A couple of simple examples may help: you have a story of your
life or of your marriage. As you get more depressed about life or more
discouraged about your marriage, the stories become more and more
biased, i.e. pessimistic or self-critical or blaming of the spouse. It is
possible to "rewrite history," making your new story more positive,
more hopeful, and less blaming, but still accurate. Our view of history
has a powerful impact on our future.
All three methods--Looking for the inner child, Script analysis, and
Myth analysis--are very time consuming, perhaps 20 to 100 hours.
Part of it depends on your resistance to speculate about unconscious
motives. But reading a couple of good books going beyond these
summaries would be an adequate introduction. Better yet, take a few
hours and try out some of the exercises. If recognizing these subtle,
unconscious forces inside you is helpful, perhaps this awareness will
become a way of life for you.
There are no easy ways to uncover the unconscious. These three
methods deal with well entrenched, early, long forgotten childhood
experiences and attitudes that permeate the family. Moreover, these
uncovering procedures are vague, unresearched, and without simple
rules for interpretation. And, besides, most of us may have many inner
children fighting over many conflicting scripts and myths, which makes
self-understanding more difficult.
It is interesting that insight therapies frequently utilize
explanations from the therapist, from group interactions and
discussions, and from group exercises. Perhaps because many of us
refuse to uncover our unconscious by ourselves, even if we put in the
time. As mentioned, many students reject the idea of their lives being
governed by scripts or myths, we want to see ourselves as being
rational. So perhaps many of us genuinely seeking insight need
therapists and groups and confrontations. Research is needed to tell us
who can do these things on their own and what type of person needs
Effectiveness, advantages and dangers
Since TA is based on psychoanalysis, which has survived the test
of time for 100 years, it has an authoritative basis--it intuitively fits
with many peoples' clinical experience--but not much scientific basis.
By contrast, uncovering the inner child and certainly personal
mythology are much less studied and less agreed upon clinically. An
advantage is that all these unconscious-oriented theories can offer an
explanation for all kinds of self-defeating, crazy behavior which can
not easily be accounted for by simple environmental factors. The
trouble is that unconscious factors can be made to "explain"