Healing Alcoholism


Theory: How we become who we are and how we change.

Return to home? 

People come onto life with an inborn potential for health and survival. Or as Eric Berne was fond of saying: "People are born princes and princesses." Another way of saying this is that all people have an innate life force which predisposes them to health, healing and survival.

Human potential is realized according to the opportunity that is afforded to them by the environment including the people around them. When the environment fails to be supportive of peopleís potential they are, as Berne also said, "turned into frogs."

Physically, peopleís life force is fueled by food, water, oxygen and other physical necessities. Psychologically, the life force is fueled by information and strokes. People therefore have a hunger for information and a specific form of information; recognition or strokes. As in the case of the physical hungers people will actively seek strokes and information.

Information and strokes, essential to peopleís psychological survival are most readily obtained in cooperative groupings within which people love, nurture, protect and educate each other.

When the basics need for strokes is thwarted people have to develop alternate methods of procurement; they will play games and bring into play life plans that adapt to the stroke scarcities in which they live. One such adaptation for the procurement of strokes is the game of Alcoholic in an alcoholic life script.

Alcoholism and the alcoholic life script are disruptions of a personís human potential. When life is disrupted and dis-ease occurs, healing which is one of the functions of the life force is a natural inborn tendency. Therapy of alcoholism, the "kiss that will turn the alcoholic frog back into a prince" depends on enlisting the person's life force to generate changes in a positive, healthy direction. The therapist offers information in the form of suggestions, and offers strokes in the form of permission for positive change and while the desired, contracted for changes are occurring the therapist offers potent protection and support.


Chapter 7. Power in the World

One principal transactional analysis concept is that people are O.K. which is another way of saying that people are by their nature, capable of living in harmony with themselves, each other, and their environment. More simply, we are born with a life force that inclines us to being healthy and happy. This potential is realized for each person according to the material conditions that he or she is born into and finds during the rest of his or her existence.

What this means is that emotional and mental disturbance, addiction and depression will not develop without toxic factors that can be identified in the environment in which we grow up. There are probably exceptions to that statement, as there must be to all rules. Two such exception are the hereditary disturbances that are suspected in bipolar mood disturbances as well as schizophrenia. However these two cases of emotional disturbances that arenít essentially environmental are rare exceptions. The levels of addiction and mental and emotional disturbances that we find in the population today may have some hereditary components but these are mild compared to the non-hereditary, environmental causes that generate them.

Unfavorable environmental conditions directly affect people's personal power and their capacity to fulfill their potential. To the extent that our potential for a satisfying life is estranged and not realized, we are in a state of alienation or powerlessness. Alienation can affect the power of our hearts, our minds and our physical being.


Lovelessness is the alienation from our heart, or love, and from our capacity to cooperate and live in harmony with others.

There is no better or more heartbreaking example of the alienation of the human capacity to love than the story of the Ik tribe of Uganda. Colin Trumbull in his book Mountain People documents how Milton Obote nationalized traditional hunting lands as national park for European tourists, and prevented the Ik from hunting in their traditional hunting grounds. After a couple of generations of starvation conditions, the Ik, originally a cooperative, child loving tribe, became a group of selfish cruel people who donít trust or help anybody. They would desert children at an early age and one story Trumbull tells is how after abandoning a baby to be eaten by wild animals the animals were hunted an eaten.

A far less severe but more pervasive alienation from or capacities to love and take care for each other affects people as they become "civilized." We are gradually losing our inborn affection for each other; instead we are taught the rules of what I call the "Stroke Economy" which dramatically affects and reduces the amount of strokes or positive interaction between people.

The Stroke Economy is the term I use to describe a set of rules, supported by strong social sanctions which I believe are taught to people from early in life. They enjoin people not to give strokes, not to ask for or accept strokes they would like to get, not to reject unwanted strokes and not to give themselves strokes.

These rules have the effect of reducing the exchange of strokes between young and old, men and men, women and women, parents and offspring, siblings, family members and so on. The combined effect of the Stroke Economy's rules is that strokes become artificially scarce instead of being freely available. As a consequence of the Stroke Economy, we feel unloved and unlovable. We become sad, isolated, and depressed. We don't love humankind and fail to act in each other's behalf. We learn that we cannot allow someone else to become close or trust others with our hearts, and we fail to learn how to deal with the normal ups and downs of our relationships. In short we lose the capacity to love and its attendant joys and tribulations.


