SCRIPTS PEOPLE LIVE: Transactional Analysis of Life Scripts by Claude M. Steiner

SCRIPTS PEOPLE LIVE: Transactional Analysis of Life Scripts

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Transactional analysis virtue is its neat accessible codifications of human interchanges. Concerned that the discipline will suffer the Bernean fate of debunking and popularizing, Steiner offers a detailed text in which he tries to show that TA is related to the psychiatry developed by Laing and Reich. Indeed, his portrayal of the life ""script"" (tragic or banal) -- in which the experience of ""strokes,"" ""attributions,"" ""discounts,"" ""injunctions,"" are molded into social patterns -- suggests such thinkers. He styles himself a ""radical therapist,"" meaning that he sees such scripting connected to a larger social framework. Steiner reiterates the basics of TA, deluging the reader with practical, colorful Bernean terminology, and explicates more advanced concepts (second-order analysis: parent-in-child, child-in-child). Therapy, he argues, even when it involves ""schizophrenia"" (a term he rejects), must direct itself to ""rescripting""; disturbance is a decision, not a disease. The ""rescue"" phenomenon (""counterscripting,"" the other side of the coin) must be avoided as it permits the patient to evade his own responsibility. Some of Steiner's notions seem abritrary: he's up on common sense (whatever that means), down on individual therapy, down on the ""self-discovery"" approach, up on ""contracts."" While theory is implied here, TA appears to be more useful as a classificatory device with practical hints for the therapist, rather than a pioneering new discipline, as Steiner would have it.

Pub Date: Sept. 16th, 1974
ISBN: 0802132103
Publisher: Grove Press -- dist. by Random House