Structural pathology - Transactional Analysis

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Berne suggests that ego boundaries can be thought of as semi permeable membranes through which psychic energy can flow from one ego state to another. Some people continually act in unpredictable ways and others are so predictable they seem monotonous. These disorders are caused by ego state boundaries which are too lax or tight, have lesions or overlap. This is known as structural pathology.

Text of Structural pathology - Transactional Analysis

  • 1. Structural Pathology

2. Prepared By Manu Melwin Joy Research Scholar School of Management Studies CUSAT, Kerala,India. Phone 9744551114 Mail manu_melwinjoy@yahoo.com Kindly restrict the use of the slides for personal purpose. Please seek permission to reproduce the same in public forms and presentations. 3. Contents Structural analysis. Ego state boundaries. Lax Ego Boundaries. Contamination. Boundary Lesions. Exclusion. Rigid Ego Boundaries. Constant. 4. The process of analysing personality in terms of ego states is called structural analysis. Definition 5. Eric Berne defined an ego state as a consistent pattern of feeling and experience directly related to a corresponding consistent pattern of behaviour. Ego states 6. Ego State Boundaries A persons sense of real self can be experienced in any of the ego states, depending on where the psychic energy resides at that particular time. When the sense of real self is experienced in one ego state, the others may be inactive. However, the others are always there and have the potential to become active. 7. Ego State Boundaries It is useful to think of each ego state as having boundaries. Berne suggests that ego boundaries can be thought of as semi permeable membranes through which psychic energy can flow from one ego state to another. Ego boundaries must be semi permeable otherwise psychic energy would be bound up in one ego state and unable to move about spontaneously as situations change. 8. Ego State Boundaries In some highly effective people, the flow of energy may be very rapid in others it may be sluggish. The person whose free energy moves rapidly may be exciting and stimulating but others may have difficulty keeping with this fast moving pace. The one whose energy moves more slowly is the person who is slow to start and slow to stop activities and others may become impatient. 9. Ego State Boundaries The physiology of the ego state boundaries is not yet understood, but the assumption that they exist is made by observing specific kinds of behavior defects. Some people continually act in unpredictable ways and others are so predictable they seem monotonous. These disorders are caused by ego state boundaries which are too lax or tight, have lesions or overlap. 10. An open mind is all very well in its way, but it ought not to be so open that there is no keeping anything in or out o fit. It should be capable of shutting its doors sometimes, or it may be found a little drafty. Samuel Butler 11. Lax Ego Boundaries A person with lax ego boundaries doesnt close the doors between ego states, but appears to lack identity and gives the impression of slipshod behavior. The psychic energy slips continuously from one ego state to another in response to very minor stimuli. This person may have great difficulty functioning in the real world and be in serious need of professional help. 12. Lax Ego Boundaries One woman with this boundary problem was described by others in counseling group. You will never know what is going on whit her or what she is going to do next. A personality with lax ego boundaries can be diagrammed as given here. 0 P A C 13. Lax Ego Boundaries The person with lax ego boundaries has little adult control and behaves differently from the person whose psychic energy moves rapidly from one ego state to another, yet the Adult in control. In the latter case, the persons behavior may be quite rational. In the former, it is unpredictable, often irrational. 14. Contamination of Adult The clear thinking of the Adult is often spoiled by contamination. Contamination can be thought of as an intrusion of the Parent ego sate and / or the Child ego state into the boundary of the Adult ego state. Contamination occurs when the Adult accepts as true some unfounded Parent beliefs or Child distortions and rationalizes and justifies these attitudes. 