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Another therapeutic tool we use at Samarpan is Transactional Analysis, which helps us examine, with our clients, their relationships with others and how they interconnect and interact. In simplistic terms, a “transaction” is any instance where a person interacts with another human being or, in other words, a fundamental unit of social intercourse. Transactional Analysis is a psychoanalytic theory and method of therapy, developed by Eric Berne during the 1950s, but has roots in Freud original works on personality and belief that human psyche is multifaceted with different components that interact to produce a variety of emotions and complex behavior.
In Transactional analysis each person possesses three ego states – The Parent, The Child and The Adult. An individual will assume one of these roles in any “transaction” with another person or even within the context of an internal conversation. A “transactional stimulus” is any speech, gesture or nonverbal cue that acknowledges the presence off another person. In the simplest terms possible, when a “transaction” occurs it may be a matched transaction of ego states or it may be crossed. A crossed transaction occurs when the wrong ego state receives and responds to the transactional stimulus. For example, an individual in an Adult ego state may ask, “Have you seen my keys?” But, someone in a Child ego state may send a transactional response that is mismatched, such as, “I didn’t take them, why are you blaming me?”
With Transactional Analysis as one of the therapeutic tools we use in treatment, we can help our client to strengthen the Adult ego or state which allows him or her greater autonomy. Through strengthening the Adult ego the client takes more responsibility for events taking place in his life, as well as during treatment, and can more readily identify and examine thoughts, emotions and behaviors that may complicate communications internally and with others and hinder personal development and the ability to thrive in a therapeutic setting and in life. When a positive relationship can be created between the therapist and client in treatment it provides a model that carries over to everyday life. Studies have shown that Transactional analysis is an effective tool in treating emotional and relationship problems, especially in terms of a chronic health challenges such as addiction, which in itself can challenge every relationship in an addict’s life. This is a critical tool not only in helping our clients understand his own internal dialogue but understanding their relationships with others, and how they respond and interact; which allows them to make improvements in their communication styles and to empower them to take more responsibility.
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