I’m Ok – You’re Ok, is about Transactional Analysis and seems to be a continuation, explanation and simplification of the work done by Dr. Eric Berne. Dr. Berne proposed the model of Transactional Analysis to address the conventional method of psychotherapy. According to which, one-on-one psychotherapy is a slow process where as we can analyse a subject very effectively by observing the verbal and no-verbal interchanges (which he calls a Transaction) between people i.e. what the subject is doing, saying and engaging in. Harris continued on this and focused more on the internal voices of individuals and classified those as Parent, Adult and Child (P-A-C).
Harris discusses about Freud, Wilder Penfield and Eric Berne.
Freud’s model helps to understand the human behaviour through the concept on unconscious. There are three major parts to that: Id, Ego and Superego. Freud’s model saw the world as “I” or “me”-centred and other people and one’s object relations. And the terms used are not very much clear and understandable by the general public.
Wilder Penfield’s experiments conclude that simulating small areas of the brains of conscious patients triggered them to recall specific past events in great details. It was not just a memory recall, it was more of “reliving” of those events. This implies that brains records our experiences like a tape recorder and we can be triggered to relive those experiences the way those actually happened (including what we saw, heard and felt). This also shows that:
• feelings are associated with past experiences
• people can exist in two states; in an experience (currently happening) and observing state
• and recorded experiences and feelings can be recalled and relived
Eric Berne’s model is based on that memories from childhood are present in adults and those influence the behaviour of a person. Therefore, those can be understood by analysing the behaviour of the patients. The behaviour refers to verbal and non-verbal interactions called “Transactions”. There are two parts to it. If two (or more) persons encounter each other, any one of them will speak or give any indication of acknowledging the presence of the others. This is called Transactional Stimulus and response to that from others will be Transactional Response.