15. I am in parent contamination when I mistake parental slogans for adult reality. These are taught beliefs that are taken as facts. Berne call this prejudice. When a person is speaking about herself and say you instead of I, it is likely that the content of what follows will be parent contaminated. The world is a bad place. People cant be trusted. If at first you dont succeed, try, try, try again. Parent Contamination 16. The difference between a conviction and a prejudice is that you can explain a conviction without getting angry. Samuel Butler 17. Parental contaminations often involve considerable emotions and are likely to occur in relation to specific subjects such as food, religion, politics, race, class and sex. At times, large segments of society agree with prejudiced ideas. Contaminations often intrudes on the laws of society. Parent Contamination 18. Take two minutes to write down all the slogans and beliefs you remember hearing from your parents and parental figures. Look through you list of parental slogans and beliefs. Check whether each one is a statement of reality or a parent contamination. If you decide there are any you want to update to fit with grown up reality, strike them out and substitute your new version. Activity 19. When I am child contaminated, I cloud my grown up thinking with beliefs from my childhood. These are fantasies, evoked by feelings, that are taken as facts. Berne used the word delusion to describe the kind of belief that typically arise from child contamination. When the content of a child contamination comes from earlier childhood, the delusion is likely to be more bizarre. People just dont like me. There is something wrong with me. I cant stop smoking. I was born fat. Child Contamination 20. One for of child contamination is the delusion of grandeur. In its extreme form, a person may believe that she or he is savior of the world or the ruler of the world. Another common delusion is feeling persecuted being poisoned, spied upon or plotted against. In its less sever forms, a person whose Child contaminates the Adult has distorted perceptions of realities. Child Contamination 21. Take a piece of paper and head it : I am the sort of person who. Take two minutes to write down all the ways you think of to finish the sentence. At the end of two minutes, relax, breathe and look around the room for a while. For each of the ways you finished the sentence, check whether it is a statement about reality or a child contamination. If you decide any of the statement about yourself do come from child contamination, think what the reality of the matter is. Strike out the child contamination words and put in the adult updates. Activity 22. It occurs when the person replays a parental slogan, agrees to it with a child belief, and mistakes both of these for reality. People cant be trusted paired with I can never trust anyone. Children should be seen and not heart paired with To get by in the world, I have to keep quit. Double Contamination 23. Boundary Lesions A person with ego boundary lesions is one who exhibits uncontrollable behavior when sore points are touched. This persons psyche has been seriously injured by one traumatic event or by a series of unhappy experiences during childhood. When something rubs the sore spot, the injury may break open with an outpouring of strong, irrational emotion. 24. Boundary Lesions A lesion is usually indicated when a person faints at the sight of a mouse, gets hysterical over a clap of thunder, panics and hides at the thought of performing and so forth. A lesion is manifested by a gross overreaction to the reality of stimulus. If it interferes with adequate functioning, professional help is needed. 25. Exclusion Sometimes, Berne suggested, a person will shut out one or more of her ego states. He called this exclusion. It is a serious ego boundary issue since the person suffering from Parent, Adult or Child exclusion will be confronted with behavioral problems. 26. Exclusion 27. Excluded Parent People who have excluded parents will operate with no ready made rules about the world. Instead, they made their own rules afresh in every situation. Politicians, mafia bosses etc fall into this category of excluded parent. 0 P A C 28. Excluded Adult If I exclude adult, I switch of my grown up power of reality testing. Instead, I hear only an internal parent child dialogue. Usually, people who are diagnosed as psychotic falls under the category of excluded adult. 0 P A C 29. Excluded Child Someone who excludes child will shut out the stored memories of his own childhood. When we express feelings as grownups, we are often in our child ego state. Therefore the person with excluded child will often be regarded as cold fish or all head. 0 P A C 30. Rigid Ego Boundaries Rigid ego boundaries do not permit the free movement of psychic energy. It is as though a thick wall holds the psychic energy bound up in one ego state, excluding the other two. The behavior of persons with this problem appears rigid because they tend to respond to most stimuli with only on of their ego states. 31. Constant Parent A person with constant parent will deal with the world solely by accessing set of parental rules. They treat others, even business associates, as if they were children. One type of constant parent is hardworking and has a strong sense of duty. Another type of constant parent is the perpetual nurturer or rescuer who may play the role of benevolent dictator or may come on as saintly person who is devoted to helping others. P A C 32. Constant Adult He is unable to join in the fun. Instead the functions almost solely as a planner, information collector and data processor. They may seek jobs that are object oriented rather than people oriented. Constant Adult often experiences trouble on a job if supervising others is required. With little caring parent or fun lovi