What’s Your Script?

childAre you still living your life according to a ‘script’ or set of rules about how to be in the world that you first put together when you were four-years-old? Theories of Transactional Analysis (developed by Eric Berne) suggest that many of us are.
I find this theory can be particularly useful in helping people break patterns of behaviour that might be puzzling, distressing or simply out of awareness. For example, if you worked out as a young child that showing your anger towards those in charge lead to a risk of abandonment – a very real threat to survival for an infant – as an adult you might continue to struggle to express your anger in a healthy way.
Counselling and psychotherapy can help to identify patterns of behaviour which are no longer relevant or serving a useful purpose.  Once these patterns have been noticed and explored, we can think about replacing an often automatic response with something different. This process can take time and persistence. It can also feel uncomfortable and odd to be behaving in ways that are unfamiliar. Sometimes it will take several tries to find a response that is a better fit to the situation.
By changing our usual responses in certain contexts (most of the time…), it is possible to strengthen relationships with those we care about as well as feel better about ourselves and the way we handle life.
Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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