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Being Mindful in Interpersonal Relationship

Being Mindful in Interpersonal Relationship

Susan Bögels, Professor in Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Amsterdam, has developed the Mindful Parenting Course. Many may ask that what is the benefit of such course if I were not a parent?


In fact, the term "Parenting” refers to the intimate relationship as between parents and children. However, it may also expand to other intimate relationships such as between ourselves and our parents, or between couples. You may have already realized that the more intimate such relationship is to us, the easier it may arouse our emotions, positive or negative. It is because the relationship with important people would easily remind us of our relationship with our caregivers.


Psychologists point out that our childhood experience helped form our basic thinking schema, in which our relationship with our caregivers plays a crucial role. Such schema influences our mentality, way of thinking and behavior. We would also develop our own point of view to look at intimate relationships. It could be generally categorized into two modes, the Child Mode and the Internalized Parent Mode.

Whenever we feel pressure in intimate relationship, such mode would be unconsciously activated. Think closely of your past, have you ever overreacted on issues happened in close relationship? Such as,

  • feeling fragile for small incidence or scared because of refusal?
  • losing temper because failing to get what you wanted?
  • taking threatening or coercive approaches to realize your goal?
  • punishing the other party if he/she failed to meet your expectation?

  • If the answer is positive, you were influenced by either one of those two modes in those circumstances. Then, what should we do to improve similar situations?


    The Mindful Parenting course teaches us to realize those pressure moments in the first place and make effort to reserve space and grace to ourselves and admit that pain must have come with pressure at that very moment. Try also to observe internally if our Child Mode or Internalized Parent Mode is aroused and to find out the real need at that moment. It is only when we could take care of our genuine internal need could we properly plan our next move, including:

  • to find out the appropriate solution
  • to look at the incidence from the angle of the other party
  • to understand more deeply and find out an effective way to protect our need

  • Having done all that, we may begin to realize that the best party to take care or to satisfy our own need has always been ourselves. With such mentality, we would be able to spare more capacity in our heart to accept all kinds of emotions that may appear in intimate relationships.


    ‘Mindful Parenting’ programme

    An 8-week ‘Mindful Parenting’ programme is introduced by New Life in the hope of reducing the pressure on parents and improving the physical and mental health of their children. The Mindful Parenting Course developed by Netherlands Professor and Clinical Psychologist Prof. Susan Bögels focuses on the experience for parents who have a 4 to 17 age child to learn techniques in getting along with their children.

    The programme aims to address the reaction of parents who are under parental pressure and provides directions to parents on how to maintain a peaceful mind with children. This also aims to help parents discovering their growing path and to take better care of themselves.

    Mindful parenting course is now open for registration free of charge. For more detail and registration, please visit:


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