The ego state model is one of the models in transactional analysis I frequently draw on in working with my clients. It’s also one of the models I share most directly with people I am working with as it is easily accessible and applied to self.
Ego States in Depth
However, for me, this is not the most useful aspect of this piece of theory. I many ways I think Berne’s theory of ego states – Parent Adult and Child suffers from being so readily accessible as people often stop with this first understanding that there are three parts to the personality a Parent, Adult and Child part and go no further into the wealth of theoretical understanding that can come from looking at the model in greater depth, in how Berne also used the model to look at the early stages of child development, how he integrated ideas from object relations, how transgenerational and cultural messages might be part of the ego state structure.
Using Ego States in Practice
I make great use of these ideas, they help inform how I understand my client and also the direction I take with them in the work. One of the key tasks in transactional analysis psychotherapy is to help clients to identify when they are functioning from Child or Parent and to facilitate them in moving to Adult. Alongside this is the task of working with the content of ego state messages to help the person identify if these messages are useful in their life of if they need updating. We have a variety of approaches and methods of doing this and I’m looking forward to running a workshop on the Friday the 9th of October that will be looking at the model in greater depth and some of the techniques that can be used.
More information on the course can be found here.
You can book directly via our venue The Horsforth Centre.