An introduction to transactional analysis


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An introduction to transactional analysis

  1. 1. 1sAn Introduction to Transactional AnalysisEvery human being is born a Prince or a Princess ; early experiences convince some that they arefrogs ,and the rest of the pathological development follows thisEric Berne 1966BACKGROUND AND BASIC ASSUMPTIONSTA is a form of therapy devised by Eric Berne and modified by others. It is based onsome basic assumptions . These are founded on the quotation (from Berne) and on thebasic statement that‘People are OK. It expands this as in the following way:1. People are OK (Im OK - You Are OK.)Everybody has a capacity to think (most people unless they have some damage to theirbrain) )People decide their own destiny and can change2. 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 WorldThis is a world of dreams, emotions, fears, hopes and memories. This world containsfeelings and images of both ourselves and others. It is our private world.* An Outer WorldIn this outer world we act out our beliefs and feelings. This is the world where weact out our games , roles and transactions.How and what we do in our inter-personal relationships depends upon the relationshipwe have between these two worlds.. Are they congruent or in conflict. These states ofcongruency or conflict vary with time and circumstances. Berne was originally apsychoanalyst and TA has its roots in this approach or model of counseling. However, ithas (like Gestalt) developed over many years in the Humanistic Approach to counselingand it uses many of the concepts of Person Centered Counseling. It is a highlyexperiential 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 thetheoretical aspects but will be backed up by a complementary series of practicalexercises 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. Itprovides a method and approach of analyzing and understanding interpersonalbehaviour.Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS
  2. 2. 2sAccording to the International Transactional Analysis Association,[1] TA is a theory ofpersonality and a systematic psychotherapy for personal growth and personal change. 1. As a theory of personality, TA describes how people are structured psychologically. It uses what is perhaps its best known model, the ego-state (Parent-Adult-Child) model, to do this. The same model helps explain how people function and express their personality in their behavior 2. It is a theory of communication that can be extended to the analysis of systems and organizations. 3. It offers a theory for child development by explaining how our adult patterns of life originated in childhood. This explanation is based on the idea of a "Life (or Childhood) Script": the assumption that we continue to re-play childhood strategies, even when this results in pain or defeat. Thus it claims to offer a theory of psychopathology. 4. In practical application, it can be used in the diagnosis and treatment of many types of psychological disorders and provides a method of therapy for individuals, couples, families and groups. 5. Outside the therapeutic field, it has been used in education to help teachers remain in clear communication at an appropriate level, in counseling and consultancy, in management and communications training and by other bodies.So we can say TA is technique to understand the dynamics of self and its relationship toother. It provides a method and approach of analyzing and under sting interpersonalbehaviour.Kinds of transactionsThere are basically three kinds of transactions: 1. Reciprocal/Complementary (the simplest) 2. Crossed 3. Ulterior - Duplex/Angular (the most complex)Reciprocal or Complementary transactionsA simple, reciprocal transaction occurs when both partners are addressing the ego statethe other is in. These are also called complementary transactions. Example 1: A: "Have you been able to write the report?" (Adult to Adult) B: "Yes - Im about to email it to you." (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
  3. 3. 3s B: "Id love to - I dont want to work anymore, 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? Ill do it eventually!" (Child to Parent).Communication like this can continue indefinitely. (Clearly it will stop at some stage - butthis psychologically balanced exchange of strokes can continue for some time).Crossed transactionsCommunication failures are typically caused by a crossed transaction where partnersaddress ego states other than that their partner is in. Consider the above examplesjumbled up a bit.Example 1a: A: "Have you been able to write that report?" (Adult to Adult) B: "Will you stop hassling me? Ill do it eventually!" (Child to Parent)This is a crossed transaction likely to produce problems in the workplace. A mayrespond with a Parent to Child transaction. For instance: A: "If you dont change your attitude, youll get fired."Example 2a: A: "Is your room tidy yet?" (Parent to Child) B: "Im just going to do it, actually." (Adult to Adult)This is a more positive crossed transaction. There is however the risk that A will feelaggrieved that B is acting responsibly and not playing their role, and the conversationwill develop into: A: "I can never trust you to do things!" (Parent to Child) B: "Why dont you believe anything I say?" (Child to Parent)... which can continue indefinitely.Ulterior transactionsAnother class of transaction is the ulterior transactions, where the explicit socialconversation occurs in parallel with an implicit psychological transaction. For instance:Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS
