transactional analysis - strokes

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Stroke is the most unique concept in transactional analysis.It helps you to understand and improve your interpersonal relations.


  • 1. Strokes Transactional Analysis
  • 2. Prepared By Manu Melwin Joy Research Scholar School of Management Studies CUSAT, Kerala, India. Phone 9744551114 Mail Kindly restrict the use of slides for personal purpose. Please seek permission to reproduce the same in public forms and presentations.
  • 3. A stroke is defined as a unit of recognition. (Berne 1971) A stroke is a unit of attention which provides stimulation to an individual. (Woollams and Brown: Transactional Analysis 1978)
  • 4. Stimulus Hunger Need for physical and mental stimulation
  • 5. Stimulus Hunger Study by Rene Spitz Bernes Choice of the word stroke refers to the infants need for touching.
  • 6. Recognition Hunger As grownups, we learn to substitute other forms of recognition in place of physical touching. A smile, a compliment, frown or insult all shows our existence has been recognized. Berne used to term recognition hunger to describe our need for this kind of acknowledgement from others.
  • 7. Kinds of strokes
  • 8. Verbal or Non Verbal Any transaction is an exchange of strokes. Most transactions involve both verbal and non verbal exchanges. They may be wholly non verbal. It is difficult to imagine a transaction which is purely verbal.
  • 9. Internal or external INTERNAL - fantasies, self praise, and other forms of self stimulation. EXTERNAL- strokes from others are important for healthy living.
  • 10. Positive or Negative A positive stroke is one which the receiver experiences as pleasant. A negative stroke is one experienced as painful. Any kind of stroke is better than no stroke at all.
  • 11. Conditional or Unconditional A conditional stroke relates to what you do. An unconditional stroke relates to what you are. Positive conditional. Positive unconditional. Negative conditional. Negative Unconditional
  • 12. Activity Write down two strokes you gave today Write down two strokes you received today. Identify which kind of stroke it is. Verbal or Non verbal. Positive or Negative. Conditional or Unconditional. Positive conditional. Positive unconditional. Negative conditional. Negative Unconditional Internal or External.
  • 13. Activity Give a positive conditional stroke to the person sitting to your left. Give an internal positive unconditional stroke to yourself. Give a Non verbal stroke to the person sitting to your right.
  • 14. Stroking and reinforcement of behavior Stroking reinforces the behavior which is stroked. If there do not seem to be enough positive strokes to fulfill our need for stroking, we will go ahead and seek out negative strokes. Quality and intensity of strokes are important.
  • 15. Giving strokes Counterfeit strokes are as though they give something positive, then take it away again. Plastic strokes are insincere positives. Eric Berne described this as marshmallow Throwing.
  • 16. Taking strokes We are used to getting certain strokes. Because of their familiarity, we devalue these strokes. We may secretly want to receive other strokes which we seldom get. We deny to ourselves that we want the strokes we most want.
  • 17. Taking strokes Everybody has their preferred stroke quotient. Quality of strokes cannot be measured subjectively. A high quality for stroke to you may be a low quality stroke for me. Different strokes for different folks.
  • 18. Stroke Filter / Discount When someone gets a stroke that doesnt fit in with her preferred stroke quotient, she is likely to ignore it or belittle it. Discounts are an internal mechanism by which people minimize or maximize (grandiosity) an aspect of reality, themselves or others. In other words they are not accounting for the reality of themselves or others or the situation.
  • 19. Levels of Discounting The EXISTENCE of a problem, e.g. a baby cries and the parents go to sleep. The SIGNIFICANCE of a problem Oh the baby always cries at this time. The CHANGE POSSIBILITIES The baby will never be satisfied. The PERSONAL ABILITY to actually carry out the change You could but I cant change the nappy. At each level the discount can be of three types: The STIMULUS can be discounted. The PROBLEM can be discounted. The OPTIONS can be discounted.
  • 20. Reference : Discount Matrix was developed. by Mellor and Schiff... TAJ July 1975. Discount Matrix
  • 21. Activity Think about the strokes you gave and received. Was it counterfeit, marshmallows, straight? Who received it openly, who discounted it? Which strokes you received and which one you discounted?
  • 22. Activity Divide into groups of four. For one minute, one among the four will listen and others will deliver verbal strokes. (Positive or Positive/Negative) For next one minute, it will share his/her experiences with the others. Consider the following questions. Which of the strokes I got did I expect to get? Which strokes did not I expect? Which strokes did I like? Which strokes I dislike? Are there any strokes I did have liked to get and didnt ?
  • 23. Stroke economy Claude Steiner suggests that as children, we are all indoctrinated by our parents with five restrictive rules about stroking. Dont give strokes when you have them to give. Dont ask for strokes when you need them. Dont accept strokes if you want them. Dont reject strokes when you dont want them. Dont give yourself strokes. The Warm Fuzzy Tale Reference : Scripts People Live (1974) Claude Steiner
  • 24. Stroke economy Parents use it to control children. Teach children that strokes are in short supply. Parents gains the position of a stroke monopolist. As grownups, we unawarely use these rules. We spend out lives in a state of partial stroke deprivation. We need to reject our restrictive basic training. Strokes are limitless in supply. We can give a stroke when we want. When we want, we can ask. We can take stroke when offered. If we dont like the stroke, we can reject it openly. We can enjoy giving ourselves strokes.
  • 25. Activity Think back over the stroking exercises. How you experienced giving, accepting and rejecting strokes. Which were you comfortable and uncomfortable with? When you were uncomfortable, do you trace that back to rules you remember your parents setting for you as a child?
  • 26. Asking for strokes A myth Strokes that you have to ask for are worthless. Reality Strokes that you get by asking are worth just as much as strokes you get without asking. Question Other person may give me stroke just be nice They may be restricted by their Dont give stroke messages. Options - You can check with the person whether it was genuine. Options If not genuine, you can ask for genuine one.
  • 27. Activity Be in groups of four. Exercise is on asking strokes. A person It takes three minutes to ask the others for strokes. Strokers responding by giving the strokes asked for if they are genuinely willing to give it. If not, say I am not willing to give you the stroke right now. It shares his/her experience with others.
  • 28. Home work Write down at least five positive strokes you want but dont usually ask for. In the following month, ask at least one person for each of these strokes. If you get the stroke, thank the stroker. If you do not, it is ok to ask for adult information about why the other person did not want to give the stroke asked for. Homework is over when you have asked for the strokes whether or not you got all of them. When you have asked for all the strokes on your list, give yourself a stroke for doing the exercise.