Synopses & Reviews
Transactional analysis delineates three ego-states (parent, adult and child) as the basis for the content and quality of interpersonal communication. Happy childhood notwithstanding, says Harris, most of us are living out the not ok feelings of a defenseless child wholly dependent on ok others (parents) for stroking and caring. At some stage early in our lives we adopt a position about ourselves which very significantly determines how we feel about ourselves, particularly in relation to other people. And for a huge portion of the population, that position is that I m Not OK, You re OK. This negative Life Position, shared by successful and unsuccessful people alike, contaminates our rational adult potential, leaving us vulnerable to the inappropriate, emotional reactions of our child and the uncritically learned behavior programmed into our parent. By exploring the four basic life positions, we can radically change our lives. For Harris, being OK in ourselves and with others is the way of happiness and personal satisfaction, within and without in our personal relationships.
"Happy childhood" notwithstanding, most of us are living out the NOT OK feelings of a defenseless CHILD wholly dependent on OK others for stroking and care. By the third year of life, says Dr. Harris, most of us have made the unconscious decision I'M NOT OK-YOU'RE OK. This negative Life Position, shared by successful and unsuccessful people alike, contaminates our rational ADULT potential -- leaving us vulnerable to the inappropriate, emotional reactions of our CHILD and the uncritically learned behavior programmed into our PARENT.
In personal Transactions, NOT OK people resort to harmful withdrawal, rituals, activities, pastimes, and games for getting needed strokes while avoiding painful intimacy with people they see as OK.
Dr. Thomas A. Harris's pioneering work in Transactional Analysis has had a fundamental impact on our understanding of interpersonal behavior. In showing us how to make the conscious decision I'M OK-YOU'RE OK, he has helped millions of despairing people find the freedom to change, to liberate their ADULT effectiveness, and to achieve joyful intimacy with the people in their lives.
About the Author
The late Thomas Harris was a Navy psychiatrist and a professor at the University of Arkansas. He practiced psychiatry in Sacramento, California and directed the Transactional Analysis Association.