Transaction Analysis (TA) is a counseling model to help one-self and others. Unlike most psychological theories TA is not “disease based” but goes with the assumption that human mind is basically healthy and has innate intelligence…
The basic model runs with 3 states of mind…
The mind takes the role of parent, bossy, guide, dictator, saint; indirectly mind says
“I know & you don’t know, so follow my instructions word by word”
The Child state of mind doesn’t have standards or guidelines of it’s own, it simply takes opposite of Parent’s rule as bible. The mind simply labels the Parent into Enemy and does the opposite of the strict Parents mind. The Child acts an obedient servant to the parent in the disguise of ‘Rebel’. Indirectly it follows the words of Parent. If Parent says – go right; the Child mind will move in the direction of left…!! Usually the Child mind is non-obedient, fun-loving, non-Serious, irrelevant thought process, disorderliness…
Adult is an intelligent mind which thinks relevant to the situations and makes decisions based on logical analysis and experience….This mind is a rational decision-making mind; which sees the reality as it is and perceives and interprets rightly and process it through logical analysis like a computer doing objective processing with the data it has…
Only Adult has a beautiful component called ‘Passion’ which is absent both in Parent and Child. Passion is a complex emotional engagement happening in every person who can persist to go long way in -spite of the pain and hurdles during the travel…..It is enduring Inspiration than mere joy or attraction and grows has one experience more and more in one’s life…..
Only Adult will be able to respond to the situations intelligently unlike Parent and Child. Parent cannot think/act intelligently because he/she is too much entangled in the rule books and Child cannot think/act intelligently because he/she is too much entangled in the excitement of being a Rebel.
Human Life Transactions:
The transactions that usually happens in daily life:
Transaction1: Bossy Parent Tone
Employee (Parent) – “Will you deliver the project on time?”
Employee (Adult) – “The project delivery date is April 18th“
Transaction2: Silly Child Tone
Employee (Adult) – “Are you ready for the Review meeting“
Employee (Child) – “Can we have the review meeting in our office lawn; it’s a nice evening outside!!”
Dynamism of these three states (Parent, Child & Adult) of mind is our daily life.
Life = Complexes + Games + Crisis
Complexes = Fear Phobias + Inferiority Complexes
I like to call these complexes as ‘Dents’. These dents are psychological shortcomings in our personality which we try to fill through our activities and positions.
These Dent filling happens in our life through socially acceptable (Bureaucracy, Politics, Professional positions, family structure, Money gathering, Movable and immovable property etc) and socially non-acceptable ways (Corporate games, Drugs, Heterogeneous relations, etc)
Due to Dents we feel the pain (Dent pain) and we try dent filling in all our activities and relations. Our life is nothing but dent filling activities.
The intelligent understanding of these “Dent’s structure and Dent’s functions” helps us to become Healthy personality…
Our life can be equated like
Human Life = Dents + Dent Pain + Dent Filling
Human Life = Mind Traps + Mind Games + Indicators
Fear Phobias = Fear of In-capability + Fear of Authority + Fear of Rejection + Fear of Aging + Fear of Scarcity + Fear of Emotions
Inferiorly Complexes = Lack of Confidence + Craving to be famous + Desperate to be at top
+ Need to be useful + Control Freak
Games = Imposter + Moral Police + Survivor + Parent/Savior + Victim/Child + Chosen One + Saintly pose + All Knower + Addicts +Womanizer + Blemish + Territorial protector + Cook the book + Excitement freak + Did I Say that? No way + I know him + Busy Bee + He is great but + I did for you + Malicious Obedience + Poor Me + Create the pit + Wounded man
Crisis = Midlife Crisis + Crisis of Isolation + Crisis of Passion + Crisis of Commitment + Crisis of Individuality
Theory of Transactional Analysis
• Ego States – Eric Berne made complex interpersonal transactions understandable when he recognized that the human personality is made up of three “ego states”; each of which is an entire system of thought, feeling, and behavior from which we interact with each other. The Parent, Adult and Child ego states and the interaction between them form the foundation of transactional analysis theory.
