Ego States – ADULT (Part 3)

Adult e.s.

especially at work


SITE: Info re T.A. (Transactional Analysis)


The OK CORRAL, (Franklin Ernst, 1971)
This format was applied to Transactional Analysis theory (T.A.) & used by York (below). It’s a helpful shortcut for ACoAs to observe & identify what attitude we & others are holding at any given time – so we know who we’re dealing with.OK Corral-b

These are the Life Positions Eric Berne referred to as ‘existential‘ (includes self-awareness), which is our default state when under stress, with maybe another of the 4 options as a backup. Our Life Position can change as we develop & grow, but the one we started with is a theme that runs through our life.

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 8.53.21 PMBased on the OK Corral, the blue CHART shows existential & behavioral life defaults, & their use in exploring cooperation or conflict with others.
These positive & negative ways we see ourselves & others are not to be confused with actual ability, capacity or habitual activities. (MORE….)

All ego states (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 ourselves by noting the physical & verbal characteristics of P, C & A.
Parent state: The language used is made up of value judgements, lecturing, scolding…. , about ‘You…’ or ‘One…’ rather than oneself, & the person’s posture tends to be leaning forward
Child state:  Words are direct & spontaneous. Physically, the person can be sullen from anger, stiff w/ fear, or if comfortable – using hand gestures, engaged, attentive…. EXP: in the Adapted C. ego state one might cry silently; in Free C. one can be have fun & maybe even being excited-noisy

ADULT can be seen as expressed by:
PhysicallyPosture is erect, maybe with tilted head (listening). The person is attentive, interested, straight-forward, non-threatening and non-threatened
Verbally – Tone of voice is measured, clear, precise, crisp, rational, logical.  Words are clear, definable, factual: “It’s a cold day so we’ll need extra clothes”.  One talks in terms of: why, what, how, who, where and when, how much, in what way. Uses comparative expressions, reasoned statements, true vs false, probably, possibly, ‘I think, I realize, I see, I believe, in my opinion’…..

PAC + & -EGO STATE MODES – This ‘Descriptive’ model is by Susannah Temple (1999), based on Berne’s Structural E.S. model + ‘OK Corral’ modes. <—–

Just as with traffic lights, red is for stop & green is for go – so here all red modes are unhealthy ways to functioning. They are the result of trauma, causing negative energy blockages from those outdated experiences, and which now invite negative reactions from others (one of the other red styles).  The Integrating Adult is healthy (center), as are the green modes of the Inner Child & Loving Parent, inviting positive responses from others.

FUNCTIONAL FLUENCY (FF) – is about our social “response-ability”, the art & skill of inter-personal effectiveness. Derived from T.A. & based on extensive research, it has the advantage of being extremely practical & down-to-earth. It describes & explains key aspects of human social functioning.
This CHART ——> shows a range of basic social behaviors, giving us a framework for understanding & building positive relationships.

It’s a tool for developing emotional literacy, which isfunctional fluency 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, so we can:
• 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 positive modes,  (+ control, + Care, + Socialized S, + Natural S. & Central A.). In the process, the 4 NEG modes can be changed or modified, allows us to develop greater emotional intelligence, such as self-motivation & social competence.
ARTICLE: ‘Update on the Functional Fluency Model in Education’, by Susannah Temple, includes: “….ways in which the model links with, and is different from, other ego state models”

The CHART below: This combines T.A. & FF Models, showing how it could be used to identify behavior of any ego state. The termcombined chart“accounting” is of crucial importance – ie. ‘showing up’. Depending on which E.S is activated, people may be accounting with :
— their full here-and-now abilities in Adult E.S.
— abilities & tendencies of one of the Parent figures, or
— with the immaturity of one of their Child E.S.

Identifying someone’s accounting state 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 another way to use T.A’s 4 levels of discounting.

The ACCOUNTING Mode is in the ADULT (A.) part of us,  the only E.S. that allows us to solve problems, which can not be done from either the P. or C. Even when we try to correct things from those 2 states, the problems will keep coming back. In the present, the A. makes balanced choices & decisions, based on stored info from a wide range of experience (not just from our dysfunctional upbringing).  These are then weighed against the reactions of our Healthy Internal Parent & Healthy Inner Child to the new situations – to have a rounded view.  (MORE…. re. Accounting – scroll way down)

The Accounting Mode interacts with other without energy blockages. When this
mode is available & stable (not contaminated by the PP or WIC), we operate appropriately in the here-and-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.structure

With the A. in charge we communicate that “WE are OK”, because we’re able to choose which mode to switch into depending on what’s called for, without giving up the A. ‘in charge’ position. (see Overview of E.S.)
EXP: As long as the Adult is ‘on’, the Child can have fun at the beach or at a nightclub  without getting into trouble or hurting others…. & the Parent can help someone or run a work project – without overstepping boundaries or taking on too much responsibility….

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

NEXT: CHILD E.S. (Part 1)


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