Psychology as Technology
for Self Development
Transactional (or transact) analysis - is one of the popular concept of modern psychoanalysis. It was initially intended to create an innovative set of therapeutic approaches, to speed up the process of psychoanalysis.
In its practical implementation ,transact analysis formes a systematic therapy which is intended to solve a variety of problems like: low self esteem and self confidence, depression, communication problems, pathologic shame & guilt feelings and many more. Can be applied to individuals, families, couples or as a group therapy. The International board of therapy, recognizes this method as a systematic psychotherapy intended for personal development and personality change.
Each person is unique. But just like a building leans on a fundament, the personality leans on a system of basic beliefs of one's self, other people and outside world. These basic beliefs and understandings defines the life choice and behaviour, forming an existential position. The choice of this position is executed by a person itself, but there is a major influence of the family and one's close surroundings. The formation of existential position (which basically defines the whole life role) starts from the first moments of life and finishes untill 6-7 years of age. It comes to the period when a young individual does not have enough information about the world , and therefore , is not aware of the level of importance of choices and decisions at this early period, which basically define the whole quality of the later life.
Structure of personality.
A person which is not familiar with Transact analysis , assumes that personality consists of one single entity, it is often the case , when another part which is often called inner voice, is acknowledged. In transact analysis the personality is divided into 3 Ego-states (Child,Parent,Adult). Each Ego-state defines a specific manifestation of our personality with its own behaviour, thoughts, feelings and desires. All of 3 parts exist simultaneously, but a person can be only in a single Ego-state at a time. The method is intended to work with 3 Ego-states - Child Ego-state (or Inner Child) , Parent Ego state and Adult Ego-state. The main goal is to solve conflicts and bring a harmony and understanding between Ego-States in order for person to function fully consciously, without any inner conflicts. Here it is crucial to note that these namings (child,parent,adult) are methaphors, it is just a method to identify the susceptible parts of the psyche. So it responds best to these methaphors.
According to analytic theory during first years of life each person has imprinted the external authority figures. First of all, these are the parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers. All of their characteristics, taboos and permissions is being conserved as a separate component of the psyche,
its authoritative reality. The Ego state , which characterizes this features is called Parent state (The Inner Parent, or Inner Critique). The Parent state strives to dominate and suppress other Ego States.
People with overwhelming Parent state, stick to stability and are not open to any changes.
Each of us consistently receives, processes and saves a huge amount of information every day. We think and take decisions and adapt to outside world in accordance with information which we get.
All of this is being done by a state , called Adult Ego state. Adult state is responsible for logyc, rationality, planning the life goals and adapting ways to achieve them. This state , unlike others is continuing its development throughout our lives.
The Child state (the Inner Child)
Each of us were children .The Child state is composed of the fixed reality of our childhood. All of our desires, aspirations, fears, joy, pleasure and all of the things which were filling the inner reality of us back we were children. Its functions : motivation, spontaneousness, intuition, instincts. It especially needs safety and confidence. It needs to be noted that we choose friends, enemies, lovers by our Child Ego-state. The Child Ego state is crucial for us to live a happy life, it makes our life interesting and diverse. It is very important for it to be free and safe. The Parent Ego State can place restrictions and punishments on Child State , creating conflicts inside of us. It can even happen that it can completely block the Child State. The balance between the Child and Parent Ego states is very important. The Adult state , is acting as a middle agent between this states.
The methods of therapy in Transactional analysis is mostly aimed at bringing balance between Ego States, letting the Inner Child "grow up" by giving the resources it needed . Inner Conflicts may be resolved by conducting dialogues (works best in Trance state) and bringing understanding between Inner Child and Inner Parent with the help of our Adult state.
The outline of a typical work.
First of all ,we have to induce to Self-Hypnosis (trance ) state, in order for communicating with Unconscious components. Then we use our Adult state to conduct the work.
1. The Request .The problem, is identified (these could be done before the trance induction).
For example : we have an excessive stress, timidity , inability to be spontaneous in certain situations (for example in a tough , important interview, dialogue with the boss etc).
2. Analysis. The block of spontaneousness (which is a feature of Inner Free Child) and The excessive seriousness and assumed significance (components of Parent state) in this situation, shows that the Strict Parent State, is controlling (basically "doesn't let to breathe") our Child State (the Inner Child). We feel extremely cautious in this situation. We have to conduct "3 person" dialogue (using our Adult "middle man") state, and resolve the conflict between Inner Parent and Inner Child.
3. The Procedure. We imagine the situation where we feel the uncomfortable way. Then , we call out for Our Inner Child by saying to ourselves : "Can I see and speak to you my Inner Child" , then the figure of Inner Child will arise - identify how old is it , how it feels like.
The important thing here is to build a healthy ,trustworthy relation so The Inner Child would believe you and agrees to cooperate, (you are dealing with the susceptible part of the psyche ), speak to it as you speak to some small child which you just see. Ask about how it feels, let it express its emotions.
Then ask :why you feel that way ? Is there anyone that is angry with you (shames you), can I see him ? And here you say :I want to see who is angry on the Inner Child , here the Figure of Inner parent should appear (This is often one of our Parent figures, or rarely teachers, elder sibling) . The next step is to resolve the conflict between Inner Child and Inner Parent . Ask Inner Parent : why you are acting like this , why you are angry , what are your intentions? Then , you suggest different solutions , so the conflict soothes, You can say to Inner Parent: If we do (for ex) these way and that way (supporting and giving freedom to Inner Child ,rather than criticizing) instead of the current way of behaviour, It will be better for all of us , here and in the future. You have to explain why it is important . Then if the Parent state agrees, you can feel the physical sensations (energy is released by droplets of tears, the wave of warmness in the body), these is a sign that the changes are in progress. If it is still not agree to act the new way, you can go even further and ask why it doesnt agree, maybe it lacks some resources, after finding out why, you are imagining a lacking resource* and giving it to Inner Parent. You can Ask the Inner Child and Inner Parent, to show you the first situation when this feeling and conflict has arised (then some fragments from your past will come up) and by this you can go to the root of the problem in deep childhood and resolve it there.
Another type of example :
The first 2 steps are the same as in previous case. But unlike the previous case, where we had to resolve conflict between two parts, there could be situations , when we require dialogue only with the Inner Child. It can happen that as children , when we do not have much information about the outside world, we are unaware of level of importance of decisions , which we take at this period. Decisions (even from small, unimportant situation) lead to unhealthy, unhelpful life strategies and scenarios. It is important to return "then and there" (the age of Inner child) and change the decision, showing that it is safe to apply new behavior.
So , when we work with type of feelings like : loneliness, sadness, unloveableness, being "not good enough", doubtfullness, lack of independence and etc, it is the case to conduct a dialogue with inner child, and giving the lacking resource , providing the unconditional love and support (or any other kind of resource) .
The Resource is a imagination of some positive quality (confidence, safety, strength..) as some kind of methaphor (could be anything :wave or baloon or smth). You first remember a situation where you feel the resourceful way, give a methaphorical imagination to this state, and pass this resource to the part which needs it (The Inner Child or Inner Parent), where it is lacking. (see NLP to learn more).