10 Transactional Analysis Terms Autism Parents Need to Know

Transactional analysis is a theory and a type of therapy that was developed by psychiatrist Dr. Eric Berne. In simple terms, transactional analysis is a way of studying the interactions between individuals. It is used to better understand human development and to help patients change their dysfunctional behaviors through therapy.

In learning the theory’s three ego states — parent, child, and adult — individuals may be able to identify what motivates some of their negative actions. At first glance, the theory can be difficult to grasp. But learning these key terms can help you understand how it works and illustrate its potential benefits. Here are 10 transactional analysis terms you need to know.

10. Parent Ego State

One of the three ego states, the parent ego state refers to anything you observed and mentally recorded from your parents or parental figures through the first five years of your life. These could be ideas, beliefs, or behaviors you witnessed among your parents growing up. As a small child, it’s likely you accepted whatever your parents did or told you without question. Some examples of things you may have recorded from your parental figures in this state might be, “always look both ways before crossing the street,” or “don’t run with scissors.”

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9. Child Ego State

Your child ego state refers to anything that you internally felt and mentally recorded in response to external events during your first five years of childhood. If something happened, it likely registered a certain type of emotion within you. Some examples of such things you may have recorded during this time may be, “I feel happy when mom comes home from work,” or “I get scared when adults yell.”

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