Terms in this set (62)

For effective communication you need to keep the transaction complementary i.e. focus on sender to receiver and receiver to sender where the message is sent to the ego state from which you expect a reply. Using ego states we can look at how others communicate and how we communicate with others. It's possible to identify which ego state we are in and which ego state we are expecting a reply from.

We can also use TA to help us plan transactions. For example we can identify which ego state would be most valuable for us to send the message from and which ego state it would be better for it to be received by. If we receive a reply from the wrong (non expected) ego state then we can either try to shift the other person's ego state; or if we cannot do this it may be better to stop the communication and try again another time when the person may be in a different ego state.

We can listen to people's communication to identify if they are habitually in one ego state and then decide if communication to that ego state would be appropriate or not.

TA therefore can be used to elicit the reactions you want from other people (and this will happen consciously or unconsciously).

We can help communication if we need to by trying to shift the other person's ego state by inviting people to move into a different ego state (they may not always move into it though, particularly if someone is habitually in one ego state). Do this by acknowledging their current ego state (by the appropriate message or response) and then invite them into another ego state by the words (and body language) which you use.
- units of recognition

Can be: verbal or non-verbal
Positive or negative
Conditional or unconditional

A stroke is a unit of recognition. E.g. you walk down the street and see your neighbour. As you pass you smile and say "hello". They smile and say "yes, great day?" That's a positive stroke you've given and received.

If your neighbour ignored you then you felt left out or deprived or wonder what you have done to offend them.

Any transaction is an exchange of strokes. This may be entirely non-verbal.

Positive strokes - the receiver experiences it as being pleasant.

Negative strokes - the receiver experiences it as being painful.

For example if your neighbour replied "It was a nice day until I saw you!" then that's an example of a negative stroke. But any kind of stroke is better than no stroke at all.

Stewart and Jones identify that this is supported by work on rats where one group were given electric shocks and the other group were not. The rats given the shocks developed better - as they were receiving some stimulation.

Conditional strokes relate to what you do.
Unconditional strokes relate to what you are.

E.g. Conditional: "That was a good piece of work"
"That painting you've done is a real mess"

Unconditional: "Your humour always brightens things up"
"I hate you and all which you represent"

As infants we test out behaviours to find out which give us the strokes we need. If we receive strokes from a certain behaviour then we are likely to repeat it (and that can be where many of our learnt behaviours come from - albeit unconsciously learnt)
In 'Games People Play' Berne identified that people habitually adopt certain ego states (not necessarily consciously) and "play games" in the way they communicate with others. E.g. a person might say "I'm fat" or "Nobody Loves Me", they are in Adapted child. They expect a nurturing parent response of "no you are not" or "yes they do". If they received a response of "I know you are" or "You're right, everybody hates you" then they have received a reply that they didn't want. Some people go through life playing a game and people can be in a relationship where one person is the Adapted child and the other the Nurturing parent.

Some people habitually play games and go through life playing games such as:
'Isn't life unfair',
'Everyone is against me'
'I am poorly',
'I am always right and you are always wrong'
'It is your fault that I ...'

Games typically:
• Are repetitive
• Are played without Adult awareness
• Always end up with players experiencing racket feeling.
• Games entail an exchange of ulterior transactions between the players
• Games always include an element of surprise or confusion.

Racket feeling - a familiar emotion, learned and encouraged in childhood, experienced in many different stress situations, and useless as a means of problem solving but frequently carried out E.g. my computer screen freezes, I get stressed and hit it.

Common games include: "oh how I suffer" "Isn't it awful" "victim, persecutor, rescuer" and "If it weren't for you"