WHAT DO YOU SAY AFTER YOU SAY HELLO?: The Psychology of Human Destiny by

WHAT DO YOU SAY AFTER YOU SAY HELLO?: The Psychology of Human Destiny

Email this review


This time Dr. Berne (Games People Play, 1964; Sex in Human Loving, 1970) is addressing himself principally to the therapist and even though he sub-titles it a ""textbook"" it's still a pure delight. According to Berne (who died a couple of years ago) all the world's a stage and we're all players -- and not just metaphorically. Each person (well, at least each sick person) has a ""preconscious life plan or script"" which he follows with utmost determination until the final (usually disastrous) denouement or ""pay-off."" The script is writ in early childhood -- to this extent at least Berne agrees with Freud -- and usually mimics a parental injunction such as ""Drop dead!"" or ""Don't have sex until you're married."" Myths and fairytales provide most of the archetypal scenarios including Little Red Riding Hood (who invariably has a red coat in real life), Sleeping Beauty, Oedipus, etc. which are embellished and advertised via totems, sweatshirts, and other insignia which reveal (to the wily Sherlockian transactional analyst) the individual's life motto. ""Kick Me,"" ""Buzz Off,"" and ""Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen"" (NOKTIS) are typical. Scripts are written to insure that losers (""frogs"") lose and winners (""princes and princesses"") win. The transactional analyst who picks up the clues -- and they are ubiquitous -- tries to turn the frogs into princes by lifting the curse and stopping the show. He does this by giving the patient ""permission"" for autonomous behavior. All this is nicely and unpompously sketched out with diagrams and equations as well as case histories because ""lots of people like numbers"" and you can indicate your reactions by a scripty laugh -- ""Heh Heh Heh"" or a healthy laugh ""Ho Ho Ho"" which says ""I'm Okay -- He's Okay.

Pub Date: June 22nd, 1972
Publisher: Grove Press--dist. by Random House