Objective of Transactional Analysis

Ego states: According to online training courses, people interact with each other from one of the three psychological positions, or behavioural patterns, known as ego states. Thus ego states are a person’s way of thinking, feeling, and behaving at any time. The ego states are:

  1. Parent Ego: The parent ego state incorporates the attitudes and behaviours of all emotionally significant people who serve as parent figure when an individual was a child. The value and behaviour of these people are recorded in the mind of the individual and these become the basic values of the personality. Characteristics of a person acting with the parent ego include being overprotective, distant, dogmatic, indispensable and upright. Physical and verbal clues that someone is acting with the parent ego include the wagging finger to show displeasure, reference to laws and rules, and reliance on ways that were successful in the past.

There can be two types of parent ego states nurturing and critical. Nurturing parent ego state reflecting nurturing behaviour not only towards children but also to other people in interaction. Similarly, critical parent ego state shows critical and evaluative behaviour in interaction with others. Each individual has his unique parent ego state which is likely to be a mixture of helpfulness and hurtfulness. Awareness of this ego gives more choice over what one does.

  1. Adult Ego: Adult ego state is based upon reasoning, seeking and providing information. Person interacting with adult ego views people as equal, worthy and responsible human beings. It is based on rationality. According to online early childhood education the adult is characterised by logical thinking and reasoning. This ego state can be identified by verbal and physical signs which include thoughtful concentration and factual discussion.
  2. Child Ego: Characteristics of child ego include creativity, conformity, depression, anxiety, dependence, fear and hate, physical and verbal clues that person is acting in the child ego are silent compliance, attention seeking, temper tantrums, giggling and coyness. The child ego is characterised by non-logical and immediate actions which result in immediate satisfaction. Child ego state reflects early childhood conditions and experiences perceived by individuals in their early years of life, that is, before the social birth of an individual, say, up to the age of five years. The child has no ability to move out to face life. He takes what comes in his way. There are three parts of child ego: natural, adaptive and rebellious. The natural child is affectionate, impulsive, and sensuous and does what come naturally. However, he is also fearful, self-indulgent, self-centred and aggressive and may emerge in many unpleasant roles. The adaptive child is the trained one and he are likely to do what parents insist on, and sometimes adapt learns to feel non O.K. The adopted child when poverty inhibited, often becomes the troubled part of the personality. The rebellion child experiences anger, fear and frustration.

Each person may respond to specific stimulus in quite distinct distant ways from each ego state. Sometimes these ego states harmonise, sometimes they are in conflict. Some respond more with one ego than with others.