Transactional Analysis

4 April 2017

Transactional Analysis Dr. Eric Berne, the originator of Transactional Analysis, has explained transaction is a unit of social intercourse. According to him, if two or more people encounter each other…sooner or later one of them will speak, or give some other indication of acknowledging the presence of the others. This is called transactional stimulus. Another person will then say or do something which is in some way related to stimulus, and that is called transactional response. What is transactional Analysis?

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Transactional Analysis is the method of examining this one transaction wherein “I do something to you and you do something back” and determining which part of the multiple-natured individual is being activated. It is an intellectual tool to understand the basis of behaviour and feelings. Three Ego States (Parent, Adult, and Child) According to Dr. Eric Berne, the ego states are very different from Id, Ego, and Superego. The latter are concepts, whereas the ego states are psychological realities.

The state is produced by the playback of recorded data of events in the past, involving real people, real time, real places, real decisions, and real feelings. The Parent (Taught Concept of Life) [pic] The mother and father become internalized in the Parent, as recordings of what the child observed them say and do. The Parent Ego is the recordings of imposed, unquestioned, external events perceived by a person between birth and age five in taught concept of life. In the Parent are recorded all the admonitions and rules and laws that the child heard from his parents and saw their living.

Likewise are recorded the coos of pleasure of a happy mother and the looks of delight of a proud father. The significant point is that whether these rules are good or bad in the light of a reasonable ethic, they are recorded as truth from the source of all security. There are Two types of Parent- Nurturing Parent, and Controlling Parent The Nurturing Parent is caring and concerned and often may appear as a mother-figure (though men can play it too). They seek to keep the Child safe and offer unconditional love, calming them when they are troubled.

The Controlling (or Critical) Parent, on the other hand, tries to make the Child do as the parent wants them to do, perhaps transferring values or beliefs or helping the Child to understand and live in society. They may also have negative intent, using the Child as a whipping-boy or worse. The Child (Felt Concepts of Life) [pic] In the Chilg Ego there are recordings of internal events (feelings) in response to external events ( mostly mother and father) between birth and age five While external events are being recorded as that body of data we call the Parent, there is another recording being made simultaneously.

This is the recording of internal events, the responses of the little person to what he sees and gears. This ‘seeing and hearing and feeling and understandings’ of body of data is called Child Ego. Since the little person has no vocabulary during the most critical of his early experiences, most of his reactions are feelings. There are three types of Child we can play: Natural Child, Little Professor, Adaptive Child. The Natural Child is largely un-self-aware and is characterized by the non-speech noises they make (yahoo, etc. ). They like playing and are open and vulnerable.

The cutely-named Little Professor is the curious and exploring Child who is always trying out new stuff (often much to their Controlling Parent’s annoyance). Together with the Natural Child they make up the Free Child. The Adaptive Child reacts to the world around them, either changing themselves to fit in or rebelling against the forces they feel. The Adult (Thought Concepts of Life)[pic] The Adult is a data-processing computer, which grinds out decisions after computing the information from three sources: the Parent, the Child, and the data which the Adult has gathered and is gathering.

Types of Transactions Complementary Transactions: A complementary transaction occurs when a message, sent from a specific ES, gets the predicted response from a specific ES in the other person. For example, if a wife who is grieving her lost friend is comforted by a sympathetic husband, her momentary dependency is answered appropriately. [pic] Crossed Transactions: When two people stand glaring at each other, turn their backs on each other, are unwilling to continue transacting, or are puzzled by what has just occurred between them, it’s likely that they have just experienced a crossed transaction.

A crossed transaction occurs when an unexpected response is made to the stimulus. An inappropriate ego state is activated, and the lines of communication between people are crossed. At this point people tend to withdraw… turn away from each other… or switch the conversation in another direction. If a husband responds from his Child unsympathetically to his grieving wife… “Well, how do you think I feel? “… he is likely to cause her to turn away from him. Crossed transactions are a frequent source of pain between people – parents and children, husband and wife, boss and employee, teacher and student, and so forth.

The person who initiates the transaction, expecting a certain response, doesn’t get it – The individual is “crossed up” and often feels discounted and misunderstood. [pic] Ulterior Transactions: Ulterior transactions are the most complex… They differ from complementary and crossed transactions in that they always involve two or more ego states. Only one ES controls the body… but another ES is operating in the background and can sometimes be seen in what NLP calls a state of Simultaneous Incongruence… One ES may control the verbal and the other may be seen or heard in the non-verbals.

When an ulterior message is sent, it’s disguised under a socially acceptable transaction… It’s as if the activated ES poses as another ES to disguise the transaction in some way. If a car salesman says with a leer to his customer, “This is our finest sports car… but maybe too racy for you,” he is sending a message that can be heard by either the customer’s adult or child ego state. If the customer’s Adult hears, the response may be… “yes, you’re right, considering the requirements of my job. ” If the customer’s Child hears, the response may be “I’ll take it. It’s just what I want. In either case, its manipulation crafted by more than one ego state of the salesman to get a preferred response from the customer… in this case it was the Adult who may have been consulted by an ego state called the Little Professor.

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