Transactional Analysis: A little bit more on Drivers and Scripts

Recently I have revisited Transactional Analysis (TA). There is a close relationship between Injunctions, Drivers and the Script, as they are understood within the TA model. My diagram may help understand that relationship, even though ‘Drivers’ are not in there! Please think of Drivers as an early adult message that reinforces or contradicts our infant or childhood Injunctions.

Although the Drivers I identify are a ‘normal’ part of life, some people want to use safe experiments to ‘inoculate’ themselves from some of the adverse impact of Drivers.

Drivers, Stoppers and Allowers

In so doing, we can look our STOPPERS in the eye and foster our  ‘ALLOWERS‘ instead – that is, the OK-side to Drivers. For instance, my own personal experience was with Be Strong as a TA Driver. It helped me to stand back and see the larger picture. At the same time, it made it difficult for me to ask for things for other. This led me into the small, safe experiment of ‘asking for things’. Seefurther comment at the sub-heading Don’t Belong.

By the way, Allowers have been revisited of late by the Tapping School, where you may find discussion of ‘glimmers’. The term, coined by Deb Dana, a US social worker who works with Stephen Porges on the Polyvagal theory. Nick Ortner points our that “glimmers” refer to small moments (small victories) when our biology helps us to connect and regulate our lives; to help our nervous system to feel safe or calm.

TA can add its own dimension by telling us more about the leassons from small defeats as Drivers and Scripts can ‘imprison’ us in a particular patterns of behaving. As the messages are instilled into us during childhood, and reinforced in adolescence,  it is not so easy to make the unconscious, conscious?

I trust this page will cast light on the practical benefits that can emerge from managing the boundaries within the Johari Window, here.

So, what are ‘Drivers’ as TA sees them?

Take a look at these web-sites, as listed, to read accounts of the Five TA Drivers. That’ll save me having to summarise things here!

……. and you can find a brief account at:


and there is a more detailed, coaching angle at:

I include this last reference as it acknowledges the work of Taibi Kahler, Mavis Klein and Mary Cox; each one has played a large part in developing the TA model (and the last two I remember well from my own training a good few decades ago!).

As you look through this material, consider the following questions:

  1. If Drivers are unconscious motivators, what might I do to identify my own specific Driver behaviour?
  2. How much of my time is spent being Driven by the five messages, as summarised?
  3. Does a ‘favourite’ Driver (or two) act as a STOPPER and …..
  4. ….. how would you prefer it to be in the near future?
  5. What small safe experiments might help to understand what a Driver is and how I might relate to Drivers differently?
  6. What are my ‘Allowers’; the antidotes to Drivers and how well do I use them, day-to-day?

All safe experiments need to be recorded so the small and subtle results do not get lost.  The answers to your questions are important and you may find a need to return to your notes more than once.

So what about ‘Allowers’?

Back to Manchester for some thoughts on that topic.

…. a site with a free guide to TA, if that is of help to you.

The antidotes to consider when designing your safe experiment around Drivers would be to identify how to turn your Driver into your Allower. For instance:

Driver: Hurry Up  into Allower: Take Your Time.

Driver: Be Strong into Allower: Be Open And Express Your Wants.

Driver: Be Perfect into Allower: You Are Good Enough As You Are.

Driver: Try Hard into Allower: Just do It a bit at a time.

Driver: Please others into Allower: Please Yourself.

This work can be connected to other small, safe experiments relating to the Stroke Economy

The basic conclusion from this commentary on Drivers, Allowers and the Stroke Economy is that working hard may not ‘bring home the bacon’. Rather like getting stuck in a quagmire on Dartmoor is best managed – not by struggling – but slow and steady movements toward the bank, so it is with Drivers. You can end up working hard to stand still or, even worse, slide under!

‘I’ll be returning to this topic in the future as there is much to be said about our Life “Script” but, above,  I starting with my preliminary thoughts and encouragers.  My further thoughts will appear in the ‘return’ list of pages at the bottom of this page.

You can help me develop ideas here by focusing on what is relevant to you.  Let me know more, here …..

Return to:


What is a nudge?

How to design safe experiments

Transactional Analysis (1)

Changing the Life Script

Life planning

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