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Transcript of Transactional Analysis
Eric Berne (1961) - Freudian psychoanalyst and psychiatrist.
Born out of dissatisfaction with slowness of psychoanalysis.
Payed attention to what his clients were saying with their accompanying behavior.
His view is that people are shaped from their first few years by their life script.
What is it?
The Ego States
Values, morals, core beliefs, and behaviors,primarily from one's parents, or authority figure.
Autonomy = awareness, spontaneity, and capacity for intimacy.
People have the opportunity to redecide and alter their course of their lives.
Current behavior is affected by the rules and regulations from childhood.
Life scripts that determine their actions.
Goals of TA
by Shannon McKenzie
theory of personality
a language of behavior
an organized system of interactional behavior
We make current decisions based on our early childhood experiences.
cognitive and behavioral aspects
of the therapeutic process
Schiffian or Re-parenting, Restructuring or Corrective Parenting
Active and Contractual
We are in charge
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Parent, Adult, Child (P-A-C)
Each person has a basic trio.
We are constantly shifting from one state to another.
Current behavior is related to any one of the ego states that they are in at that moment.
We operate from the state that has the most energy.
React as parents or the way our parents acted toward us. Contains the "Shoulds" and "oughts".
Nurturing Parent (NP) - Affirms yet can discount others.
-"Oh, you poor thing"
Controlling Parent (CP) - Intended for your benefit yet can discount the Child Ego.
-"Finish your homework before watching tv."
Objective and like a computer.
Computes, makes decision, and represents what you have learned. It's the "rational" ego.
It is a thinking state oriented toward current reality.
Often negotiates between the Child's wants and the Parent's should's.
Most naturally who we are.
The Ego that forms long-lasting relationships.
Consists of : feelings, impulses, spontaneous actions and includes past experiences.
Natural Child - endearing, loving, creative, spontaneous, but not necessarily "safe".
Adapted Child* - responds appropriately in social situations, but can give up power and discounts own values.
The need for stimulation and recognition as confirmation of worth
The Need for Strokes
Rebellious Child* - tries to solve problems through rebellion.
Positive: warmth, affection, appreciation with gesture.
Negative: set limits (not always bad).
Strokes are exchanges. They can be offered, accepted, refused or rejected.
Self strokes: to include bragging
1. Don't give positive strokes when you have them to give.
2. Don't ask for strokes when you need them.
3. Don't accept strokes when you want them.
4. Don't reject negative strokes when you don't want them.
5. Don't give yourself strokes.
Injunctions and Counterinjunctions
Injunction: Expressions of disappointment, frustration, anxiety, and unhappiness.
Parent usually feels threatened by child behavior, and the injunction comes from the Child state.
Don't, Don't grow up, Don't be, Don't think, Don't need, Don't feel.
Counterinjunctions: the attempt (by the parent) to counter the effect of a past message.
Comes from the Parent ego. Conveys the should's, "ought's", and "do's".
Be perfect. Try hard. Hurry Up. Be strong. Please me. Be careful.
Anything that has been learned can be relearned.
Decisions and Redicisions
Requires returning to childhood scenes where they arrived at self limiting decisions.
Person must re-experience the scene, living it in the here-and-now.
Practice new behavior so that the person can give up old and inappropriate behavior and relive the scene in a different way. You get to rewrite the ending.
An ongoing series of transactions that ends with a negative payoff, as a result of an existing life script, that concludes with with a bad feeling (rackets) and reinforces the script.
Purpose: to prevent intimacy
Three types of characters:
Persecutor, Rescuer, Victim
Types of games: Yes, but, Kick me, Harassed, If it weren't for you, Martyr, Ain't it awful, Look what you made me do
Life Positions & Scripts
Life position is crystallized during the first 5 years of life.
Generally, once a person has decided on a life position, it remains fixed unless there is some intervention.
Playing games allows us to maintain our familiar position in life no matter what the consequence.
Four Basic positions:
I'm okay - You're okay
I'm okay - You're not okay
I'm not okay - You're okay
I'm not okay - You're not okay
How group members become aware of how they acquired their life script.
Helps show how we feel compelled to play out our life scripts.
Offers alternative choices for that which is not working.
Role of Group Leader
Functions as a consultant.
Stresses equality in client-therapist relationship.
Uses contractual agreements to allow more equal footing and demonstrates a commitment to change. Therapists facilitate this change.
Create the climate for exploration.
Challenge group members.
Help clients acquire tools for effective change.
Stages of Group
Establish safe place, nurturance, adequate structure, and support. Accept themselves as they are and encourage ways to change.
Emphasis on contractual agreement.
Games are analyzed to see how they fit in one's life script. Members are challenged and encouraged to discover alternative choices.
Focus is on challenging members to to transfer their changes in therapy to their daily life and supporting these changes.
Easily understood by children and adolescents.
Concepts of Warm fuzzy and cold prickly work well.
Steiner's 1969 book "A Warm Fuzzy Tale"
Much to offer for all groups of people, particularly for women.
Gender sensitive and encourages empowerment
Contract approach empowers and give clients responsibility
References & Resources
Corey, G. (2012). Theory and practice of group counseling. (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Transactional Analysis Overview
Solomon, C. (2003). Transactional analysis theory: The basics. Transactional Analysis Journal, 33(1), 15-22.
Eric Berne's Website