Biological spontaneous life is not possible

On the profession and identity as a transactional psychotherapist

The profession of "public confession" means exercising the profession of psychotherapist in accordance with the legal and ethical provisions of the Psychotherapy Act.
Dr. Ingo Rath 2018
Psychotherapist / TAP
Teaching therapist with full teaching license
[email protected]
A. Pre– and Notes
1. The perspectives presented here are based on the situation of the “psychotherapist” profession, which is regulated by the legal recognition of “transactional analytical psychotherapy” as a healing method within the psychotherapeutic community in Austria. This means that the curriculum, training, and graduation are reviewed, approved, and controlled by a government academic body. The same applies to teachers who are appointed by the legislature at the request of the training associations and who are obliged to continue training and scientific development of theory and practice.
The profession of "public confession" means exercising the profession of psychotherapist in accordance with the legal and ethical provisions of the Psychotherapy Act. Transactional analytical psychotherapy (TAP) forms the frame of reference for the development of individual identity as a psychotherapist. Therefore the profession “psychotherapist” with the addition “transactional analytical psychotherapy” creates identity.

2. As a scientific healing process, psychotherapy is characterized by a communicative dialogue in an intersubjective relationship (cf. Fischer 2008). The therapeutic relationship is designed in a pre-scientific relationship framework. With a pre-scientific language that promotes immediate experience and experience. Living words for living people. The reflection and evaluation of the therapeutic process makes use of scientific perspectives and language. The therapeutic relationship experienced (‹relatio de natura›) was also Eric Berne's concern. His supplementary “structural analysis” tended to lead in the direction of a reflective therapeutic relationship (“relatiorationis”). The experiencing and the reflective relationship belong to different categories and, if not viewed in a differentiated way, lead to logical contradictions, as Bertram Russel had revealed. The experienced reaction in the transactional event and the ego state as a conceptual structural element belong to different categories and lead, without reflection, to contradictions. Logical contradictions cannot be resolved by logic (see cloudings). Therefore, I do not describe the transactional events with arrows between structural ego states.

3. In the essay “The essence of intuition”, Berne (1991) tries to create a bridge between the spiritual and the material world (IR 2012), which are different and yet interwoven in experience. Berne describes a difference and a connection between conceptual thinking and spiritual insights, i.e. between an imagination and a cognitive force. He sees intuition “as an integrating process of perception. What is intuitively perceived differs from what is linguistically formulated from it »; and further: “A person's actions and feelings are not based on the reality of things, but on the spiritual (meaning 'mental', IR) image that he has of them. Everyone has certain ideas about themselves and the world and about their fellow human beings, and behaves as if these images were the actual reality ”(EB 1972, p.36). That is simply the definition of turbidity, which will be discussed below. The Berne triad "Intuition, Inspiration, Imagination" and the triad "Spontaneity, Intimacy, Creativity" are definitely considered messengers of the spiritual world. «Intuition is a divine gift, the thinking mind a faithful servant. It is paradoxical that we worship his servant and desecrate the divine gift (Albert Einstein) »- also in psychotherapy? In any case, Berne tried to integrate.

4. I see social systems such as relationships, families, and groups as living, holistic systems that are self-organizing and self-regulating and develop ecologically in phases of differentiation and integration, self-assertion and solidarity (IR 1992, 2012). Dynamic holism is a model that connects spiritual and material reality through an interplay of implicit and explicit order (Nikolaus von Kues, David Bohm, et al. See IR 1992, 2012). The implicit order (IO) is that which is latent and potentially essential and can, but does not have to, develop in the here and now or in the future. The explicit order (EO) is that which unfolds, experiences and can be thought of through our corporeality (e.g. the reactions in transactional events). New experiences are incorporated as a possibility in the IO and are potentially available in new situations.
My transactional-analytical mandala. AB - relationship shape (I-YOU), S - self (implicit potentiality), IW - inner (mental) world - I; Script, EW - experienced reality in relationships, SW - superordinate social realities, objection leads to mentalization, subjection leads to self-being
B. What is Transactional Analytical Psychotherapy?

