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An Introduction to Transactional Analysis Every human being is born a Prince or a Princess ; early experiences convince some that they are frogs ,and the rest of the pathological development follows this' Eric Berne 1966 BACKGROUND AND BASIC ASSUMPTIONS TA is a form of therapy devised by Eric Berne and modified by others. It is based on some basic assumptions . These are founded on the quotation (from Berne) and on the basic statement that ‘People are OK. ' It expands this as in the following way: 1. People are OK (I'm OK - You Are OK.) Everybody has a capacity to think (most people unless they have some damage to their brain) )People decide their own destiny and can change 2. Secondly, that people have an in-built drive towards both mental and physical health. People live in two different, but related, worlds. These worlds are : * An Inner World This is a world of dreams, emotions, fears, hopes and memories. This world contains feelings and images of both ourselves and others. It is our private world. * An Outer World In this outer world we act out our beliefs and feelings. This is the world where we act out our ' games ', roles' and transactions'. How and what we do in our inter-personal relationships depends upon the relationship we have between these two worlds.. Are they congruent or in conflict. These states of congruency or conflict vary with time and circumstances. Berne was originally a psychoanalyst and TA has its roots in this approach or model of counseling. However, it has (like Gestalt) developed over many years in the Humanistic Approach to counseling and it uses many of the concepts of Person Centered Counseling. It is a highly experiential model and requires a mainly practical and not a theoretical approach. However, it has a strong theoretical foundation. This series of notes will deal with the theoretical aspects but will be backed up by a complementary series of practical exercises which will influence our approach to all our work in TA. TA is technique to understand the dynamics of self and its relationship to other. It provides a method and approach of analyzing and understanding interpersonal behaviour.

Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS

The same model helps explain how people function and express their personality in their behavior 2. So we can say TA is technique to understand the dynamics of self and its relationship to other. 1. families and groups. This explanation is based on the idea of a "Life (or Childhood) Script": the assumption that we continue to re-play childhood strategies.2 s According to the International Transactional Analysis Association. couples. TA describes how people are structured psychologically. reciprocal transaction occurs when both partners are addressing the ego state the other is in. 5. 3. These are also called complementary transactions. in management and communications training and by other bodies." (Adult to Adult) Example 2: A: "Would you like to skip this meeting and go watch a film with me instead?" (Child to Child) Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS .[1] TA 'is a theory of personality and a systematic psychotherapy for personal growth and personal change'. It provides a method and approach of analyzing and under sting interpersonal behaviour. Outside the therapeutic field. the ego-state (Parent-Adult-Child) model. Kinds of transactions There are basically three kinds of transactions: 1. Reciprocal/Complementary (the simplest) 2. to do this. it has been used in education to help teachers remain in clear communication at an appropriate level.Duplex/Angular (the most complex) Reciprocal or Complementary transactions A simple. Crossed 3. 4. In practical application. It offers a theory for child development by explaining how our adult patterns of life originated in childhood. it can be used in the diagnosis and treatment of many types of psychological disorders and provides a method of therapy for individuals. Ulterior . It uses what is perhaps its best known model. in counseling and consultancy. even when this results in pain or defeat.I'm about to email it to you. It is a theory of communication that can be extended to the analysis of systems and organizations. Thus it claims to offer a theory of psychopathology. As a theory of personality. Example 1: A: "Have you been able to write the report?" (Adult to Adult) B: "Yes .

3 s B: "I'd love to . which can continue indefinitely. (Clearly it will stop at some stage . what should we go and see?" (Child to Child) Example 3: A: "You should have your room tidy by now!" (Parent to Child) B: "Will you stop hassling me? I'll do it eventually!" (Child to Parent).. A may respond with a Parent to Child transaction.but this psychologically balanced exchange of strokes can continue for some time). Communication like this can continue indefinitely. Example 1a: A: "Have you been able to write that report?" (Adult to Adult) B: "Will you stop hassling me? I'll do it eventually!" (Child to Parent) This is a crossed transaction likely to produce problems in the workplace. Ulterior transactions Another class of transaction is the ulterior transactions." Example 2a: A: "Is your room tidy yet?" (Parent to Child) B: "I'm just going to do it. There is however the risk that A will feel aggrieved that B is acting responsibly and not playing their role. actually. and the conversation will develop into: A: "I can never trust you to do things!" (Parent to Child) B: "Why don't you believe anything I say?" (Child to Parent) . Crossed transactions Communication failures are typically caused by a 'crossed transaction' where partners address ego states other than that their partner is in. For instance: Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS .. you'll get fired. Consider the above examples jumbled up a bit.I don't want to work anymore." (Adult to Adult) This is a more positive crossed transaction. For instance: A: "If you don't change your attitude. where the explicit social conversation occurs in parallel with an implicit psychological transaction.