Joylessness is the result of our alienation from an intimate relationship with all parts of our bodies, which is caused by a number of alienating influences.

We are told that our mind or spirit is separate from our body and that our body is, in some manner, the lesser of the two. We are told that those who use their minds are more deserving. Some of us are taught that bodily pleasures are dangerous and possibly evil. We learn to deny our bodily experiences, which include our emotions, positive or negative. We are offered adulterated food without nutritional value and ignore its sickening side effects. We are encouraged to ignore our body's perceptions of disease and to deal with them through drugs many of which only temporarily eradicate the symptoms of dysfunction.

As a consequence, our bodies, which are the vessel, the matrix of our life force and aliveness become strangers to us and seem to turn against us through illness, irrepressible fears, addictions to harmful foods and drugs, and through unexplained and seemingly perverted needs for sex, violence, gambling, drugs, pain and so on, which we cannot control.

A secure relationship with our bodies produces a sense of well being that can be dramatically interrupted by traumatic events such as emotional or physical abuse, torture, starvation or the violent death of a loved one. These traumas can produce fear disorders in which anxiety is out of control.

We feel that we are sick, unable to be in charge of our bodies, powerless over our cravings and emotions. We give up hope and commit slow or sudden suicide. Alcoholism is a prime example of this kind of joyless alienation and affects men disproportionately because menís early childhood training encourages them to disregard their feelings. Women, as a rule, have a better relationship with their bodies and emotions which immunizes them against addictions of all sorts.


We all have the capacity to develop our minds to understand the workings and facts of our world, to predict the outcome of events, and to solve problems. This capacity has been developed to a large degree by some people and becomes unavailable to others who are incapable of thinking in an orderly way. Mindlessness is the alienation from our minds, or capacity to think, solve problems or develop novel problem solving solutions.

Some people's consciousnesses become invaded with chaotic ideas which cannot be controlled. Others cannot keep thoughts fixed in their consciousness long enough to develop logical conclusions. Complete confusion and the utter terror of mental breakdown are the extreme form of this kind of alienation, which is often misdiagnosed as "schizophrenia."

Those who suffer from mind alienation have been dealt with in a harsh and unjust manner. Psychiatrists, known as "alienists" until the turn of the XXth century have used imprisonment, padded cells, straitjackets, hot-and-cold-water treatments, forced feeding, electrical shock, experimentation with dangerous drugs, and brain surgery as methods to "help" people who have shown extreme forms of alienation from their minds. These methods have been proven, one by one, to be totally ineffectual in anything but temporary control.

The principal causes of mindlessness are systematic lies and discounts which are characteristic of oppressive environments. We are all familiar with lies; a discount occurs when someone denies the validity of our experiences often by way of a lie. Systematic discounts and lies when we are alone, afraid, hungry or sickóin short, powerless--can combine to interfere with our thinking functions and can, if severe enough, lead to total mental breakdown.

When people's perceptions of mistreatment, deception, oppression or outright persecution, are ignored and squelched this most often leads to a confused state in which the person feels stupid and unable to think. Others can respond with large-scale obsessions which evolve their discounted perceptions into hyper-aware systems which become fantastic and unreal; at this point these fantasies are called "paranoid delusions."

A severe form of mental alienation is so-called "paranoid schizophrenia." Paranoid schizophrenia is a mental illness that has genetic origins but a lot of what goes under that diagnosis is not true schizophrenia but simply paranoia. Paranoid delusion's no matter how fantastic, are most always based on a kernel of truth, and that as why I have said that "paranoia is a state of heightened awareness."

Traditionally, psychiatry has dealt with paranoid ideation by further discounting its validity. In my experience, effective therapy encourages the expression of people's paranoid fantasies and seeks their possible, even if only partial validation by willingly searching for the grain of truth in them. Mindlessness, the alienation from our mind is best treated by replacing lies and discounts with truthfulness.

