Transactional analysis – intro


  • Script: life plan
  • Counterscript: fitting in with other peoples’ expectations
  • Structural ego state: stores experiences
  • Functional ego state: the way we operate in the world
  • Stroke: unit of recognition of another human being
  • Contaminations: failures to separate history from the present
  • Exclusions: failure to use an appropriate ego state
  • Discount: ignore an aspect of reality
  • Rackets: running through a familiar pattern of unhelpful thoughts/feelings
  • Drivers: attempts to avoid feeling bad by acting in a way that we hope will result in positive attention

TA is based on contracting eg: organisation/trainer/participant triangle

  • Internal parent holds opinions, values, beliefs. previous experiences and behaviours. Checks that plan is based on reliable precedents.
  • Internal adult thinks logically, weighs probabilities. May not take account of true feelings, and so lose touch with motivation or underestimate the responses of others.
  • Internal child holds anticipated feelings and emotional memories of previous incidents. Enthusiastic, but will try to undermine decisions which ignore feelings of anxiety.

For success, all three ego states need to be in broad agreement.

Interpersonal styles: External ego states are exhibited to others and identified using behavioural cues.


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