EGO STATES – Basics (Part 3)

3 voices

for different situations

PREVIOUS: Ego States – Basics (Part 2)

WATCH: YouTubeTransactional Analysis, Ego-states 1, 2 & 3

REMINDER: Having different ego states is NOT schizophrenia, multiple personalities or any other kind of mental/ emotional illness. It’s normal!

A Script is a life plan we put together as kids, based on our experiences, as a way of living with and make sense of the world & our place within it – thru our child-eye. Although it is revised throughout life, the core story is usually chosen and decided on by age 7. By the time we’re adults it’s mostly unconscious, but the focus is always a ‘reward’ of some kind – trying to get a desire met, goal accomplished or difficulty avoided.

Script is how we navigate and what we look for based on those early experiences, so that everything else – the rest of reality – is re-defined & distorted to match our filters. It is not imposed on us by outside forces, (such as having the career or lifestyle demanded or insisted on by our parents) – but is definitely shaped by & in response to them.

Without examination Script rules our whole lives & each ego state is dedicated to fulfilling it, no matter how positive or twisted it may be. It is often a pattern set out by a parent whom we copy to the finest detail, even to dying at the same age (unnecessarily) as a parent did.  READ: “Scripts People Live” by Claude Steiner, a student of Eric Berne


a. Natural Child  (NC) – our true, native self, as unique & individual as our fingerprints. It’s what we were born as, our heredity, our native capacities & tendencies, but which often goes unrecognized, unappreciated, unexplored… or deliberately suppressed!
● All forms of personality inventory (Myers-Briggs, MMPI, Astrology, Numerology, Enneagram…) are designed to identify characteristics of the NC. This is the part we want to bring forward, encourage to express itself – that part of us that will shine, if allowed!PAC chart

Before we grow up each of us has child-ish version of the 3 adult ego states:
C’s Parent – sometimes called the ‘little professor’ or ‘mother’s little helper‘.  Kids, even very small ones, will help a drunk parent up the stairs, rock their dolly to sleep, care for a pet… OR be bossy, lecture other kids, copy their parents’ way of treating their younger siblings…

C’s Adult – trying to do ‘grownup’ things, even before they’re ready, going to the store or school – alone, ‘being in charge’, showing off their cleverness & knowledge… trying to figure out how things work…. BUT without enough info or mature ego states to process everything correctly

C’s Child – our most basic self, the core of our identity, the most vulnerable part, the aspect of ourselves which, as adults, has often been suppressed to the point of being invisible

b. Adapted Child* (AC) – It is a normal & necessary aspect of all kids – which incorporates the lessons of our family, school, society & religion. It’s the part that’s molded in childhood, every day by every component of our early environment. It’s the part that absorbs & learns what is expected of us in our particular society, so we know who we are & how to survive. In kids from healthy homes, it is formed around healthy rules & mores.Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 3.54.42 PM

For ACoAs, the ADAPTED C. is mainly our wounded part (WIC), programmed to follow the Toxic Rules. It becomes our False Self, which was the only way to cope, hiding parts of the True Self so deeply we may not even know it’s there

• In us, it’s the part that generates being a victim, a people-please, a rebel, a perpetrator, the hero…. Without recovery, it’s the part that most often runs our lives.  It needs to be understood & healed, and then in can be integrated with the NC & the other parts of our psyche.

•  Even so, the NC can still sneak thru, although distorted, in everything from –> our choice of career, leisure activities, tastes, style of thinking & responding to the world –> to the type of addictions we act out on! (from in-born preferences & passions).


a. Old – our accumulated version of parents & any other major caretakers.  If they were loving & reasonably healthy then our Inner Parent is a good one. BUT for ACoAs, that part of us is the Negative Introject, or Pig Parent
b. New – for ACoAs, the Loving Parent (LP) we develop in Recovery, using S & I to form a self-caring, nurturing component, capable of empathy for self & others, & can therefore help others without being co-dependent


a. Unintegrated – the rational, competent part of us which many ACoAs use to get along at work & in a variety of relationships, but which doesn’t connect with the IC, & can’t ally with a Loving Parent, because it’s missinghealthy adult
b. Integrated – is expressed in many of the same ways, but as the primary ‘executive’, interacting with both parent & child ego states, to form a whole personality.  It prevents the WIC or the PP from running our lives

● The more we know about each Ego State, the better we can make use of them.  Emotionally healthy people can easily switch between ES, depending on what is needed in the moment.  When the 3 main ones act as a whole (not including the WIC or the PP), we’re in sync with ourselves. Then we can choose how to act (As) & what to think (Ts) – instead of being driven by anxieties & rules we’re barely aware of. AND then we can accept & know how to process our emotions (Es), no matter which ones, without having to suppress or deny them.

NEXT: Ego States – ADULT (Part 1)


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