Power in the World

The opposite of alienation is power in the world. Regaining one's loving, mental and bodily powers involves, in equal parts: contact, awareness and action.


Contact: When joining hands in cooperation, people gain the power of working together and supporting each other in their common goals. Cooperative relationships require that power plays not be allowed, so that people do not lie or keep secrets from each other, and take responsibility for themselves and their actions while taking care of others. Only when we work cooperatively in an organized, coherent effort is it possible for us to make progress in the quest for empowerment. No one person can accomplish power in the world as long as she stands by herself, whether alone or in a crowd. That is why we seek contact and focus intensely on group process.

Awareness: The expansion of consciousness is the essence of awareness. Especially important is our understanding of the manner in which oppressive influences, including our inner Enemy operate to diminish our power. Awareness is an important, continuing task of empowerment. It is the accumulation of information, in the Adult ego state, about the world and how it functions. Awareness of the function and extent of different forms of oppression, like poverty, racism, sexism, ageism and class prejudice are especially important in overcoming alcoholism which affects the powerless and poor disproportionately.

A personís awareness is powerfully amplified by constructive informationófeedback--from other people. In this process, people will offer us their views concerning our behavior and how it affects others. People may also suggest how our behavior may be changed and corrected for the benefit of all. Giving and taking constructive feedback is an essential aspect of therapy and is greatly aided by the willingness to be self-critical and take responsibility and to accept and learn from other people's opinions.

Action. Action is the process whereby our awareness of things that need to be changed is put into effect. Contact alone, or contact and awareness, can lead to strong, increased subjective feelings of power. However, objective power in the world is different from subjective feelings of power and cannot result from awareness or contact alone. Awareness and contact must be translated into some form of action such as stopping drinking, changing friends, improving diet, exercising, relaxing and so on which changes the actual conditions in a person's life. Action implies risk and when a person takes risks, he may need protection from the fears and actual dangers that can result from that action. Potent protection in the form of actual alliances for physical or moral support are needed in effective action and are an essential aspect of contact. An effective therapist will insist on action and will provide potent protection.

Contact, awareness and action are the essential elements that together make it possible for people to reclaim their power and liberate themselves from their scripts. An affective therapist facilitates all three of these elements of empowerment. Alcoholics Anonymousí effectiveness is based on these elements; contact with their constant and available meetings, awareness with the various highly practical ideas about alcoholism and action with their demands for sobriety and the action aspects of the twelve step program.


Chapter 8: Transaction Analysis

Transactional Analysis was developed by Eric Berne in the earl y 1950's and since his death has branched into a variety of schools. I am a transactional analyst and I represent the branch of transactional analysis which adheres to Berne's definitions in his book Games People Play that I call "Stroke Centered Transactional Analysis."

This next chapter is an outline of that theory. It is not essential that you read it for the understanding of this book; the main features of TA that I use are explained in the relevant chapters. Nevertheless if you want to acquire a deeper understanding of the theory that informs my therapy, I recommend that you read this chapter.

Strokes: The Origin of Human behavior.

Just as we need food, water and air we need strokes to survive physically and psychologically.

Each stroke is a unit of human recognition. Research has shown that strokes are required for actual survival in young children and psychological survival and health in grows ups.( ) Strokes can be divided into positive and negative based on the subjective experience of the recipient; positive strokes feel good, negative strokes feel bad.

People generally prefer positive strokes but will seek and accept negative strokes when positive strokes are not available. When in a state of stroke deprivation, people will play games to acquire strokes and once these habits of stroke procurement are established people will seem to prefer toxic over healthy strokes.


Every interaction between people is made up of a series of back-and-forth social transactions. These strings of interactions can be usefully divided into two categories: competitive and cooperative. Competitive, adversarial interactions are transacted through power plays. Power plays are interactions designed to coerce others.


Games are power plays for strokes. They are habitual, dysfunctional patterns of stroke procurement, usually learned in the family early in life, which undermine health and human potential. In spite of the fact that they feel bad and are unhealthy, people continue to play games because they are habituated to them and provide them with a number of advantages. Most importantly, games provide much needed strokes.