  4. 4. 4s A: "I need you to stay late at the office with me." (Adult words), body language indicates sexual intent (flirtatious Child)B: "Of course." (Adult response to Adult statement), winking or grinning (Child acceptsthe hidden motive).SELF-AWARENESSSELF-AWARENESS INCLUDES A RECOGNITION OF OUR PERSONALITY, OURSTRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES, OUR LIKES AND DISLIKES. A PREREQUISITEFOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION RELATIONS,AND MANAGING CONFLICT ASWELL AS FOR DEVELOPING EMPATHY FOR OTHERS.The Johari window is a technique created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955[1]in the United States, used to help people better understand their relationship with selfand others. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as a heuristicexercise.Charles Handy calls this concept the Johari House with four rooms. Room 1 is the partof ourselves that we see and others see. Room 2 is the aspects that others see but weare not aware of. Room 3 is the most mysterious room in that the unconscious orsubconscious part of us is seen by neither ourselves nor others. Room 4 is our privatespace, which we know but keep from others.The concept is clearly related to the ideas propounded in the Myers-Briggs TypeIndicator program, which in turn derive from theories about the personality first exploredby psychologist Carl Jung.An alternative mechanism for determining an individuals Johari Window is to plot thescores from the Personal Effectiveness Scale (PES). The Scale comprises threefactors : Self-Disclosure, Openness to Feedback & Perceptiveness. The Self-Disclosurescore is to be plotted horizontally, whereas the Openness to Feedback score is to beplotted vertically. The Johari Window formed naturally displays the sizes of the Open,Hidden, Blind Spot & Unknown areas, giving a perspective into the individualspersonality.The individual may also plot another Window, the Dream Johari Window. The sizes ofthe areas in the Dream Johari Window may be different from the sizes of the sameareas in the current Johari Window. The Dream Johari Window represents what anindividual wants his/her personality to be like. The individual having a Dream JohariWindow identical to the current Johari Window may have a balanced personality. ThePerceptiveness score from the PES indicates how likely it is for the individual to achievethe Dream Johari Window. For example, a LOW score on the PES indicates lesspossibility of transition.Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS
  5. 5. 5sOpen: Adjectives that are selected by both the participant and his or her peers areplaced into the Open quadrant. This quadrant represents traits of the subjects that boththey and their peers are aware of.Hidden: Adjectives selected only by subjects, but not by any of their peers, are placedinto the Hidden quadrant, representing information about them their peers are unawareof. It is then up to the subject to disclose this information or not.Blind Spot: Adjectives that are not selected by subjects but only by their peers areplaced into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information that the subject is notaware of, but others are, and they can decide whether and how to inform the individualabout these "blind spots".Unknown: Adjectives that were not selected by either subjects or their peers remain inthe Unknown quadrant, representing the participants behaviors or motives that werenot recognized by anyone participating. This may be because they do not apply orbecause there is collective ignorance of the existence of these traits.Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS
  6. 6. 6sPERSONALITY AND EGO STATES Our basic personality is based on many things. Much of it is unknown - unconsciousand, as many psychoanalysts believe, primitive. It is affected by many influences -family, culture, religion social life etc. However, self- awareness, and encouragement ofits growth, enables us to understand our two worlds and to make sense of theircongruence and conflict. This conflict often takes the form of an inner dialogue. Thetask of TA counseling, and all growth in self - awareness, is to allow individuals to get intouch with this inner dialogue, make sense of it and grow towards their full and truepotential.EGO STATESBerne called the parts of us that contribute to the inner dialogue - Ego States. This linkswith the Psychoanalytical and Freudian concept of the ego . But Berne insisted thatthese states were real - they allow us to contact reality. Initially we will examine three (3)basic states.Other sub-states exist and these will be examined in later notes. These 3states begin,and continue, to develop throughout our life. All states are equally important indeveloping our true potential.PARENTThis is our collection of attitudes, behaviors, feelings and thoughts , which we havetaken in ( copied from the past ) , usually unconsciously , from significant parentalfigures and role models.„BORROWED EGO -STATE‟ADULTThis is our collection of attitudes, behaviors, feelings and thoughts , which are directresssponge in the here and now„PRESENT EGO-STATE „CHILDThis is our collection of attitudes, behaviors, feelings and thoughts, which are replayedfrom our childhood – our own past„ARCHAIC EGO – STATE „We will now explore the above through participating in a complementary exercise. Thiswill be followed by a series of presentations ( with notes) and other exercises.Transactions and Strokes Transactions are the flow of communication, and more specifically the unspoken psychological flow of communication that runs in parallel. Transactions occur simultaneously at both explicit and psychological levels. Example: sweet caringPrepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS
