Changing Behaviours

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Changing modes of behaviour is not an easy thing to do. It involves building awareness for the parts that are activated in our system and labelling them in a non-judgmental way that allows us to unblend, or cognitively defuse from their presence in our system. The DBT mindfulness skills assist us in this process. Practicing non-judgmentally Observing and Describing the parts that are active in our system, allows us to disconnect from the behaviour, and opens the possibility for change. When we can unblend from the parts, we can begin to identify the stories that activate these emotional responses and check the facts to see what’s actually going on, rather than what we may perceive to be going on due to our stories. In doing so, we are practicing the art of Mode Management. A skill that is essential if we are going to regulate our behavioural responses.

When we can manage the behaviour of the part that is causing problems in our system, we can develop a sense of trust in the process we are undertaking. Trust in self is often the missing piece of the puzzle, and no matter how much we try to bring a “healthy adult” perspective to the child parts of our personality, they will not trust the process until they feel it’s safe to do so. Schema Therapy uses Mindfulness, Gestalt Therapy, and Imagery visualization work to reparent the child parts of our personality that are trapped in the past and increase the environment of trust necessary. It provides the tools we need to change the negative stories we created in our formative years, into positive ways to see the world around us, and it opens the possibility to unburden the vulnerable child we are all trying to protect.


The following is a list of some of the more common Modes of behaviour that our parts exhibit as a way for us to identify, and work with changing these behaviours.


The Internal Critics

The Demanding Critic Mode

The Punitive Critic Mode

The Emotional Child Modes

The Vulnerable Child Mode

The Angry Child Mode

The Impulsive Child Mode

The Undisciplined Child Mode

The Entitled Child Mode

 The Coping Modes

The Compliant Surrender Mode

The Detached Protector Mode

The Detached Self Soother Mode 

The Perfectionistic Overcompensator Mode

The Avoidant Protector Mode

The Angry Protector Mode

The Self Aggrandizer Mode

The Bully Attack Mode

The Attention Seeking Mode

 Healthy Modes

The Healthy Adult

The Playful Child

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