Another "advantage" of games is that every instance of a game played reinforces and validatesómakes reasonable--the life script which is an overall plan acquired and sometimes consciously decided upon in early life. These scripts, the life long patterns built on habitual games will persist throughout a person's life unless they are changed through conscious re-decision. Alcoholism is the game of drunken behavior that supports the Alcoholism script of addiction and dissolution. Every episode of the game increases the credibility and probability of the scripted outcome. Conversely, giving up the Alcoholic game undermines the script. As Berne suggested it is like "closing up the show and putting a new one on the road."



Every stroke is a transaction and every transaction is a unit of recognition; a stroke. But transactions are more than strokes; they are, in addition, exchanges of information and can contain more information than a stroke does.

Transactions emanate from separate, distinct behavioral systems of the person, called egos states each with its own specialized function. Berne focused on three of these ego states: the Parent, the Adult, and the Child.

The ego states are separate, internally coherent patterns or behavioral systems in the normal human being. Berne called these systems "ego states" because they are manifestations of the ego as defined by Freud. Each ego state is associated with unique modes of perception, emotion and behavior. The three egos states are distinct enough so that it makes sense to hypothesize that they have a biological basis in distinct neural networks or "mind modules."

The three ego states are the visible, observable manifestations of the evolutionarily development of "expert" neural networks, each with a different function: The Adult is expert in predicting natural events, the Child is expert in maintaining emotional motivation and the Parent is expert in evolving value judgments.

The Adult: The Adult is the rational, logical, pragmatic, problem solving ego state. In effect, the Adult is a human biocomputer. It is devoid of powerful emotions, which tend to disrupt understanding and logic. Of the three ego states it is the most likely to have a specific brain correlate--the neocortex--which research shows, is the seat of imitation, language and abstract thinking. The neocortex has been shown to develop connections with other brain systems and can affect and modify them as well as be affected and modified by them.


The Adult operates on data fed into it, which it stores and uses to make computations according to a logical program. Even though the Adult has no strong emotions of its own it does however experience an important positive emotion associated with the pleasure of effective problem solving and a parallel negative emotion when problems defy solution. We have heard the story of Euclid's joy ("Eureka!") when he figured out, while taking a bath, how to tell gold plated lead from solid gold. Conversely we all know how unpleasant it is to struggle with an algebra or other sort of problem without success.


People may conclude from this that strong emotions are not good. But it means only that in order to operate logically we need to be able to keep emotions like anger, fear or guilt out of the Adult thinking process. On the other hand this does not mean that emotions are ignored by the Adult-in fact, information about emotions is important data for solving human problems.

When we say that the Adult functions separately from the emotions we only mean that emotions should not enter into the logical program of our biocomputer. When they do, the Adult's answers lose their objectivity and become biased. This doesn't mean that being logical is the best way to be at all times; in fact an excluding Adult can have a numbing effect on its owner and people around him.

The Adult computes all the facts fed into it. If the facts are up to-date, then the Adult's answers will be timely and superior to the solutions of the Child or the Parent. If the facts are incorrect the Adult computer will produce incorrect answers.

Sometimes the Adult stores data which has its source in the Child or in the Parent and which may be incorrect. This is known as contamination. The concept of contaminations of the Adult represents the neural connections between the neocortex and more primitive areas of the brain. Severe contaminations are caused by repeated traumas or dramatic events in the person's life. These events confuse the Child and the Child contaminates the Adult with erratic emotional information.

When contamination comes from the Parent, it is called a prejudice. For instance, Dr. Need is a physicist who is looking for a lab assistant to do very exacting, painstaking work with valuable equipment. In reviewing his applicants, he automatically disqualifies men because he believes men are innately clumsy and slow-moving, compared to women; skillful with their whole bodies rather than with their hands. This prejudice comes to Dr. Need's Adult from his Parent, and is a contamination because he has accepted it as a fact without checking it against reality.

The same unchecked acceptance of data can occur with information fed by the Child, usually based on the Child's fears or hopes. When extreme this type of Child contamination is called a delusion, For example, Masha is convinced that talk behind her back because she is clumsy and funny looking. In fact she is fairly graceful and attractive. When she was a teenager she was teased by her best friend who was jealous of her and called her ugly and stupid. Her Adult accepted that information and it obsessed her for years until she decontaminated her Adult when she realized it was incorrect.


