Changing the Script

public and private journey

Transactional Analysis (TA) has the notion of the Script at the heart of its work.

It’s the Story we write about our life; who we are and why we are. In modern talk, this is the ‘narrative’ we write to explain things about our life; who we are and how we got to be where we are. Here is a link that says more about the Script:

Elements of the TA Script

In short, some key elements in our Script are:

*  It is a life plan from start to finish

 * It is directed towards an outcome; a result or ‘payoff’ as TA labels it

*  It is decisional: that is, it is wrapped around an intention leading us to reach some place. True, it is subconscious and not a ‘logical’ intention.

*  It is shaped by our care-takers

*  It is operating outside our awareness

*  It helps to define or view of the world, and, indeed, to ‘justify’ itself. “I am this way, because ….”

TA Therapy exists to help us become more aware of patterns that make up our Script.

Exploring the Script

This page offers an early safe experiment to do; start by making some notes about:

  • What title would you give to your life story or script?
  • What type of story is it; happy, tragic or magical?

Who ‘writes’ the Script?

As I formed conclusions about myself and the world around me, I received non-verbal and verbal messages from my care-takers that ‘told’ me how the world works and how I might survive in it.

Those caretakers did not write my script for me, but they had a major influence on it.

It may help to examine this web site:

…. as it links my conversations about Script to Drivers.

A safe experiment

Return, if you would, to any work you’ve done on the Road Map or Ecograms, as they apply to your life.

  1. Identify two or three key events in your formative years, say, up to 25 years of age;
  • reflect on how those events came about;
  • consider how you understood the event at the time, and
  • how you understand the event now.

Then consider this comment written on the bottom of the scenic route:

Did any of your victories or defeats change over time?

Did some victories turn into defeats, or some defeats into victories?

2. How much has your Life Position or Stroke Economy or Time Structuring pattern altered over the years?

3.Identify one or two ‘messages’ you received within your family. These are like to be brief, almost command-type messages, e.g. hurry up/get on with it or grow up will you etc.  Such messages are ‘guidance’ about what to do in life or who you are. It could be an ‘instruction’, e.g. don’t blub‘.

4. Look through the ‘library’ of your life and note down two of three books you can see through the window of that room; just the titles, for the present. Note down those titles.

5. From memory, do you recall any characters from one or more of those books. If so, jot those details down. How, if at all, do you identify yourself with one or more characters. If you do, then note down some of the features that you can identify. These may be parallels: I am like this [named character], or very different (I am not at all like this [named character].

6. Identify at least one message you are OK about and one that you are not OK about. Compare and contrast them, so you can see a connection, if any, between them.

As with most experiments, finish by considering “just one thing I could do differently about these messages is ……”

Keep your notes for a future experiment and/or for discussion with a very trusted individual.

Another safe experiment

Take time to visit the models of change I have summarised:

Models of Change

Is it just about change?

In whatever way works for you, consider where you are in the change process – in pre-contemplation, contemplation, action or maintenance mode? Consider, also, what you can just notice that leads you to your conclusion.

What is happening in your life that places you in one process, and not another? 

Invent a measure of your level of satisfaction with your judgement, perhaps the 1-10 measure used in the Subjective Units of Discomfort (SUD).

Finally, as you review all this; reflect on whether now is a time to contemplate or a time to act.

It may help to read the material on change processes alongside my commentary on the ‘scenic route‘ or – if time permits –  the Learning Curve.

As ever, identify a small step you want to take NOW – from where you are today, and where you want to go in the near future. Consider how you might get there.

Some other leads to consider

What is a nudge?

Designing a safe experiment

Categories of safe experiments

Routes to change using safe experiments

An introduction to Transactional Analysis

Communications with a TA aspect

A history of therapy and the ‘schools’

Limitations on action