  7. 7. 7s voice with sarcastic intent. To read the real communication requires both surface and non-verbal reading. Strokes are the recognition, attention or responsiveness that one person gives another. Strokes can be positive (nicknamed "warm fuzzies" or negative ("cold pricklies"). A key idea is that people hunger for recognition, and that lacking positive strokes, will seek whatever kind they can, even if it is recognition of a negative kind. We test out as children what strategies and behaviours seem to get us strokes, of whatever kind we can get.People often create pressure in (or experience pressure from) others to communicate ina way that matches their style, so that a boss who talks to his staff as a controllingparent will often engender self-abasement or other childlike responses. Thoseemployees who resist may get removed or labeled as "trouble".Transactions can be experienced as positive or negative depending on the nature of thestrokes within them. However, a negative transaction is preferred to no transaction atall, because of a fundamental hunger for strokes.The nature of transactions is important to understanding communication.Using TA for effective communicationFor effective communication you need to keep the transaction complementary i.e. focuson sender to receiver and receiver to sender where the message is sent to the ego statefrom which you expect a reply. Using ego states we can look at how otherscommunicate and how we communicate with others. It‟s possible to identify which egostate we are in and which ego state we are expecting a reply from.We can also use TA to help us plan transactions. For example we can identify whichego state would be most valuable for us to send the message from and which ego stateit would be better for it to be received by. If we receive a reply from the wrong (nonexpected) ego state then we can either try to shift the other person‟s ego state; or if wecannot do this it may be better to stop the communication and try again another timewhen the person may be in a different ego state.We can listen to people‟s communication to identify if they are habitually in one egostate and then decide if communication to that ego state would be appropriate or not.TA therefore can be used to elicit the reactions you want from other people (and this willhappen consciously or unconsciously).We can help communication if we need to by trying to shift the other person‟s ego stateby inviting people to move into a different ego state (they may not always move intoit though, particularly if someone is habitually in one ego state).Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS
  8. 8. 8sDo this by acknowledging their current ego state (by the appropriate message orresponse) and then invite them into another ego state by the words (and bodylanguage) which you use.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 viewInvite them to move into Nurturing Parent by: Asking for their help Asking for their advice Asking for their expert opinion Communicating your fears/worriesInvite 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.TA implies that you can have considerable impact on modifying unsatisfactorybehaviour by the way you communicate with others. You use your Adult ego state tothink about what behaviour is appropriate. The Adult ego state has the capacity tocontrol the other two ego states.Life positionsIn TA theory,"Life Position" refers to the general feeling about life (specifically, theunconscious feeling, as opposed to a conscious philosophical position) that coloursevery dyadic (i.e. person-to-person) transaction. Initially four such Life Positions wereproposed: 1. "Im Not OK, Youre OK" (I-U+) 2. "Im Not OK, Youre Not OK" (I-U-) 3. "Im OK, Youre Not OK" (I+U-) 4. "Im OK, Youre OK" (I+U+)Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS
  9. 9. 9sHowever, lately, an Australian TA analyst has claimed that in order to better representthe Life Position behind disorders that were not, allegedly, as widespread and/orrecognized at the time when TA was conceptualized as they are now (such asborderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder) the above listrequires alteration. Also, two additional Life Positions are proposed:[8] 1. "Im not-OK, Youre OK" (I-U+) 2. "Im not-OK, Youre not-OK" (I-U-) 3. "Im not-OK, But Youre Worse" (I-U--) 4. "Im not-OK, Youre Irrelevant" (I-U?) 5. "Im a Bit More OK Than You Are" (I++U+) 6. "Im OK, Youre OK" (I+U+) 7. "Im OK, Youre Irrelevant" (I+U?)The difference between ones own OK-ness and others OK-ness captured bydescription "Im OK, Youre not-OK" is proposed to be substituted by description thatmore accurately captures ones own feeling (not jumping to conclusions based only onones perceived behavior), therefore stating the difference in a new way: "Im not-OK,but Youre worse" (I-U--), instead.Life (or Childhood) script Script is a life plan, directed to a reward.