The final part of this composition on strengthening the Adult ego state seeks a different path. The previous three parts are examining behavioural strategies to assist a person to increase their Adult ego state functioning when under stress. This section will look at some of the underlying causes that may lead to poor Adult ego …
First and foremost anger is always potentially life threatening.
Most efforts are directed at the the executive of the personality, the Child, but still a significant amount of effort is directed at the Parent and Adult influencing the Child’s direction.
Three children is the maximum that one parent can emotionally cover. After that sub groupings amongst siblings will form.
My personal view is there is a solid argument for the idea that a child cannot suicide. If one uses the term ‘child suicide’ that is quite misleading as the vast majority of people will assume it to have some similarity to the adult suicide which it most definitely has not.
This explanation could go some of the way to answering why those who use physical violence in relationships are so hard to engage in treatment programmes. They perceive, feel and experience the use of such violence as a natural, Free Child, ego syntonic thing to do.
This part of the personality is engaged with things like the Harry Potter stories. It can also be found in Batman with characters like the Penguin and the Joker. They are presented as mischievous, irreverent and yet appealing characters.
The more emotionally important the relationship is to us the more we will begin to bring these insecurities into the relationship. Hence they tend to come out with our partners and in marriages.
Sometimes it is the only position left in the family. As a new child enters the family and grows into it he has to find where he fits. The parents have the Parent and Adult ego states covered and a sibling may have the outspoken, demanding position taken so the ‘happy to help’ good child position is the only one left.
It is said that the 3 year old is assentive whilst the 4 year old is assertive. People with assertion problems maybe fixated at this stage.
When marriage occurs one marries the individual person and also marries their family structure all their attachments and relationships as well.
In essence the Parent and Child ego states free up the Adult to engage in higher level cognitive functions and relationship skills. Indeed the Adult ego state is dependent on having active Parent and Child ego states influencing it.
The descriptive model of ego states sometimes also known as the functional model of ego states was originally presented by Eric Berne in his book “What Do You Say After You Say Hello”.
Also they may have a strong Please me driver. This person defines self according to the needs and wants of others. The intent of this driver is to obtain nurture (love, approval) and avoid abandonment (rejection, loneliness) but in doing so they present as lacking substance or lack a sense of who they are.
One does not seek to do therapy on this aspect of the personality but one embraces it and seeks to develop some kind of coexistence with it. One embraces their depression or learns to love their panic attacks one could say. It is accepted as a normal part of their thanatos. it can’t be changed even if one wanted to.
This also highlights the process of hero worship as a psychological phenomena and how it influences our personality development.
In most counselling situations this can not occur. It may get too expensive and most often the person has to make appointments with the counsellor such that they have to wait days if not weeks to meet. Even if it is free or they can afford it most counsellors don’t really see the same client …