Masha is a grown, adult woman yet her actions are governed by her frightened Child ego state. Being a mature human being or grown-up is not the same as being in the Adult ego state. Little children can be in their Adults, and well functioning grown-ups use their Parent and Child frequently.

The Child: The Child is the emotional ego state. All the primary emotions and their combinations: such emotions as anger, sadness, fear, shame, on one hand and love, joy, hope, on the other have their origins in the Child. Research shows that the emotional portions of the brain have the capacity to flood and disable the neocortex with stimulation in what can be interpreted as an asymmetrical relationship of dominance of Child over Adult. Transactional Analysis seeks to find a balance between the ego states by strengthening the Adult.


Everyone knows that we sometimes act like children. For example, at Joe's Bar, Vanya, in his Child after a couple of drinks is dancing with Masha. His bodily gestures and language are those of a boy of eight. He moves expansively, his arms and legs swing while he sings out loud. His experiences are those of an eight-year old; he not only reacts, thinks, talks, sees and hears like a boy, but he feels like one too, which is quite different from the way a person feels and thinks when in his Adult or Parent ego state.

When we are in the Child ego state, we aren't just putting on an act-we are really being children. We are three or five or eight years old, and only our muscles and bones are those of a grown-up. When the Child is hateful or loving, impulsive, spontaneous, or playful, we call it the Natural Child, Princess or Prince. When it is creative or imaginative, it is called the Intuitive Child or Little Professor. When it is fearful, guilty or ashamed, we call it the Adapted Child or Frog.

The Child is often accused of being the source of trouble because it is self-centered, powerful, and resists being suppressed. In TA, however, the Child is seen as the source from which the best in human beings comes; the only possible source for creativity, recreation, and procreation, the only source of renewal in life. When the Child is used for problem solving, it will create novel solutions based on intuition, but these solutions may not be as reliable as the fact-based Adult decisions.

The Child can be observed in children for extended periods of time, but also in grown-ups in situations where people have permission to let the Child out-like football games or parties. The Child will appear for short periods of time in other situations, such as board meetings, classrooms, or serious discussions, where it may or may not be welcome. In its most undesirable form, it completely dominates a person's life, as in the cases of persons who are severely emotionally disturbed, like alcoholics whose scared, angry or sad Child will drive them to virtual self-destruction through drinking. The sad Child may also appear for long periods of time in the form of depression, as in the case of people who have incurred a great loss. The scared Child can dominate the life of a person who has had severe traumatic experiences leading to anxiety disorders like social phobias. The angry Child of a person who has been abused can drive a grown up person into antisocial behavior.


The Parent: The Parent is the judging, tradition based, regulatory ego state. The Parent is like a tape recorder. It is a collection of prerecorded rules for living. When a person is in her Parent ego state she thinks, feels, and behaves like one of her parents or someone who took their place. The Parent decides without reasoning how to react to situations, what is a good or bad, and how people should live. The Parent is based on judgments and is therefore prejudiced, in favor or against certain people, ideas or actions.

One ego state can dominate a person to the exclusion of the other two. An example of this is that of the excluding Parent, which is when a person is unable to use their Child or Adult. This person is at a great disadvantage because in order to be a well-functioning human being, all the ego states must be available when needed. An example of the excluding or fixated Parent is Mr. Puskin, an alcoholic: "I haven't had a drink in ten years and I follow al the rules, but I can't have fun. People avoid me. My wife says I am boring and stuffy. I do the best I can, but I don't seem to be able to make friends. Everything seems to be okay, but I'm not happy". Mr. Puskin has to live without the benefit of his Child or Adult and is therefore cut of from two-thirds of his human potential.