1. The evolutionary basis of TAP
a) According to the biological nature we humans belong to the mammals that can survive and develop in an environment of compassion, care, affection and kindness (warm-heartedness). These attitudes are biologically innate and belong to the essence of the human being and thus to the psychotherapeutic attitude. Without a parental care and security system, there is no survival and no development. Without a YOU, no I can locate itself in space and time in our world. Therefore I see the relationship as the smallest psychosocial wholeness (unit) in which the "I's" can shape themselves in mutual dependence and individuality.
b) Life is movement: all living beings (organisms) are kept alive by material and energetic (spiritual) exchange processes within the organism and with the environment and determine their emergence, development and decay. We perceive the environment through the interactions of motor skills (via the locomotive organs) and sensory systems (via the sensory organs). Conscious perception is an expression of the resonance relationship between the brain, body and environment (Scheurle 2013). In this respect, the transactional exchange, as described by Berne in “On the essence of communication”, can be viewed as a universal process (IR 2010). Berne describes the distinction between “manifest” and “latent” communication as a “crucial point” and describes the latent reaction to a message as the recipient's intuitive knowledge, which ultimately turns out to be effective.
c) The transactional exchange between living beings and their environment enables an evaluation based on evolution, which perceives the environment (the counterpart) to be "friendly" or "hostile". If the other person is experienced as hostile, the organism can react with freeze or with fight or flight, otherwise with communication and cooperation. These movement patterns are stored in the organism and initially run reflexively and serve for survival. Some living beings, especially humans, can "civilize" the automatisms, e.g. by asserting themselves instead of fighting and being yielding instead of fleeing. Do we remember the possibilities in relationships of making ourselves helpless, being helpful, being persecuting or denying ourselves as survival and coping strategies? I also refer to the «archaic images» and «primary judgments» (EB 1991) and their connection: archetypes as «pre-symbolic representations of interpersonal transactions» «Primary judgments contain an understanding of certain archaic, unconscious attitudes towards other people based on these images» (EB 1972, p. 99). Original images and primary judgments have a significant influence on the original protocol of the script and are even after the script has been consolidated, e.g. B. effective as survival conclusions (F. English).
d) "Our freedom is the freedom to be able to decide for or against something" (Bieri 2006, p.54). This means that we can take or leave action. Failure to act does not only come from the brain, but from the whole organism. A purely rational decision would not end an action, for example the need to continue drinking alcohol, if the whole organism is not involved. Failure to act, desires, needs, drives, etc. opens up a spiritual space (Scheurle 2013) for new possibilities (as the potential of IO). Without the ability to omit, no autonomous decision to “yes” is possible: if you can't say no, you can't say yes either. An autonomous decision is combined with the will to understand the philosopher as life force (called physis by Berne). This energy flows into letting go or doing. Failure is effectively strengthened, action is carried out more joyfully and more likely to be completed with satisfaction. Remember that the inner child is involved in the decision and that no resistance arises as a result. Will and decision form a whole and can only be distinguished conceptually.
The effects of actions or non-actions are rated as “good” or “bad”, helpful or not helpful, constructive or destructive, etc. according to ethical principles and / or social rules, and can result in sanctions in the social context. This is where conscience comes into play as an instance of the integrating adult. Here I quote Socrates: "It has happened to me from my childhood: namely, a voice which, every time it is heard, dissuades me from doing something I want to do, it has never persuaded me."
The conscience as a higher essential unity and attitude of the integrating adult can also be viewed as a differentiated unity of ethos, logos and pathos of the integrating adult (IR 2012, p, 34) supported by interdependence and global responsibility. So action has to include the well-being of individuals, social groups, societies and the global world.

