How do you approach clients who despise their child-self?
"It starts with the question, 'who am I listening to?', the idea of having a vulnerable self may be part of a coping mode."
Remco says, "it reminds me of a patient with a very strong Parent Mode."
He goes on to explain that is part of what we all do as therapists. The method might be different depending on the modality, but identifying a state (or 'mode') and helping the patient recognise it can be a key part of the process.
"Mode language is really important in Schema Therapy because it can help patients diffuse. If patients never experience compassion, they never learn self-compassion. It's unknown territory for them."
A patient pulls a face when you show them compassion, so what do you do?
"I tell them it reminds me of my daughter pulling a face when she ate broccoli for the first time," says Remco.
"She has the same reaction. But, broccoli is not bad for you.
"Self-compassion may feel uncomfortable when it's new but it's similarly not bad for you. It just takes getting used to."
Listen to the interview in full here.