The Parent can be divided into the Nurturing Parent and the Critical Parent. The Parent can be over controlling, oppressive and harsh, or tolerant, supportive, and tender. When the Parent is supportive, it is called the Nurturing Parent. When the Parent is oppressive it is called the Critical Parent. The Nurturing Parent is the Ally of the Natural Child against the Critical Parent


The Parent is often used to solve problems, but it must be remembered that it bases its decisions on tradition, so its information is usually at least 25 years behind the times. However it may be outmoded by as much as 250 or even 2500 years. The Parent is useful when having to make decisions about which there is no information to be computed by the Adult, or no time to use the Adult to think but even more importantly as the nurturing, healing life supportive aspect of the person. The Critical Parent's aim is to support life as well but it attempts to do that by controlling and using power plays; the Punitive Protector as Jude Hall has named it.


Understanding the difference between the Critical Parent and the Nurturing Parent is essential to the effective application of transactional analysis.


The Critical Parent vs. The Nurturing Parent. Patriarchal systems, highly dependent on the Critical Parent, have dominated human societies for millennia are. A world-wide struggle, starting at the end of the second millennium AD, seeks to replace patriarchy and its coercive methods with democracy, equality, universal human rights, cooperation and non-violence, in support of every person's goals. The premise of this movement in TA terms, is that the Child is OK, that every Child's needs are legitimate and that the best form of interaction is a non-violent, nurturing relationship.

This premise stands in contradiction with the function and assumptions of the Critical Parent, whose premise is that the Child is dangerously not OK (stupid, bad, crazy, ugly, sick or doomed) and in order to be educated requires physically and emotionally violent power plays, including especially, the curtailment of strokes. This cultural sea-change away from patriarchy and violence requires that the functions regulating the Child, heretofore performed by the Critical Parent, be performed by the Adult and Nurturing Parent instead.

It is therefore desirable to sharply limit the Critical Parent's control of human affairs. On the other hand, given the goals of transactional analysis--to improve people's lives by teaching them more effective ways of interacting--it is also essential to strengthen the Adult ego-state. Also important, since the Adult's interactions are not the most powerful source of strokes, is the strengthening of the Nurturing Parent. Equally important is the deconfusion and liberation of the Child.

The Nurturing Parent. The Nurturing Parent is as prejudiced as the Critical Parent except that instead of judging the person not OK it argues instead that the person is OK: smart, good, sane, beautiful, healthy and deserving and capable of succeeding and getting as many strokes as her or she needs. The Nurturing Parents is an essential ally of the therapist the ego state most capable of helping the unloved feel loved and generating hope in those who have lost it.


Ego states and Alcohol.

Each ego state represents an evolutionary achievement. Survival depends on the independent function of the three ego states in coordination with each other. The ego states seldom appear in their potentially pure and most effective form and are more usually "contaminated" or influenced by each other. Effective Adult functioning, detached from emotional and "irrational" influences and prejudices is essential to the contractual goals of transactional analysis. In alcoholism the Natural Child and Critical Parent or Enemy are usually alternatingly strong and the Adult in need of strengthening.

Alcohol has a specific effect on the mind and the ego states; as the person gets more inebriated the ego states are knocked out in sequence. First, alcohol eliminates the Parent ego state, that is the judgments and moral inhibitions, next it knocks out the Adult, the rational aspect and memory. This is what happens when the alcoholic blacks out and the Child is free to do as it pleases. If the drinking continues, then the Child may be knocked out next and the person will be unconscious.

In the Parentless and Adult-less state of the free Child, the alcoholic as in the case of the Lush player mentioned in Chapter 5 is able to go directly to those things he or she needs and wants-the strokes and sexual gratification, which aren't available and cannot be obtained unless the Parent and Adult are wiped out with alcohol.

Roles and Scripts

Everyone who habitually plays a game will eventually take every role of the game. Many roles have been identified, but three roles: the Persecutor, the Rescuer and the Victim appear in all games. Any one who plays one of the roles will eventually play the other two. Since the particular manner in which any one person performs these three roles are the daily building blocks of the script, giving up these roles will also facilitate the abandonment of the script.