[9] Script is decisional and responsive; i.e., decided upon in childhood in response to perceptions of the world and as a means of living with and making sense of the world. It is not just thrust upon a person by external forces. Script is reinforced by parents (or other influential figures and experiences). Script is for the most part outside awareness. Script is how we navigate and what we look for, the rest of reality is redefined (distorted) to match our filters.Each culture, country and people in the world has a Mythos, that is, a legend explainingits origins, core beliefs and purpose. According to TA, so do individual people. A personbegins writing his/her own life story (script) at a young age, as he/she tries to makesense of the world and his place within it. Although it is revised throughout life, the corestory is selected and decided upon typically by age 7. As adults it passes out ofawareness. A life script might be "to be hurt many times, and suffer and make othersfeel bad when I die", and could result in a person indeed setting himself up for this, byadopting behaviours in childhood that produce exactly this effect. Though Berneidentified several dozen common scripts, there are a practically infinite number of them.Though often largely destructive, scripts could as easily be mostly positive or beneficial.Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS
  10. 10. 10sGames and their analysisDefinition of gameA game is a series of transactions that is complementary (reciprocal), ulterior, andproceeds towards a predictable outcome. Games are often characterized by a switch inroles of players towards the end. Games are usually played by Parent, Adult and Childego states, and games usually have a fixed number of players; however, an individualsrole can shift, and people can play multiple roles.Berne identified dozens of games, noting that, regardless of when, where or by whomthey were played, each game tended towards very similar structures in how manyplayers or roles were involved, the rules of the game, and the games goals.Each game has a payoff for those playing it, such as the aim of earning sympathy,satisfaction, vindication, or some other emotion that usually reinforces the life script.The antithesis of a game, that is, the way to break it, lies in discovering how to deprivethe actors of their payoff.Students of transactional analysis have discovered that people who are accustomed toa game are willing to play it even as a different "actor" from what they originally were.Analysis of a gameOne important aspect of a game is its number of players. Games may be two handed(that is, played by two players), three handed (that is, played by three players), or manyhanded. 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, the tools they use to play it). In a flexible game, players may shift from words, to money, to parts of the body. Tenacity: The persistence with which people play and stick to their games and their resistance to breaking it. Intensity: Easy games are games played in a relaxed way. Hard games are games played in a tense and aggressive way.Based on the degree of acceptability and potential harm, games are classified as: First Degree Games are socially acceptable in the players social circle. Second Degree Games are games that the players would like to conceal, though they may not cause irreversible damage. Third Degree Games are games that could lead to drastic harm to one or more of the parties concerned.Prepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS
  11. 11. 11sGames are also studied based on their: Aim Roles Social and Psychological Paradigms Dynamics Advantages to players (Payoffs)Contrast with rational (mathematical) gamesTransactional game analysis is fundamentally different from rational or mathematicalgame analysis in the following senses: The players do not always behave rationally in transactional analysis, but behave more like real people. Their motives are often ulterior.Some commonly found gamesHere are some of the most commonly found themes of games described in GamesPeople Play by Eric Berne: YDYB: Why Dont You, Yes But. Historically, the first game discovered. IFWY: If It Werent 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 Ive Tried ITHY: Im Only Trying to Help You (becoming a neglected martyr) LYAHF: Lets You and Him Fight (staging a love triangle) NIGYYSOB / NIGYSOB: Now Ive Got You, You Son Of a Bitch (escalating minor disagreements or errors into major interpersonal conflicts) RAPO: A woman falsely cries rape or threatens to; related to Buzz Off Buster, a milder version in which a woman flirts with a man and then rejects his advancesBerne argued that the logic of games is wholly subjective; one persons Parent statemight interact with anothers Child, rather than as Adult to Adult.Benefits and uses TA  Developing positive thinking  Interpersonal effectiveness  Motivation  Organization developmentPrepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS
  12. 12. 12sLimitation 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 relationPrepared By Mrs Neha Rathi Faculty of KKPIMS