A Comparison of CBT with Transactional Analysis

Topics: Psychology, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Transactional analysis Pages: 9 (3503 words) Published: May 24, 2012
The counseling model that I have chosen to compare with CBT is Transactional Analysis or TA. I have chosen TA because I have found it to be a helpful model when working with clients; I use elements of TA teaching regularly in my counseling practice. I particularly like the teaching on ego states and have found this useful not only in enabling me to understand my clients but also to enable me to help clients understand themselves and their relationship’s so that they have the tools to identify more helpful options in dealing with people, problems and situations in their lives. More recently I have been interested in cognitive behavioral therapy as a way of working with clients, there is evidence backed by research that CBT is an effective treatment for people suffering from common mental health problems such as anxiety disorders, panic, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, bulimia and obsessive compulsive disorder. I will now go on to describe the key concepts of TA and then the key concepts of CBT and how these contrasts with each other. Key concepts TA:

1) Ego states and transactions
TA teaches that communication both internally and externally come from different ego states and that we rapidly move between these ego states according to the context and the environment. There are 3 ego states, parent, adult and child. The parent ego state contains the behaviors, thoughts and feelings copied or interjected from parent figures primarily encountered in the first 5 years of life. The parent ego state can be subdivided into the nurturing parent and the critical parent both of which can have positive or negative characteristics. The message of the parent ego state is ‘I’m ok, you’re not ok’. The adult ego state emerges when the child is around 10 months old and acts like a data processor testing out information from the parent and child state input and making its own internal truth. The adult ego state is value free and feelings free being calm, thoughtful and accepting of self and others. We go into this state by choice, choosing to move toward adult if we find ourselves in the parent or child state inappropriately. The message of the adult is I’m ok you’re ok. The child ego state contains the archaic behaviors, thoughts and feelings replayed from childhood. The assumptions made from the parental message are I’m weak your strong, I’m not ok, you’re ok. If the child receives constant negative strokes the child will learn a lot of performance behaviors in order to get positive strokes and the adapted child develops. However the more positive strokes the child is given the less the child will stifle his own instincts, this being the natural child state. The child ego state can be subdivided into the natural or free child and the adapted child both of which can have negative or positive characteristics. The use of the ego state model is used to analyze sequences of transactions involving a stimulus and a response of one person’s ego state to another person’s ego state. Transactions are described as being complimentary or crossed depending on whether the ego state that is addressed responds or another ego state responds. An ulterior transaction is where there is a transaction that carries a covert message; TA describes games played in relationships which involve ulterior transactions. 2) Strokes:

TA states that people need strokes to survive, a stroke being a unit of recognition and that every transaction whether verbal or nonverbal, positive or negative is an unavoidable exchange of strokes. Stroke hunger occurs when positive strokes are not exchanged freely, this results in stroke seeking behavior. Negative strokes are sought when stroke hungry because any kind of stroke is better than no stroke at all. TA teaches that strokes reinforce behavior. One of the goals of TA is to enable clients to relate to others in an aware, spontaneous, loving game- free way and to enable a free exchange of...
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