The Analysis of Transactions

Transactions occur when any person relates to any other person. Any one person can relate from each of the three ego states. Transactions can proceed from the Parent, Adult, or Child of one person to the Parent, Adult, or Child of another person. Every Transaction is made up of a stimulus and response and when the stimulus and response occur between the similar ego states the transactions are called parallel. For example parallel transactions can occur between Parent and Parent, Child and Child and Adult and Adult. Parallel transactions also occur between Parent and Child (from P to C and back from C to P),

Sometimes transactions will involve three or four ego states, in which case they are crossed. In a crossed transaction the transactional response is addressed to an ego state different from the one which started the stimulus. Crossed transactions are important because they disrupt communication. Smooth communication can continue between ego states as long as transactions are parallel even if their content is unpleasant or unfriendly. This is useful to know because it can be used to figure out, in a string of transactions, precisely where communication was disrupted. Usually whenever a disruption of communication occurs, a crossed transaction caused it.

Covert Transactions

Transactions often have two levels: the social or overt level and the covert level. In covert transactions we say one thing and mean another, usually because we are ashamed of our Child's wishes and desires, but also because we wish to take advantage of others by lying. Nevertheless, we act on these shameful or wicked Child desires while we pretend to be in our Adults, doing otherwise. For instance, we may use smiling sarcasm instead of a direct expression of our anger. When we are scared, we may counterattack instead of admitting our fears.


When we want strokes, we often feign indifference-and we have trouble giving strokes to people when we want to. In fact, because lying is so prevalent between people and by politicians and advertisers, our lives are immersed in half-truths and deception so that we no longer clearly know how we feel and what we really want from each other. We also don't expect people to be completely honest so that we never really know whether we can trust them.


One basic aspect of games is their crookedness or covertness. In fact, a game is a recurring series of ulterior or covert transactions with a beginning, middle, and end, and a payoff. Let's look at a very common game people play: "Why Don't You, Yes But". This game is a good example of a game's beginning and end, and its two levels of communication.

Natalie and some friends are having a discussion over coffee while her husband Vanya is out with his friends discussing politics and drinking.

Natalie: "I'm so upset-I just don't know what to do about Vanya. He doesn't seem to be listening to me anymore, and he is always running out on me and getting drunk."

Friend 1: "Why don't you sit him down and have a serious talk? "

Natalie: "Yes, I've tried that, but he won't listen to me."

Friend 2: "You probably are spending too much time together. Why don't you take a vacation from each other?"

Natalie: "Yes, but we can't afford it."

Friend 3: "Well, why don't you just get a divorce?"

Natalie: "Yes, but what about the children?"

Friends (each thinking): I give up, this situation is hopeless...

Natalie (thinking): Nobody loves me.

Obviously, this conversation is something Natalie has been through many times and her friends have been through it many times as well; it is the type of conversation which occurs over and over again especially in therapy groups. On the social level, it appears to be a conversation between a person in her Adult ego state asking questions of a group of others who are also in their Adult ego states. However, Natalie does not accept any of the group's suggestions. The reason is that at the most important, psychological level, Natalie gets few strokes from her children and less from Vanya. She is stroke hungry and therefore must continue to seek them. In this game, because these strokes are being given deviously, they are not as satisfying to either Natalie or her friends as direct strokes would be. This is why the game ends on a note of frustration.

This game, as all games, has several motivating "payoffs" or advantages.


The biological advantage of a game is strokes; even though the game ends badly, both Natalie and her friends got a considerable number of strokes-both positive and negative-out of it.

The social advantage of a game is time-structuring. Natalie and her friends filled quite a bit of time which otherwise might have been very dull, with an exciting activity.

The existential advantage of a game is the way in which the game confirms the existential position of each player. The sad outcome of this game is that it appears to prove to Natalie, once again, that she is not lovable, just as her father said; and it proves to her friends that there is no use trying to help friends because they never accept advice anyway.


The Existential Position

Every person to some extent defines for himself early in life what the meaning of his life or existence is. Some definitions are simple such as: "I am a good person". Others are more complicated; people decide they are O.K. and are going to have a good life, many others decide they are not O.K. and will fail. With every game people confirm the validity of their existential position. In the above garden-variety game Natalie gets confirmation that no one loves her enough to help her with her problems and the others similarly are confirmed in their belief that people will never change.

Another example is Masha who often goes to bars and winds up in bed with a stranger who will soon disappoint her. Masha was told by her father that men are no good, and by implication that she would never meet a man who could love her. The sexual games that Masha plays confirm her father's predictions about her life. Every time a man disappoints her, she affirms in her own mind that, just like Daddy said, men are creeps and no one will truly love her. This is her existential position.

