BORN TO WIN
The crazy person says, "I am Abraham Lincoln, " and the neurotic says, " I wish I were Abraham Lincoln, " and the healthy person says, "I am I, and you are you, "
Many people come to a time in their lives when they are provoked to define themselves. At such time transactional analysis offers a frame of reference that most people can understand and put to use in their own lives. Transactional analysis is concerned with four kinds of analysis:
Structural Analysis: the analysis of individual personality.
Transactional Analysis: the analysis of what people do and say to one another
Game Analysis: the analysis of ulterior transactions leading to a payoff.
Script Analysis: the analysis of specific life dramas that persons compulsively play out.
Introduction to Transactional Analysis
Structural Analysis offers one way of answering the questions: Who am I? Why do I act the way I do? How did I get this way? It is a method of Analyzing a person's thoughts, and behavior, based on the phenomena of ego states.
Imagine a mother loudly scolding her noisy, quarrelsome children . Her voice is shrill. Her arm is tense and held high in the air . Suddenly, the phone rings and she hears a friend's voice. The mother's posture, tone, and expression begin to change. Her voice becomes well modulated. Her once tense arm lies quietly in her lap.
Imagine two factory workers angrily arguing with each other about a work problem. Their argument is animated and fierce. They look like two children fighting over a piece of candy. Suddenly they here a crash of steel followed by an agonized scream. Their entire demeanor changes. Their arguments are dropped. Their angry expression give way to concern. One hurries to see what's wrong; the other calls an ambulance. According to the theory of structural analysis, the workers, as well as the mother, changed ego states. Berne defines an ego state as "A consistent pattern of feeling and experience directly related to a corresponding consistent pattern of behaviour". Berne writes:
.....in this respect brain functions like a tape recorder to preserve complete experiences in serial sequence, in aform recognizable as "ego states"-indicating that ego states comprise the natural way of experiencing and of recording experiences in their totality. Simultaneously, of course, experiences are recorded in fragmented forms.......
The implications are that a person's experiences are recorded in the brain and nervous tissues. This includes everything a person experienced in childhood and incorporated from parent figures, perceptions of events and feeling associated with these events, and the distortions brought to memories. These recordings are stored as though on videotape. They can be replayed, and the event recalled and even re-experienced.
Each person has three ego states which are separate and distinct sources of behavior: the Parent ego state, the Adult ego state, and the Child ego state. These are not abstract concepts but realities. "Parent, Adult, and Child represent real people who now exist or who once exited, who have legal name and civic identities " . Ego states are colloquially termed Parent, Adult, Child . Ego capitalized in this book they refer to ego states, not to actual parent, adult, or children .
The three ego states are defined as follows:
The Parent ego state contains the attitudes and behavior incorporated from external sources, primarily parents. Outwardly, it often is expressed towards others in prejudicial, critical, and nurturing behavior. Inwardly, it is experienced as old Parental messages which continue to influence the inner Child.
The Adult ego state is not related to a person's age. It is oriented to current reality and the objective gathering of on iformation. It is organized, adaptable, intelligent, and fanctions by testing reality, estimating probabilities and computing dispassionately.
The Child ego state contains all the impulses that come naturally to an infant. It also contains the recordings of the child's experiences, responses, and "positions" taken about self and others. It is expressed as "old" (archaic) behavior from childhood.
When you are acting, thinking, feeling as you observed your Parent to be doing, you are in your parents ego state. When you are dealing with current reality, gathering facts, and computing objectively, you are in your Adult ego state. When you are feeling and acting as you did when you were a child, you are in your Child ego state.
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