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CES = child ego state
AES = adult ” ”
PES = parent ” ”
NC = natural child / AC = Adapted C.
Everyone has a CHILD Ego State (CES) – the earliest stage of our development, forming our personality in the first 5-7 yrs of life. Similar in many ways to the Freudian concept of id, it operates on the pleasure principle, automatically & persistently aimed at gratifying & fulfilling needs – but available on a conscious level.
We continue in child mode well into our late teens & early 20s, through 7 developmental stages.(“Cycles of Power” by Pamela Levin). For the rest of life the CES is both an influence (what we think & feel inside) & a state (looking & acting like the little person we once were).
🌺 It’s called “archaeo-psyche” because it’s a collection of taped & stored info – behaviors, thoughts & feelings held over from childhood. It’s made up of the Natural Child – our fundamental identity – overlaid by the Adapted Child, healthy or unhealthy, developed in response to our environment & filtered through our natural tendencies
Its goal is to feel pleasure & avoid pain – no matter how or at what cost. It’s focused on Self needs only, even when relating to others or trying to being helpful : “I want, Don’t leave me, I refuse, You can’t make me, I don’t wanna, I want you to….”
This does not mean it’s a bad aspect, to be gotten rid of. We need it, since it holds the seeds of our native qualities, as well as the wounds that influence later behavior. It’s just that as adults it’s not healthy to be ruled by the Child. (See ‘Contamination’)
✦ This E.S. is mainly the domain of the ‘felt’ – the Right brain. Before we were able to talk (Left), our whole world was about feelings & sensations!
So most, but not all, of our emotions (Es) – including all the old stored up ones – reside in the C.Intima
Pleasurable / Positive
🥁 This part of us contains all the impulses that come naturally to a child – the source of our adventurousness, connection, creation, curiosity, emotions, fun & intimacy*. The Child is filled with desire – to be seen, challenge, explore, grow, learn. It can be creative, imaginative & spontaneous.
Intimacy*: game-free exchanges of emotional expression between people, without manipulating or exploiting (“Games People Play”)
• The CES holds all the caring, enjoyable, helpful & loving things we received growing up. It’s the part that loves to giggle, laugh, have fun & enjoy the simple things in life – at any age, like the The 70-year-old man sitting in the park enjoying an ice cream cone, or the couple dancing ‘like no one else exists’ – are in their Child state – in positive ways
Painful / Negative
The CES can be fearful, intimidated, needy & selfish – showing up as a brat, be whiny or demanding when we don’t get our way. It also houses all the experiences that caused us anxiety, sadness, rage, shame, terror…
⚙️Childhood pleasant or painful Es can be triggered when a current event copies or reminds of past events – especially if it was something that happened over & over (ignored, scolded… or being praised, comforted….)
Unfinished business any given developmental stage creates defense mechanisms, with echoes of actions, feelings, perceptions & thought processes – all of which are tucked away in this ego state, as a fixation, that has to be worked out in order to grow
EXP: The Child gets activated when we smell a favorite childhood food & we feel happy, nostalgic & hungry. But when rage, terror or despair dominates reason, the Child has taken over.
NEXT: CHILD E.S. (Part 2)