AND MANAGING CONFLICT AS WELL AS FOR DEVELOPING EMPATHY FOR OTHERS.4 s A: "I need you to stay late at the office with me. body language indicates sexual intent (flirtatious Child) B: "Of course." (Adult words). Blind Spot & Unknown areas. the Dream Johari Window." (Adult response to Adult statement). The concept is clearly related to the ideas propounded in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator program. whereas the Openness to Feedback score is to be plotted vertically. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as a heuristic exercise. Room 2 is the aspects that others see but we are not aware of. Room 4 is our private space. The individual having a Dream Johari Window identical to the current Johari Window may have a balanced personality. The individual may also plot another Window. which in turn derive from theories about the personality first explored by psychologist Carl Jung. which we know but keep from others. winking or grinning (Child accepts the hidden motive). SELF-AWARENESS SELF-AWARENESS INCLUDES A RECOGNITION OF OUR PERSONALITY. Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS . a LOW score on the PES indicates less possibility of transition. An alternative mechanism for determining an individual's Johari Window is to plot the scores from the Personal Effectiveness Scale (PES). Hidden. The Self-Disclosure score is to be plotted horizontally. A PREREQUISITE FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION RELATIONS. Openness to Feedback & Perceptiveness. used to help people better understand their relationship with self and others. The Perceptiveness score from the PES indicates how likely it is for the individual to achieve the Dream Johari Window. The Johari window is a technique created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955[1] in the United States. The Johari Window formed naturally displays the sizes of the Open. Charles Handy calls this concept the Johari House with four rooms. Room 1 is the part of ourselves that we see and others see. Room 3 is the most mysterious room in that the unconscious or subconscious part of us is seen by neither ourselves nor others. giving a perspective into the individual's personality. The sizes of the areas in the Dream Johari Window may be different from the sizes of the same areas in the current Johari Window. OUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES. The Scale comprises three factors : Self-Disclosure. The Dream Johari Window represents what an individual wants his/her personality to be like. For example. OUR LIKES AND DISLIKES.

Blind Spot: Adjectives that are not selected by subjects but only by their peers are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS . representing the participant's behaviors or motives that were not recognized by anyone participating. are placed into the Hidden quadrant. and they can decide whether and how to inform the individual about these "blind spots". This quadrant represents traits of the subjects that both they and their peers are aware of. It is then up to the subject to disclose this information or not. These represent information that the subject is not aware of. but others are. but not by any of their peers. Unknown: Adjectives that were not selected by either subjects or their peers remain in the Unknown quadrant.5 s Open: Adjectives that are selected by both the participant and his or her peers are placed into the Open quadrant. This may be because they do not apply or because there is collective ignorance of the existence of these traits. Hidden: Adjectives selected only by subjects. representing information about them their peers are unaware of.

and encouragement of its growth. enables us to understand our two worlds and to make sense of their congruence and conflict. make sense of it and grow towards their full and true potential. which are directress sponge in the here and now „PRESENT EGO-STATE „ CHILD This is our collection of attitudes. This conflict often takes the form of an' inner dialogue'. But Berne insisted that these states were real . Example: sweet caring Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS .Ego States.they allow us to contact reality. feelings and thoughts . „BORROWED EGO -STATE‟ ADULT This is our collection of attitudes. EGO STATES Berne called the parts of us that contribute to the inner dialogue . PARENT This is our collection of attitudes. feelings and thoughts.awareness. behaviors. Transactions occur simultaneously at both explicit and psychological levels. behaviors. and more specifically the unspoken psychological flow of communication that runs in parallel. It is affected by many influences family. feelings and thoughts . However.awareness. usually unconsciously .unconscious and. All states are equally important in developing our true potential. The task of TA counseling. behaviors. These 3states begin. This links with the Psychoanalytical and Freudian concept of the ' ego' . which are replayed from our childhood – our own past „ARCHAIC EGO – STATE „ We will now explore the above through participating in a complementary exercise. culture. Transactions and Strokes  Transactions are the flow of communication. to develop throughout our life.6 s PERSONALITY AND EGO STATES Our basic personality is based on many things. as many psychoanalysts believe. Initially we will examine three (3) basic states. Much of it is unknown . religion social life etc. Other sub-states exist and these will be examined in later notes. and continue. and all growth in self . which we have taken in ( copied from the past ) . from significant parental figures and role models. self. primitive. This will be followed by a series of presentations ( with notes) and other exercises. is to allow individuals to get in touch with this inner dialogue.

