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on 19 May 2014
A key work in Transactional Analysis, but I would think this resonates for those not trained in TA - the 'games' (repeat unconscious behaviours we play out with others) will be recognisable to many. However, although this is a key work, I have found Berne's writing (names, labels, turn of phrase) to be flippant and likely fitted in with the pop-ness of the time it was written. Please see through that - and you will find a great insight into the mostly negative, unproductive and downright toxic ways of being we seek out and draw to us in our lives.
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on 13 May 2017
Book for professional councellors - bit dated
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on 25 June 2017
A good primer for studying transactional analysis if a little dated now
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on 4 October 2017
Meets expectations.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 December 2015
An entertaining and useful book for to anyone interested in some of the mechanics and motivations that are part of the human condition. It is concise and has sound academic underpinnings that put it above the self-help /pop-psychology type of production. The central theme is that of ‘awareness’. By this I mean that as individuals and groups of which we are a part we form strategies and narratives about ourselves in order to explain and justify our behaviour. In standard parlance, we can assign ourselves various roles –‘child’, ‘parent’ and ‘adult’ depending on our past experiences and ideas on how we can best negotiate life. Our willingness to use such strategies amounts to a ‘game’. It is interesting to note that some strategies can be wilfully self-destructive, others might be more positive in outcome. Some strategies might advance the cause of a person, others merely establish a status quo that suits themselves and the parties with whom they are interacting.

It all sounds very mechanistic and to some extent it is. Are we really all just playing ‘parts’, consciously or otherwise? Surely, elements of culture, religion, situation and expectations all have their part to play? As much as we might be able to determine the course of and satisfaction we derive from our lives, we are born into a particular environment and this must shape us in some way. I also worry that the ‘professionalization’ of awareness and if you like, the guidance required to achieve ‘useful’ life habits and attitude orientation, means that in some way the individual is absolved from responsibility for achieving their own version of happiness and feelings of worth. This is not the same as the ‘pull yourself together’ argument. It suggests that through the ages philosophers, religious and what might be termed ‘thinkers’ like Michel de Montaigne, have wrestled with issues to do with appropriate conduct, feelings and intuitions and understandings of Humankind and their place in the World, why should lesser mortals be surprised that we face the same doubts and issues. The stress has always been on how the individual responds to the questions and problems that life poses. Obviously, there are cases where the psychiatric professional is required, but not nearly as often as many practitioners would have us believe. After all, they too have an interest in creating an arena where we can feel free to seek ‘help’.
The ‘pay –off’ comes naturally at the conclusion of the book. Here notions such as ‘awareness’, ‘spontaneity’ and ‘intimacy’ are introduced. The suggestion is that we can be in ‘transactionship’ with others, but that we should be seek if at all possible, some degree of authenticity. That we can work towards some sort of ‘adult’ awareness of ourselves, our lives and those of others. It is in this embrace of ‘life’ as opposed to the adoption of strategic poses that some kind of fulfilment or journey towards fulfilment might begin. A good read, jargon free and enlightening.
Recommended.
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on 16 August 2017
This book is very insightful and potentially helpful for everyone. Some gamey or manipulative people are easy to spot but reading this book is likely to cause some "light bulb moments" for most people which illuminate recognisable patterns of behaviour. It focuses on the ways that people interact by specifically looking at games that people play (consciously and unconsciously). Dr Eric Berne created Transactional Analysis (which basically studies the interactions between individuals). TA is also very interesting and helpful and this book is one of the subjects.
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on 3 May 2017
Although I sadly didnt enjoy this book whatsoever I refrained from giving it a one star because I did learn a couple of things from its content. I really struggled to finish this book. A book, to me, is a journey which evolves from one chapter to the next. This however is more like a long list. A long list with a detailed explanation after each heading. This,in my honesty, is only the 2nd book(to date)on psychology but I'm sure their is much better ones in the app store.
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on 3 April 2017
Nowadays people claim that they act from all sorts of highflown moral and ideological motives, or of course from causes outside of themselves and beyond their control which make their apparant faults the responsibility of others. This classic still stands to show otherwise.
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This is a seminal book. It provides a race through transactional analysis and outlines the games we play in our relationships, and which can blight our lives and lead us to repeat the same mistakes if we do not reflect and respond in a new way....
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on 16 October 2015
The paper is a bit dull, not white enough. Apart from that, the book is fine.
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