Psychological Self-Help

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interpersonal relationships, was not so fortunate in actual
relationships; he may have had a loser's script in that area. He
avoided intimacy, distrusting women and suffering through three
divorces. With love escaping him, he died of a "broken heart" (Steiner,
1975). So, even a relations expert may succumb to a loser's script.
Don't underestimate the power of your childhood messages. 
Write out a brief description--two or three sentences--of your life
script or perhaps two or three of them. See chapter 9 for examples. At
this point, these descriptions are probably just guesses, we can't know
our unconscious motives for certain. But, if your hunches about your
parental injunctions and scripts can help you avoid depression, 
Changing your life script
Gilliland, et al. (1989) tell about treating a woman who was
depressed, insecure, attractive, and flirtatious but dependent on and
submissive to her husband. As a child she was given certain
injunctions: don't grow up, just be cute and obedient, don't think for
yourself, don't feel confident or angry. These became "tapes" playing
over and over within her Parent ego state. Furthermore, she gave
herself certain driver messages: be perfect, please others, and act
happy. The therapist helped her see how her revered but controlling
father had given her these messages as he tried to shape her into a
"daddy's little girl" who would quietly take care of the family and her
alcoholic mother. TA therapy involves game and script analysis, much
like the steps we have just gone through. This patient was encouraged
by her therapist to ask herself how such a spoiling, loving, and
worshiped father could have made her feel weak and dependent, when
she was really the woman of the house. She began to see that her
father was far from perfect and wonderful; he had used her, just as
her wealthy husband does. In fantasy she told her father how angry
she felt about being kept a "nice little southern belle" who couldn't
think or be open about her feelings and become an adult. 
Treatment or self-help with such a person is an emotional
experience, not just an intellectual exercise. Neither is it a matter of
will power. You can't just say, "I'm not going to be
scared...sad...dependent." All of us have to deal with deeply ingrained
messages recorded in our Parent ego state. We also have to deal with
our Child ego state, which involves the emotions, games, and scripts
of a five-year-old. In this case, the Child is saying, "I want to go out,
play around, and have a good time," "I must be pleasant and
submissive in order to be loved and taken care of," "I could do all sorts
of things if it wasn't for my husband...my children...," "It is crucial that
men find me attractive and that I have some control over them that
way," and "One way to get your way is to lie to men: 'Gee, you're a
wonderful ________!" All these needs and games had left this patient
sad and empty. But since many of the messages or injunctions from
our parents are subtle but ever present so we are unaware of them,
how can we change? We must start with the feelings we know--our
sadness, our need to please others, our insecurity and dependency,
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