Parent. This is our ingrained voice of authority, absorbed conditioning, learning and
attitudes from when we were young. Our real parents, teachers, older people, next-door neighbors, aunts and uncles, Father Christmas and Jack Frost, conditioned us. Our Parent is made up of a huge number of hidden and overt recorded playbacks. Typically embodied by phrases and attitudes starting with ‘how to’, ‘under no circumstances’, ‘always’ and ‘never forget’, ‘don’t lie, cheat, steal’, etc, etc. Our parent is formed by external events and influences upon us as we grow through early childhood. We can change it, but this is easier said than done.
Parent decides, without reasoning, how to react to situations, what is good or bad, and how people should live. The Parent judges for or against and can be controlling or supportive. When the Parent is critical it is called the Critical Parent. When it is supportive it is called the Nurturing Parent.
Ellis coined the term “mustabation” to refer to these harsh personal rules that keep us locked into our own weakness areas.
Adult Our ‘Adult’ is our ability to think and determine action for ourselves, based on received data. The adult in us begins to form at around ten months old, and is the means by which we keep our Parent and Child under control. If we are to change our Parent or Child we must do so through our adult. In the Adult ego state the person uses logical thinking to solve problems making sure that Child or Parent emotions do not contaminate the process.
Child Our internal reaction and feelings to external events form the ‘Child’. This is the seeing, hearing, feeling, and emotional body of data within each of us. When anger or despair dominates reason, the Child is in control. Like our Parent we can change it, but it is no easier.
The Child is seen as the source of creativity, recreation and procreation; the only source of renewal in life. The Child can be observed in children for extended periods of time, but also in grownups in situations where people have permission to let the Child out, like at sport events or parties. The Child will appear for short periods of time in other situations, such as board meetings, classrooms or serious discussions where it may not be desired at all. In its most undesirable form it completely dominates a person’s life, as in the cases of persons who are severely emotionally disturbed whose confused, depressed, crazy or addicted Child will drive them to virtual self-destruction with out-of-control behavior. The Child may also appear for long periods of time in the form of depression or grief, as in the case of people who have incurred a great loss.
In other words:
• Your parent ego state is your ‘Taught’ concept of life
• Your adult ego state is your ‘Thought’ concept of life
• Your child ego state Child is your ‘Felt’ concept of life
When we communicate we are doing so from one of our own alter ego states, our Parent, Adult or Child. Our feelings at the time determine which one we use, and at any time something can trigger a shift from one state to another. When we respond, we are also doing this from one of the three states, and it is in the analysis of these stimuli and responses that the essence of Transactional Analysis lies.
Complementary transactions occur when both people are at the same level. Thus Parent talking to Parent, etc. Here, both are often thinking in the same way and communication is easy. Problems usually occur in Crossed transactions, where the other person is at a different level.
The parent is either nurturing or controlling, and often speaks to the child, who is either adaptive or ‘natural’ in their response. When both people talk as a Parent to the other’s Child, their wires get crossed and conflict results. The ideal line of communication is the mature and rational Adult-Adult relationship.
Behaviors Associated with Ego States
Parent. Physical – angry or impatient body language and expressions, finger-pointing, patronizing gestures.
Verbal – always, never, for once and for all, judgmental words, critical words, patronizing language, posturing language.
Adult Physical – attentive, interested, straightforward, tilted head, non-threatening and non-threatened.
Verbal – why, what, how, who, where and when, how much, in what way, comparative expressions, reasoned statements, true, false, probably, possibly, I think, I realize, I see, I believe, in my opinion.
Child Physical – emotionally sad expressions, despair, temper tantrums, whining voice, rolling eyes, shrugging shoulders, teasing, delight, laughter, speaking behind hand, raising hand to speak, squirming and giggling.
Verbal – baby talk, I wish, I dunno, I want, I’m gonna, I don’t care, oh no, not again, things never go right for me, worst day of my life, bigger, biggest, best, many superlatives, words to impress.
When you are trying to identify ego states: words are only part of the story. To analyze a transaction you need to see and feel what is being said as well. Only 7% of meaning is in the words spoken, 38% of meaning is paralinguistic (the way that the words are said), and 55% is in facial expression.
Berne observed that people need strokes, the units of interpersonal recognition, to survive and thrive. Understanding how people give and receive positive and negative strokes and changing unhealthy patterns of stroking is powerful aspects of work in transactional analysis.