Changing the Script

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; what we are and how we got to be where we are. Here is a link that says more about the Script:

The web site offers an early safe experiment to do; make some notes about:

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

It continues by identifying some key elements about our Script.

*  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 intentional – leading us to something, or someplace. True, it is subconscious and not ‘logical’.

*  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.

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: there could be a large number!!

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

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

Identify one or two ‘message’ 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‘.

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.

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 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].

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 leads you to your conclusion. What is happening in your life that places you in one process, and not another?  Consider your level of satisfaction with your judgement; sometimes it is right to contemplate, and other times we need 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.

If in doubt, track down The Byrds song Turn, Turn, Turn for some inspiration.

As ever, consider what small step you want to take from where you are to where you would want to go. Then consider how you might get there.


Return to:


What is a nudge?

Designing a safe experiment

Routes to change using safe experiments

An introduction to Transactional Analysis

A history of therapy and the ‘schools’

Limitations on action