The author- Eric Berne Canadian, born 1910 Doctor. Trained in USA; psychiatry, psychotherapy and analysis Numerous other texts Creator of transactional analysis. Died MI in 1970 age 60.
The book International best seller First published USA 1964 Sequel to transactional analysis 162 pages Divided into 4 sections – Introduction – Analysis of games – Thesaurus of games – Beyond games
Introduction Follows on from prequel transactional analysis Brief overview social psychiatry Stroking – fundamental unit of social action. Exchange of strokes = transaction Defines social intercourse + structuring of time – Stimulus hunger – Recognition hunger – Structure hunger ‘human life is mainly a process of filling in time until the arrival of death’
Part 1 – analysis of games Introduces theory necessary for understanding of games Describes structural and transactional analysis Personality structure and ego states – Parent – Adult – Child Differentiates between transactions, rituals and procedures, pastimes and games Defines nature and function of games
So what are games? Recurring set of transactions with a predictable outcome but concealed motivation Sandwiched between pastimes and intimacy Fill majority of social intercourse Handed down the generations Generally learnt form parents in early childhood Determine who we pick as friends/social circle Function is reward of pay off/culmination Structure our time – waiting for Santa Claus... Shape our destiny? Allow some form of intimacy in day to day lives
Part 2 – thesaurus of games Divided into life games, marital, party, underworld, consulting room, and good games Breaks down into thesis, aim, roles, dynamics, examples, paradigm, moves, advantages, related games ‘Why don't you yes but’ – first ever game discovered – party game Commonest marital game – ‘if it weren't for you’
Part 3 – beyond games Sort of Epilogue Defines significance of games in terms of historical/ cultural/ social and personal Describes the players; “sulk” “jerk” Model example of game free transaction Defines autonomy as ultimate aim – 3 parts – Awareness – Spontaneity – Intimacy
Conclusions Study of human behaviour Good basic overview of TA Fascinating intro to concepts of social psychiatry and personality Provides framework to understand human relationships Encourages self analysis and that of others Not any easy read! Can be read as stand alone text but would likely benefit from having read previous/background psychotherapy Complex to follow – cross reference to parts not yet read Worked examples excellent and help understand but inconsistent - differ in detail and complexity In parts outdated and very rooted in American culture Games themselves not evidence based - Based on consulting room observations and theory Well worth reading – might learn something about yourself or those closest to you!