Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy
For those who want to dig into ideas around who they are and why, Transactional Analysis can be helpful at identifying our patterns.
One of the most powerful aspects of Transactional Analysis psychotherapy is a concept called script. Like an actor who follows his or her script, Transactional Analysis suggests that we all do that too.
Yet ours is a script that we decided very young.
The decisions we made were smart ones back when we were small, vulnerable children. But they may have outlived their usefulness now and are getting in our way.
Examples of script are decisions to not be important or to not have play in your life or not to belong or to please others or work hard.
They represent our childhood strategies aimed at winning praise and avoiding punishment.
Another element of Transactional Analysis involves a way to divide ourselves up into different “ego states.” Every person, according to this type of psychotherapy, is part Parent, part Child and part Adult.
The Parent part is the bits we copy from our parents. Like the time you say something and then gasp, saying “I sounded just like my Mother then!”
The Child part is the aspect of our personality that is still a little child. Sometimes playful, sometimes needing a hug, sometimes rebellious and sometimes conforming to the rules.
The Adult part is the aspect of us that is in the here and now, with all your present day resources, problem solving.
In couple therapy, this can be useful too for understanding what each aspect of us needs from the other. It helps to identify what is missing for us and what that part of us needs instead.
To read some more on how this applies to couples, read this article from the Director of The Liverpool Psychotherapy Practice.