how to live and therefore activate your Overcontroller mode or Demanding Parent mode. Taking good care of myself gives nice opportunities to model healthy behaviour and it helps me to contain memories and stories about what went wrong in your life. In working together, intimate connection appears in our working relationship and within ourselves.

It can be hard work to reconnect with your little joyful girl or boy. I have found mine in songs. I really like to come back to that place, over and over again. Preparing for this blog I listened to two of my guilty pleasures. The lines struck me again.

“When I was young I felt the need of learning” and “the smile of the little child makes you realise you live” (translated from Dutch for our English readers)

And there they were again, yesterday, preparing mail in the kitchen. The tears, the connection within myself. Then they came in, my children, dancing at 7.00am in the kitchen, not knowing the essence of the song, except it’s mom’s favourite.

I have found it also in running marathons. The essence of feeling my body: my heartbeat, my senses all open, all over the place. The colours and feelings nature is giving me, amazing. I know, the Happy Child is in the eye of the beholder.

Pay attention to what activates your Happy Child mode. Write it down in My Journal or upload an image which represents it into My Files on Secure Nest, so you can easily have access to that part when needed. As you know, we are learning from you. Share your experiences with us, and let us feel connected.

Last November, running the Berenloop op Terschelling, the last 3 kilometers of the race on the road that is called the Longway, there it struck me again to tears. From the garden of a small house, I heard it clearly: “when I was young, I felt the need of learning.” I can tell you, after 37 kilometres of running, I was literally being moved to tears.

Anita Meyer – Why tell me why

Andre Hazes – De glimlach van een kind (Dutch)

For a little while I will write most of the blogs, while Sally is working on some other activities (exciting news to share soon!). So sharing schema therapy thoughts from a Dutch perspective has started.

Diana Kleijzen
Traction Lead, Secure Nest
Clinical Psychologist – Schema Therapist


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Secure Nest provides personalised online therapy tools designed specifically for schema therapy. Read more here or register for your free trial.