...is of course a para-Freudian theory which describes the traditional 'ego, super ego
and id' in the more accessible terminology of 'Adult, Parent and Child'.
Where psychoanalysts might risk alienating their clients by muttering something
about an under developed super ego being unable to control the dangerous
instinctual urges of the self gratifying id, the transactional analyst would smile
benignly and reassuringly remark, "It's okay, your just in Free Child at the moment."
That's not to say that the client is being childish, merely that his current frame of
mind is reminiscent of a less complicated time in his life when desires were more
easily expressed without having to be edited to conform to the expected
requirements of society, or modified in any way to obey convention.
Naturally, the Child ego state is the most pleasing to be in for that is where all the
most basic physical desires are experienced, as well as being the source of our
creativity. However, it is also whilst in this ego state that we are most susceptible
to parental influence and control, or the influence of anyone who appears Parental.
More worrying, is that whilst in the Child state we feel more vulnerable and
therefore in need of Parental protection, to the point that we willingly submit
to anyone with the apparent required Parental authority.
As there are many individuals who are predominantly Child driven, there are also
a large number of Parents out there in that big wide wonderful world. That is to say,
people who's childhood has been so over shadowed by the over bearing attitudes
of strict controlling parents, that the only way they can feel like adults is if they
emulate the behaviour of their oppressors. They are easy to identify for their
psychological position is revealed in their attitudes, behaviour, mannerisms
and dress. Even their vocabulary gives them away as it is liberally peppered with
"should, must, ought, can't and don't". Their obsession with rules and regulations
draws them inevitably towards positions of authority from where they...