EGO STATES – Basics (Part 2)



NOTE: For detailed info on other states, read posts: Parent E.S. // Child E.S.


The Ego State model provides a way to look at our internal world in the context of our personal history. *T.A. = Transactional Analysis

PAC + & -➡️ This CHART combines 3 models  :
☆ T.A. – Eric Berne’s PAC structures
Functional Fluency 
☆ & ‘OK Corral’  (see below)

Just as with traffic lights, red means stop & green means go – so here all red modes are unhealthy ways of functioning. These are the result of trauma, causing negative energy blockages from those outdated experiences, & which now invite negative reactions to us from others (one of the other red styles).

The Integrating Adult is healthy (center), as are the green modes of the Loving Parent & Natural Inner Child, inviting positive responses from others.

☆ Functional Fluency (FF) – describes & explains key aspects of human social functioning – specifically about our social “response-ability”, the art & skill of inter-personal effectiveness. Derived from Eric Berne’s T.A. & based on extensive research, it has the advantage of being extremely practical & down-to-earth.

This CHART ⬇️ shows a range of basic social behaviors, a framework for understanding & building positive relationships. It’s a tool for developing emotional literacy, which is the sensitivity & skill needed for both self-awareness & knowing how to deal with others.

FF can be used by our Adult E.S. to improve self-awareness, understanding, empathy & social competence, especially in business, in order to:
• sort out misunderstandings
• use authority to everyone’s benefit
• manage a team so that members thrive
• care for others without becoming worn out

Learning how to expand & enrich the use of the 5 POS modes,  (+ control, + Care, + Socialized S, + Natural S. & Central A.) makes it possible to modify or change the 4 NEG modes, allowing us to develop greater Emotional Intelligence, such as self-motivation & social competence.
Research paper ‘Update on the Functional Fluency Model in Education’, includes: “….ways it links up with – & is different from – other E.S. models”

This CHART ➡️ is more detailed, combining T.A. & FF Models, showing how it can be used to identify behavior in any ego state. The term “accounting” is of crucial importance – ie. showing up, & being in charge, as Pos or Neg. (Adult E.S. – #1).

Depending on which E.S is activated, people may be in ‘Accounting’ by:
• using the full here-&-now skills of the Adult E.S.
• expressing abilities & tendencies of one of the Parent figures, or
• the immaturity of one of the Child E.S.

Identifying someone’s Accounting state (Reality assessment) can give us a sensitive & accurate understanding of where they’re coming from, since it’s easier to recognize what people are doing than what they are not doing – ie. what’s missing.

It’s also a way to understand T.A’s 4 levels of discounting – which is the denial OF a problem, it’s importance, the possibility of change & personal abilities needed for changes.

☆ The OK CORRAL, (Franklin Ernst, 1971)
Eric Berne (T.A.) believed that we are all born ‘OK’ – good & worthy. Frank Ernst developed this idea into the OK matrix, also known as ‘life positions’. (See explanations for each quad)
 OUR goal is to grow into the GREEN quad!
This format is a helpful shortcut for ACoAs to observe & identify what attitude we & others have at any given time – so we know who or what we’re dealing with

Life Positions are used to justify decisions & behavior, which Berne referred to as ‘existential‘ (includes self-awareness), our default state when under stress.
They can change as we develop & grow, but the one we started out with is a theme that runs through our life – the beliefs & decisions we make about ourselves / others from childhood experiences

Based on the OK Corral, this CHART ▶️ shows the 4 positions expanded into 8 – which includes how we experience others based on our self-view. It adds existential & behavioral life defaults which can be used to explore & understand cooperation or conflict.

These positive & negative ways to see ourselves & others are not to be confused with actual ability, capacity or habitual activities. (MORE….)

NEXT: Basics E.S. (Part 3)

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