TA therefore can be used to elicit the reactions you want from other people (and this will happen consciously or unconsciously). a negative transaction is preferred to no transaction at all. and that lacking positive strokes. People often create pressure in (or experience pressure from) others to communicate in a way that matches their style. attention or responsiveness that one person gives another. particularly if someone is habitually in one ego state). We test out as children what strategies and behaviours seem to get us strokes. even if it is recognition of a negative kind. so that a boss who talks to his staff as a controlling parent will often engender self-abasement or other childlike responses. A key idea is that people hunger for recognition. of whatever kind we can get. Those employees who resist may get removed or labeled as "trouble". We can help communication if we need to by trying to shift the other person‟s ego state by inviting people to move into a different ego state (they may not always move into it though. Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS . We can listen to people‟s communication to identify if they are habitually in one ego state and then decide if communication to that ego state would be appropriate or not. The nature of transactions is important to understanding communication. If we receive a reply from the wrong (non expected) ego state then we can either try to shift the other person‟s ego state. Using ego states we can look at how others communicate and how we communicate with others. However. Using TA for effective communication For effective communication you need to keep the transaction complementary i. To read the real communication requires both surface and non-verbal reading.7 s  voice with sarcastic intent. focus on sender to receiver and receiver to sender where the message is sent to the ego state from which you expect a reply. It‟s possible to identify which ego state we are in and which ego state we are expecting a reply from. Strokes are the recognition. will seek whatever kind they can. Transactions can be experienced as positive or negative depending on the nature of the strokes within them.e. because of a fundamental hunger for strokes. Strokes can be positive (nicknamed "warm fuzzies" or negative ("cold pricklies"). We can also use TA to help us plan transactions. For example we can identify which ego state would be most valuable for us to send the message from and which ego state it would be better for it to be received by. or if we cannot do this it may be better to stop the communication and try again another time when the person may be in a different ego state.

You're Not OK" (I+U-) "I'm OK. the unconscious feeling. "I'm Not OK."Life Position" refers to the general feeling about life (specifically. You're OK" (I-U+) "I'm Not OK.8 s Do this by acknowledging their current ego state (by the appropriate message or response) and then invite them into another ego state by the words (and body language) which you use. Initially four such Life Positions were proposed: 1. You use your Adult ego state to think about what behaviour is appropriate. 2. 4. Life positions In TA theory. person-to-person) transaction. Invite them to move into Adult by:      Asking a question Stating a few facts Asking for their opinion Asking for their preference Asking for their view Invite them to move into Nurturing Parent by:     Asking for their help Asking for their advice Asking for their expert opinion Communicating your fears/worries Invite them to move into Natural Child (Free Child) by:  Being one yourself  Showing the funny side of the situation  Going to nurturing parent  Being enthusiastic  Showing an unconventional way of looking at things.e. TA implies that you can have considerable impact on modifying unsatisfactory behaviour by the way you communicate with others. The Adult ego state has the capacity to control the other two ego states. 3. as opposed to a conscious philosophical position) that colours every dyadic (i. You're Not OK" (I-U-) "I'm OK. You're OK" (I+U+) Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS .

