Therapeutic Techniques

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THEORY AND PRACTICE OF COUNSELING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY
Gerald Corey

Section 5

APPLICATION: THERAPEUTIC TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES

The redecision therapy model of the Gouldings (1979) is grounded within the framework of TA

theory, yet their methods are a combination of TA, Gestalt therapy, interactive group therapy,

cognitive behavior therapy, family therapy, and psychodrama. Realizing the importance of

combining the affective and the cognitive dimensions, the Gouldings draw heavily from TA

theory for cognitive structure, and they use Gestalt techniques to provide the emotional work that

breaks through the impasses clients often experience.

Following is a brief description of some of the more commonly used processes, procedures, and

techniques in TA practice. Most of them can be applied to both individual and group counseling.

Therapeutic Procedures

Structural analysis

Structural analysis is a tool by which a person becomes aware of the content and functioning of

his or her Parent, Adult, and Child. TA clients learn how to identify their own ego states.

Structural analysis helps them resolve patterns that they feel stuck with. It allows them to find

out which ego state their behavior is based on. With that knowledge they can determine their

options.

Transactional Analysis

Two problems related to the structure of personality can be considered by structural analysis:

contamination and exclusion. Contamination exists when the contents of one ego state are mixed

with those of another. For example, the Parent, the Child, or both may intrude within the

boundaries of the Adult ego state and interfere with the clear thinking and functioning of the

Adult. (Figure 1).

Contamination from the Parent is typically manifested through prejudiced ideas and attitudes;

contamination from the Child involves distorted perceptions of reality. When contamination of

the Adult by the Parent,...
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