2. Socio-ethical, psychotherapeutic attitude and attitude
A Tibetan proverb: «It is not enough that the teaching is great. The person (ie here: therapist) must have a great attitude. »Accordingly, I see the healing effect in the therapeutic encounter, primarily shaped by a socio-ethical attitude and attitude, which is determined in the essence of the person and in his through evolution Its justification is based on the ideal-typical attitude of the integrating adult.
The essence of people lies in the similarity (similarity) of their abilities and their sufferings. We are born and die the same way. Samuel Hahnemann's principle of similarity (homeopathy) "The like should be cured by the like" also applies within the psychotherapeutic relationship. When we as therapists consciously experience “We have something in common, a little different” (IR 2014) in the transactional relationship process, the door to compassion can open, which can have a healing effect in an experiencing relationship. However, this means that healing begins with the therapists in the sense of “we have something in common, a little different” and confirms how important it is for the therapists to experience themselves. One thinks that I can only perceive what is imagined and stored in me; and that determines what is observed and how.
The therapeutic encounter is about accepting the other person in his / her essence, as he / she is, without "ifs and buts", without evaluating properties, or, as Berne puts it, to meet impartially or without a script. This attitude allows a glimpse into the spiritual world, where its messengers intuition, inspiration and imagination are effective. In the moment of the script independence I am deeply subjective, relatively free from the influences of the inner, representational world, in intimate connection with the world (the YOU), free for creative perception, relatively free from the influences of the past, the imaginations. If the patient can accept himself / herself in the present as he / she is, a new relationship experience related to the present can arise without the imaginations (thoughts) and emotions of the past clouding the present experience. Such an experience is also exhilarating at the same time. The ancient Greeks say that in these moments Chronos is replaced by Kairos. Chronos is the god of the measurable time of the material world and Kairos the god of the favorable moment, the intangible time of the spiritual world. In this "spiritual" state, logical contradictions cancel each other out, i.e. the current situation is perceived unadulterated.
I keep checking myself to see whether my focus is on the “good of the other”, the development to become an “integrating adult” (as a therapeutic welfare and precautionary system). Here's a little exercise: imagine someone sitting across from you who is not doing well. You yourself feel neutral and there is only the two of you. What can you do to make you feel good? The solution has to do with interdependence and global responsibility. Action can have good or bad effects. Keeping the well-being of the other person in mind can also mean prohibiting them from doing something, preventing them from taking action or pointing out possible consequences, i.e. not approving of everything that the other person does. My motto: "Accept in essence - act for the good of the counterpart"
Möbius strip a strip of paper as a unit with a surface and a boundary line. ME and YOU are a unit of relationship and yet not one and the same
3. Basic concepts of TAP that create identity - just for me?
The transactional analytical concepts, models and theories serve to realize and support the psychotherapeutic attitude and attitude, with the aim of healing and developing those seeking help. The following basic concepts of the TAP are only sketched out, but with how I apply and teach them.
a) Transactional exchange as a universal process (IR 2010): In his work “On the essence of communication”, Berne lays the foundation for transaction analysis, even if in his later writings he speaks of a structural analysis in addition to the transaction analysis. Here I see a continuation of the logical contradiction presented above. Berne initially referred to the reactions in transactional events as ego states and later used ego states as structural elements based on Paul Federn. With this, Berne creates different categories, so to speak “transactional” and “structural” ego states, which result in logical contradictions and confuse the mind (IR 1996, 2007, 2010). When I speak of ego states, I mean the transactional, the reactions and re-reactions in relationships. These reactions are mainly determined by: (1) the given spatial / temporal situation, (2) the prevailing motives, wishes, needs, strivings, etc. and (3) the expectations and influences based on earlier (archepsychic and / or exteropsychic) Experience. The reactions are created, experienced and evaluated “in statu nascendi” of the current transactional process and determine the further course, even if some reactions seem to be “automated”. It is therefore important to grasp the dynamics of the entire situation. Because only this allows the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the situation to be assessed.
b) The relationship as the smallest psychosocial whole: without YOU there is no I; The I develops in the mirror of the other. The relationship partners have the same inner potential for development, whether man or woman. Because, from a single soul (as implicit order, supplementary IR) the spouses were created, from which many men and women arise, as it is written in an ancient script. The individual development in the spatiotemporal world as the basis for joint creation processes is different; for that "what you see and I do not see" and "what I see and you do not see" can be a triggering spark to adjust the mind to the "tone" of the resonance and to use the favor of the moment.
c) The metaphors inner child (IK) and inner parent (IEL) or the integrating adult (IER) and his care and provision system for himself, the others and the world (see IR 2010b): The metaphors IK and IEL indicate developmental psychology and functionally a certain proximity to the functional model. The metaphor «integrating adult» (IER) refers to a socio-ethical development goal in a changing world.
d) The script as a spatial / temporal location in this world: experience "congeals" into thoughts.Pay attention to your thoughts, because they become words, consider the words, because they lead to actions, and these determine your habits, perceive your habits, because they shape your character. They form your life script. Your script is your fate (freely based on Zarathustra, the Talmud, Berne, etc.). Due to our freedom to decide, to do or not to do, we are not completely at the mercy of fate; we can learn to live contentedly and fulfilled within its framework.
e) Cloudiness and de-clouding: Berne has clearly recognized (see A.3.) that people consider their images to be their own reality. Such "fixed imagines" (imaginations, beliefs, attitudes, judgments, etc.) cloud the mind like troubled, cloudy water in a pond, are experienced according to Berne "ichsynton" and are the cause of states of suffering. In his “Cowboy Example” (EB 1991, p.131): “That's exactly how I feel. Sometimes I feel like I'm not really a lawyer; I am just a little boy »the patient perceives his state of suffering, the experience is indeed« ego-dystonic », but it is not« tarnished ». Berne did not see the contradiction in thinking here: "I am a little boy" is a thought from the past, "I am a lawyer" is the experience and thought in the present. A thought in the past tarnishes the experience in the present. This is a paradoxical situation and not a problem. One can only "leave" the past, then one is serene from the defilements and the suffering. If one were to see this paradoxical situation as a problem, that is, if one were to try to solve it through thinking that is always stored in the past, one would end up in the "devil's kitchen" in the vortex of thoughts. Only in the non-scripted relationship in present experience are we left with the past and future; the pool of the spirit is then as clear as water. These are happy feelings in the therapeutic encounter. This is where I end, not just for lack of space, because immediate experience and experience is irreplaceable here.

