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The Big Answer

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Transactional Analysis In Psychotherapy

a book by Eric Berne

(our site's book review)

One of the better therapeutic approaches, because it deals with people the way they deal with their lives and relationships: from a combination of their inner adult, inner parent, and inner child. It helps people analyze the scripts/tapes they’re running and helps them “close the show and get a better act to take down the road.” The tapes are neurotic patterns of behavior that mostly reflect inadequate child-rearing. A person evolving insight into his tapes and the feelings around the compulsion he has to keep reliving these scripts is vital to his ceasing to play that particular “game” anymore.

T.A. helps people analyze the old tapes they’re running so they can act from self, not react from hangup
T.A. helps people analyze the old tapes they’re running so they can act from self, not react from hangup

It’s obvious from the examples in the book and from general life experience that a good many of the neurotic patterns get started up in childhood as a result of steep-gradient nurturance. Win-lose parenting where one sibling loses when the other sibling gets attention is often a part of the script’s genesis. Another part of this is kids having no one to turn to and no alternatives to the abuse (emotional, physical, sexual, or a combination) or neglect that traumatizes them into starting up neurotic tapes and reliving them over and over for life. It should have been stressed more in the book that prevention of tape creation and “game” playing would be much preferable to dealing with the irrational, sometimes tragic, consequences of either bad parenting, steep-gradient nurturance, or both. See Your Inner Conflicts and How to Solve Them.