You're OK" (I-U+) "I'm not-OK. A person begins writing his/her own life story (script) at a young age. Script is reinforced by parents (or other influential figures and experiences). 2.e. the rest of reality is redefined (distorted) to match our filters.[9] Script is decisional and responsive. directed to a reward. Though Berne identified several dozen common scripts. there are a practically infinite number of them. two additional Life Positions are proposed:[8] 1. Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS . Although it is revised throughout life. A life script might be "to be hurt many times. 3. 5. As adults it passes out of awareness. therefore stating the difference in a new way: "I'm not-OK. by adopting behaviours in childhood that produce exactly this effect.. that is. You're not-OK" (I-U-) "I'm not-OK. Script is how we navigate and what we look for. instead. 7. but You're worse" (I-U--). But You're Worse" (I-U--) "I'm not-OK. core beliefs and purpose. It is not just thrust upon a person by external forces. allegedly. 4. lately. You're OK" (I+U+) "I'm OK. Life (or Childhood) script      Script is a life plan. as he/she tries to make sense of the world and his place within it. an Australian TA analyst has claimed that in order to better represent the Life Position behind disorders that were not. a legend explaining its origins. decided upon in childhood in response to perceptions of the world and as a means of living with and making sense of the world. so do individual people. as widespread and/or recognized at the time when TA was conceptualized as they are now (such as borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder) the above list requires alteration. i. You're not-OK" is proposed to be substituted by description that more accurately captures one's own feeling (not jumping to conclusions based only on one's perceived behavior). You're Irrelevant" (I+U?) The difference between one's own OK-ness and other's OK-ness captured by description "I'm OK. According to TA. Each culture. and suffer and make others feel bad when I die". "I'm not-OK. the core story is selected and decided upon typically by age 7. You're Irrelevant" (I-U?) "I'm a Bit More OK Than You Are" (I++U+) "I'm OK. and could result in a person indeed setting himself up for this. scripts could as easily be mostly positive or beneficial. Though often largely destructive. Also. 6. country and people in the world has a Mythos. Script is for the most part outside awareness.9 s However.

Students of transactional analysis have discovered that people who are accustomed to a game are willing to play it even as a different "actor" from what they originally were.10 s Games and their analysis Definition of game A game is a series of transactions that is complementary (reciprocal). ulterior. Adult and Child ego states. Berne identified dozens of games. such as the aim of earning sympathy. the way to break it. played by three players). and people can play multiple roles. three handed (that is. where or by whom they were played.   Based on the degree of acceptability and potential harm. Games are usually played by Parent. and games usually have a fixed number of players. to money. to parts of the body. Three other quantitative variables are often useful to consider for games:  Flexibility: The ability of the players to change the currency of the game (that is. Intensity: Easy games are games played in a relaxed way. vindication. each game tended towards very similar structures in how many players or roles were involved. Games are often characterized by a switch in roles of players towards the end. Games may be two handed (that is. games are classified as:    First Degree Games are socially acceptable in the players' social circle. or some other emotion that usually reinforces the life script. the tools they use to play it). The antithesis of a game. Third Degree Games are games that could lead to drastic harm to one or more of the parties concerned. Analysis of a game One important aspect of a game is its number of players. played by two players). an individual's role can shift. and the game's goals. or many handed. Hard games are games played in a tense and aggressive way. regardless of when. Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS . Tenacity: The persistence with which people play and stick to their games and their resistance to breaking it. In a flexible game. noting that. Second Degree Games are games that the players would like to conceal. the rules of the game. however. satisfaction. though they may not cause irreversible damage. and proceeds towards a predictable outcome. lies in discovering how to deprive the actors of their payoff. Each game has a payoff for those playing it. that is. players may shift from words.

You Son Of a Bitch (escalating minor disagreements or errors into major interpersonal conflicts) RAPO: A woman falsely cries 'rape' or threatens to. a milder version in which a woman flirts with a man and then rejects his advances Berne argued that the logic of games is wholly subjective. Some commonly found games Here are some of the most commonly found themes of games described in Games People Play by Eric Berne:           YDYB: Why Don't You. IFWY: If It Weren't For You WAHM: Why does this Always Happen to Me? (setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy) SWYMD: See What You Made Me Do UGMIT: You Got Me Into This LHIT: Look How Hard I've Tried ITHY: I'm Only Trying to Help You (becoming a neglected martyr) LYAHF: Let's You and Him Fight (staging a love triangle) NIGYYSOB / NIGYSOB: Now I've Got You. Their motives are often ulterior. the first game discovered. rather than as Adult to Adult. one person's Parent state might interact with another's Child.11 s Games are also studied based on their:      Aim Roles Social and Psychological Paradigms Dynamics Advantages to players (Payoffs) Contrast with rational (mathematical) games Transactional game analysis is fundamentally different from rational or mathematical game analysis in the following senses:   The players do not always behave rationally in transactional analysis. Benefits and uses TA     Developing positive thinking Interpersonal effectiveness Motivation Organization development Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS . related to Buzz Off Buster. Historically. but behave more like real people. Yes But.

12 s Limitation of TA  Difficult to understand ego states and transactions b/w people in practice  May lead to more “cuteness”  Can be used as a put-down in inter-personal relation Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS .