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Scripts People Live: Transactional Analysis of Life Scripts Paperback – 31 Dec 1990

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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  • Scripts People Live: Transactional Analysis of Life Scripts
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  • Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships (Penguin Life)
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  • What Do You Say After You Say Hello
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Product details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; 2nd edition (31 Dec. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802132103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802132109
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Simply a great book. A "must read" for anyone interested in changing their life patterns. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for students and practictioners of Psychotherapy. Written in 1974, the book remains very current. Claude Steiner challenges us to analyze and make the necessary changes in our "scripts" to achieve the happiness and fulfillment that we choose. I didn't want the book to end and will read it many more times.
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This is a great book for any of you that are already familiar with Transactional Analysis - but even if you are not, there is an overview section to get you on board.

What is interesting is that it does make clear arguments and uses a story telling device to illustrate points. Although, for the more advanced reader some of the stories do go on a little bit and verge on condecending, but I will forgive this as the author is clearly making an effort to make a complex subject accessable to all - not just Psychology students and Therapists.

If you are new to TA, I would recommend going for 'I'm OK, you're OK' and 'The Games people play' first as this book draws on these heavily and does help with context.
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By A Customer on 10 April 2005
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Read this book and the scales will fall from your eyes about the nature of human dynamics and interaction between people. This is a straightforward and brilliantly stimulating introduction into the world of transactional analysis. Thoroughly recommended
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If you are aware of TA already you'll love this book. It does cover the concepts of TA interaction in a non patronising 'voice' which means anyone can read it. The most important thing about the book is that it offers an explanation for the repeating frustrations we come across within relationships, personal, work and home! In my opinion.....it's good to know and then change the script!
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I'm a big fan of Claude Steiner and have utilised his idea's around game playing in my personal journey as well as my academic studies. Each facet of this book is clearly defined without recourse to "jargonese" and is all the more worthy for it. The breakdown and concise annotation of the theory into easily digestable parts makes the understanding of the subject all the easier - I would recomend that anyone interested in TA read this in conjuction with Steiners web site and the works of Eric Berne
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Format: Paperback
Well written but not inscrutably so, this sets out the framework for TA as developed from Eric Berne, Steiner and others since. I really liked that this book focuses on life scripts and provides a good basis for further reading of TA. Though it makes for the perfect introduction, I would still regard Berne's 'What Do You Do After You Say Hello?' as the definitive benchmark of TA literature, although slightly less accessible its breadth and scope is mind-blowing.
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I learnt much about life from this book. There are a number of popular theories and systems out there that many people pay a lot of attention to. Myers Briggs, NLP are two that spring to mind, and this book is based on another: Transactional Analysis.

All of these models and systems are open to interpretation and criticism and my personal opinion is to keep an open mind and don't believe everything you read. That aside, I found many aspects of this book interesting, especially being a parent.
The idea that children pick a character from a very young age to identify with, and then follow some kind of script based on these early beliefs for the rest of their lives is a real eye opener - what if they pick a hopeless, helpless or troubled character? It certainly makes you think about why people seem to get into the same kinds of situations over and over again, and more importantly, what experiences your young children are having right now.

As with all good advice, many things will sound familiar, but having them spelt out is a useful tool to be able to recognise them more easily.
In the book, "Discounting" can be read as ignoring, but it is far more subtle than I thought: a child (or adult) says something, and the respondent comes back with a lame or bulls*** answer without actually listening or acknowledging the point. I notice it all the time now. A child is accused of being difficult or misbehaving because he/she has lost/broken something, whilst the parent says "don't cry, I'll get you a better one". In reality, the child is genuinely and understandably upset, yet the parent doesn't care about the loss, and just wants to shut the child up. I've made this mistake myself, but after reading this book I became much more aware.
The book goes much deeper into other types of discounting and much more and it may lead to addiction, madness or depression. Again accept or reject, but I'm sure you'll find it interesting either way.
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Format: Paperback
The book is clearly written and gives a good though not altogether accurate description of Eric Berne's script theory. It tends to lose the individual in the script process by becoming involved with major social issues like sexism. Sexism and other forms of abuse of power inequalities are ingrained in our way of life and have to be tackled. But reading this book I couldn't help but be reminded of Sartre's remark about Gustave Flaubert, that Flaubert was a 'bourgeois' but not every bourgeois was a Flaubert. And that's the trouble with this book you don't really get a way of finding out how the individual is created. Instead of focusing on the individual script the book is more focused on general social scripts that we learn. The early decisions that make us who we are are personal and unique given the family social matrix we are embedded in and in my opinion can't be reduced to broad social categories-although they form the overall context for more personal individual scripts. Also Steiner describes 'scripting' which is just another word for childhood training or informal education. I believe this is something of a move away from Berne's original theory of scripts which was very much about describing what makes us unique.
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