Berne, E. (1972) Consultation hours of the soul, Rohwolt, Reinbeck
Berne, E. (1991) Transactional Analysis of Intuition, Junfermann Verlag, Paderborn
Bieri, P. (2007) The craft of freedom, Fischer, Frankfurt am Main
Fischer, G. (2008) Logic of Psychotherapy, Asanger Verlag, Krönig
Rath, I. (1992) Approaches to the Development of a Coherent Theory Map of Transaction Analysis-Theory of Science - Considerations on the Basics of Transaction Analysis, ZTA, 9th year, issue 2/3 (90-120)
Rath, I. (1996) Transactional Exchange and Learning, Journal of the Austrian Working Group for Depth Psychology - Transaction Analysis (ÖATA) Vol. 2 No. 1-2 (3-30)
Rath, I. (2007) Analysis of Transactional Events, Zeitschrift fürTransaktionsanalyse, 24.Jg. Part 1, When differentiation becomes division - Volume 2 (130-153), Part 2 «What kind of species is it? - "This is Knickerbocker" - Issue 3 (200-218)
Rath, I. (2009) Depth Psychological Transaction Analysis - Introduction to Theory and Practice, ÖATA, Wels
Rath, I. (2010a) Transactional happening as a universal process, in Rath, I. (2012) pp. 56-73
Rath, I. (2010b) The Inner Child as a Psychotherapeutic Concept, Journal for Transaction Analysis, Volume 27, Part 1 in Issue 1 (5-23) - Part 2 in Issue 3 (86-101)
Rath, I. (2012) Transactional analytical psychotherapy as a scientific healing method, ÖATA,
Rath, I. (2014) On therapeutic encounters: attitude - communicative dialogue effect, magazine for - transaction analysis, year 31 Part 1 in volume 1 (19-32) - Part 2 in volume 3 (150-165)
Rath, I. (2017) PowerPoint: TA-Tag Linz, about
[email protected] available
Scheurle, H. J. (2013) The brain is not lonely, resonances between the brain, body and environment, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart

On the death of Muriel James

Muriel James was one of the great transactional analysts. Now she has passed away at the age of 100. For me, she lived the positive attitude towards people that transactional analysis describes. Above all, her wide range of work is remarkable. She has developed essential basic ideas in the field of psychotherapy, in the organizational field, but also on spirituality in TA, and has thus inspired many transaction analysts.
Your “Born to win” together with Dorothy Jongeward almost sounds like a Bruce Springsteen song. The German translation of “Spontan Leben - Exercises for Self-Realization” does not adequately reflect the tenor. This authorizing and energizing book characterized her liberating approach.
The 'OK boss' then transferred the basic concepts of transaction analysis that had existed up to that point to organizational contexts. Muriel James was not yet a systemic transactional analyst, she looked at the individual in the organization. But through her description of the games in organizations, for example, she provided essential insights into what we call organizational games today.
Together with Louis M. Savary, he created “Liberated Life”, which is expressed more concisely in its original English title “The Power at the Bottom of the Well”. It is important to perceive the power from the inner source and to draw from it. This book of the encounter between spirituality and transactional analysis shows a very deep thinking from her perspective as theologian and pastor of a Presbyterian church. Every person has a positive inner core and inner strength. "The spiritual self or the inner core means that which people call their deepest selves, their true self, and what is at the same time independent of the three ego states" (James and Savary, 1977, 37). It is reminiscent of what Meister Eckhart calls the divine spark.
When I offered a workshop on “Spirituality, Transactional Analysis and Management” at the 2007 San Francisco Conference, she appeared in my workshop with Jean Ilsley-Clark, the great transactional analyst in the educational field. I thought: "Oh dear," what else should I tell the two wise women. But it was a wonderful experience to look together at the subject of living spirituality in real areas such as the professional world and leadership in organizations.
Whenever I met Muriel - and that was not uncommon at the ITAA conferences and during my time on the ITAA board - I always saw Muriel as an extremely benevolent and appreciative person. Together with the other two women from the first day of TA, Fanita English and Mary Goulding, she forms a great knowledge and wisdom base for transactional analysis for me. Mary left us a while ago and Fanita just celebrated her 101st birthday. Muriel James will be remembered by those who knew her for her gentle manner, all of us for her wide-ranging publications.

James, M. and Jongeward, D. (1974): Living Spontaneously - Exercises for Self-Realization, Reinbek: Rowohlt.
James, M. and Savary, L. M. (1977): Liberated Life - Transactional Analysis and Religious Experience, Munich: Kaiser.
James, M. (1990): The Ok Boss, Munich: mvg.