Course of My Recovery 3

One of the techniques I used early in my recovery to get in touch with my wounded feelings was accepting my inner child. Transactional Analysis helped me to discover my parent, child and adult states. Eric Berne was the founder of TA and introduced the idea of the games we play to get what we want.

Games People Play was the title of his first book and was a best-seller in the 1960’s. After 40 years and 5,000,000 copies, Games is still relevant today. Eric Berne influenced other authors; Thomas Harris, who also wrote about TA with his book, I’m OK-You’re OK, and Muriel James’s book, Born to Win. Berne founded The International Transactional Analysis Association (ITAA) which is still active and has several of the main ideas at their site.

The main ideas from TA are ego states (parent, child and adult), strokes, transactions, life script, contracts and games people play. One of the newer ideas from the TA group is about the blame game (i.e. why do blame—simply choose steps needed to move forward).

Two of the main concepts for the TA philosophy are we are each worthy of being accepted and people can change. Of the three ego states—parent, child and adult—when I studied TA, I found that I could only identify 2 ego states. I had a very judgmental parent (these are thoughts and ideas I had adapted from my parents) and child (mine was the willful me-only child state. When I first use this information to check myself, I found that I had no adult (the ego state used to live in the here-and-now with responses dependent on new responses). No wonder that I lived in yesterday or tomorrow. I had no inner guide to deal with today.

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