This book is an absolute gem and as relevant today as the day it was written. It is essential reading for anyone involved in human relationships at any level. That is to say all of us apart from the few true hermits. Even to those with no knowledge of psychology, the examples make fascinating reading. You will recognise people you know. You may even recognise yourself.
For the psychologists, amateur and professional, Berne achieves what most present day psychologists still find impossible. He combines Freud's personality structure with the stimulus/response psychology of Pavlov, Skinner and Watson. This is a stroke of pure genius. Even most psychologists fail to see the book in this light.
One reviewer suggests the book lacks structure which astonishes me since Berne offers 3 options for time structuring: -
Individual structuring (fantasy and activity)
Social structuring (operations, procedures, rituals, pastimes, games and intimacy)
Material structuring (commonly called work though technically an activity)
These cover personal understanding (the unitary view), socio-cultural awareness (the group view) and material world (the universal view). These are derived from Kant's categories od unity (one), plurality (some) and totality (all). We each use these categories to make sense of our environment. How much more structure can a person need? In fact, other than one, some and all, what else could there be?
Whilst the game descriptions will be of most interest to non-psychologists, the first few chapters provide the bones that are essential for a deeper understanding. They are hard work, even for psychologists, but well worth the effort.