A HEALTHY ADULT INNER VOICE
helps me function well in the world
PREVIOUS: Ego States – Summary
SITE: T.A. tests & definitions
REMINDER: Ego states (E.S.) are in our conscious mind, & only one can be in the foreground at any given moment. Whichever one is on the ‘front burner’ is called The Executive – for the length of time it’s in charge. Healthy people can switch between ego states (E.S.) as required – most of the time. It’s NOT supposed to be a rigid framework, but many ACoAs are trapped in the Wounded Child E.S.
All E.S. function on a continuum, from mild to severe … AND a person can go from OK to NOT OK & back again more than once throughout a day. We can catch this by noting physical & verbal characteristics
✦ Parent: Language used is made up of value judgements, lecturing, scolding…. , about ‘You…’ or ‘One…’ rather than oneself. Posture tends to be leaning forward
✦ Child : Words are direct & spontaneous. Physically, the person can be sullen from anger, stiff w/ fear, IF comfortable – are engaged, attentive, use hand gestures…. In Adapted C. = may cry silently. In Free C. = have fun & maybe be excited-noisy
Physically – Posture is erect, maybe with tilted head (listening). Attentive, interested, straight-forward, non-threatening & non-threatened
Verbally – Tone is measured, clear, precise, crisp, rational, logical. Words are clear, definable, factual: “It’s a cold day so we’ll need extra clothes”.
Talks in terms of: why, what, how, who, where & when, how much, in what way. Uses comparative expressions, reasoned & accurate statements
PURPOSE of ADULT = “Neo-psyche”, for survival of the Self
a. FACTUAL: This part of us concentrates on Reality, lives in the present & holds the accumulated data of all our experiences.
It begins forming around age 6 to 10 months & is assumed to be fully developed in a normal person by age 12 (from T.A.), but its actual function is not related to a person’s age.
The A. deals with external facts (“It’s 5 pm, the train is late…”), analyzing & solving problems, also using information from Parent & Child states, giving us the ability to successfully deal with the outside world
b. REGULATORY: The A. is in charge of supervising & managing the activities of both Inner Parent & Child, AND intervening between them when necessary.
It allows us to keep control of those other 2 states – to not let the P. become too rigid, controlling, pontificating (“Do as I say not as I do”) nor the C. too out of control, selfish, hurtful ( “I’ll kill that so-&-so!”)
EXP: When PP beats up IC : “You’re no good, look at what you did wrong again, you’re useless”, the WIC will agree: “I’m no good, look how useless I am, I never get anything right”.
🔸 However, if we’ve developed a Healthy Adult, then when the PP acts up – it will step in, first to stop the Introject from doing any more damage, & draw the Child away from it, to work on correcting its toxic beliefs. Then the A. can make space for the Good Parent to comfort the suffering Child
c. ACCOUNTING Mode is part of the ADULT (A.) – the only E.S. that allows us to actually solve problems, which can not be successfully done from either P. or C., because when we try to correct things from those 2 states, the problems keep coming back.
In the present, the A. makes balanced choices & decisions, based on stored info from a wide range of experience (not primarily from dysfunction).
To have a rounded view & consider future actions, resulting outcomes are weighed against the reactions of Healthy Parent & Child as well as real-world consequences (MORE…. re. Accounting – scroll way down)
Accounting Mode interacts with other E.S. without energy blockages. When it’s available & stable (uncontaminated by PP or WIC), we operate appropriately in the here-&-now, having absorbed any positive parts of our Historic Parent & Archaic Child experiences. This allows us to choose which mode to draw from, depending on the current situation, without regressing into either negative Historic or Archaic states.
NEXT: ADULT Ego States (Part 2)