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Life Positions and their relational impacts

1st Mar 16

Life Positions (from Transactional Analysis)

Life Positions are based on early decisions we make - often out of our immediate awareness - to help us to make sense of our significant early experiences. There are four fundamental ones :

1.  I am OK and You/Others are not OK
2.  I am not OK  and You/Others are OK
3.  I am not OK  and You/Others are not OK
4.  I am OK and  You/Others are OK

Life positions 1-3 tend to limit our capacity as adults to create and maintain relationships that are fulfilling and good enough for both parties. 1. can lead to an innate problem in trusting others and we may end up both in denial about our own natural falliabilities and may become preoccupied with those of others - and the needs and expeiences of one tend to be more important than the others'. (also the case with 2, but the reverse.)  Position 2. views the self as openly bad/flawed/unloveable and can focus on comparing self to others unfavourably, and perhaps preoccupied with either envy of others or constant seeking for others' approval and fear of rejection. Position 3. has a futility as its frame of reference - perhaps ingrained cynicism, no point in even trying, nihilistic in outlook, resigned to everyone being bad, flawed and hopeless - so the needs, experiences and welfare of self and others don't appear to matter. Position 4. tends to be regarded as one where the needs, experiences and welfare of self and others are important, even when they are quite different or opposed - where conflict is worked through collaboratively to a good enough conclusion - and where openness to trusting of others is innate - though trust always needs to be demonstrated through congruence between words and actions.

It is worth noting that life positions can shift during a personal journey, and the pull to return to the old established one will be greatest during times of (dis)stress (emotional and physical). If you would like to know more, you could read 'T. A. Today' by Stewart and Joines - also feel free to contact me to discuss if this helps.


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Move to Tower Clinic Cookridge from 12th May 2016

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Please note that from 12th May 2016 I will be practicing from the Tower Clinic in Cookridge, Leeds. I will…



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