Keep in mind that games are always played with equal responsibility and interest by all the players so that all the men in her games play roles that are just as important as hers, and derive a payoff from it as well. Masha's men choose her at the bar suspecting that even if they "score" the affair will end in failure. What they want is strokes, but each man believes that she will either turn him down or that he will eventually have to turn her down. If he likes her, he will expect to be rebuffed. If she likes him, he will have to watch out because she is sure to have expectations which will eventually become nagging demands.

Either way, he never risks a disruption of his plan, which calls for failure with women. His existential payoff in the game is the confirmation of the validity of his decision that he would never succeed with a woman. This decision is part of a script of loneliness and lovelessness, which governs the lives of men and women with interlocking scripts who find each other in bars.


The principal activity of a transactional analyst is the analysis of transactions for the purpose of improving people's lives. This activity is pursued on the basis of a mutually agreed upon contract. This contract is pursued in a cooperative dialogue between the therapist and the patient or client.


Transactional analysis was designed for, and is ideally practiced, in groups.

Through the analysis of the information contained in transactions it is possible to understand human behavior and experience.Through the contractual modification of human interaction it is possible to purposively modify human behavior and experience.


Stopping game playing by avoiding the three basic game roles (Rescuer, Persecutor and Victim) and by learning how to get strokes directly is the fundamental process of transactional analysis. The three transactional operations in that process are permission, protection and potency. Permission to change the behaviors, protection from the Critical Parent and other influences that will resist or counteract the desired changes, and potency-the transactional analyst's information, skills and personal investment in the process.


These are the art, tactics and science that transactional analysis brings to the behavioral sciences. A potent transactional analyst will bring all additional available science and proven practice-based information to the completion of the contractual relationship with the patient or client.


Psychotherapy is all-to-often perceived as a purely verbal process in which the practitioner need only be present and contribute his or her excellent personality, wisdom and attuned attention. But transactional analysis is a contractual therapy in which a promise is made and expected to be kept. This requires difficult and at times exhausting action. It is difficult to run therapy groups, it is difficult to establish and assiduously pursue contracts. It is difficult to offer creative suggestions or to make contract driven demands. It is difficult to stay current on the research literature and to acquire regular supervision. Consequently many practitioners are satisfied to do only individual psychotherapy, passive and not always contractual hoping that kindness and intuitive analysis will suffice to effectuate a successful outcome. This approach is especially problematic with alcoholics as will be explained in later chapters.

Any health professional, regardless of training background, is required to avoid co-dependency, to practice empathy, attunement and kindness and to live a healthy exemplary life. It addition any competent health professional is required to stay in touch with well researched and validated areas such as substance use and abuse, diet, exercise, sexual and emotional abuse, spirituality, cognitive-behavioral techniques and information, neuroscience, evolutionary and developmental knowledge, theories of or research regarding childhood, adolescence, old age, death and dying, the law that applies to professional practice, ethics, personal therapy and to participate in ongoing supervision and training. In addition to all these basic requirements of any competent therapy it behooves the transactional analyst to make contracts, analyze transactions and stroking patterns and practice group psychotherapy. The therapist gives permissions to change and provides protection for those changes while maintaining focused attention on a satisfactory completion of the contract or "cure."



Chapter 9. Alcoholism; A Script That Can be Given Up.


In previous chapters, I have attempted to show that alcoholism is a game. In addition to being an addiction, a bad habit and a game, alcoholism, as I have said, is also a script.


A script is a life plan. It isn't unusual for people to make decisions about how they are going to live their lives and then stack by them. Young people decide to be firefighters nurses, engineers, lawyers, and police officers, and then stick to that decision. People also decide to get married or not to get married, to have no, one, two, or more children, to work hard or to be depressed, to commit suicide or to be alcoholic. Every one of these decisions becomes part of a life plan.


So the script is a life plan but it isn't just any life plan. It is a life plan, which is inflexible and self-destructive. Like the lines of a play, a script expects to be followed word by word from beginning to end and allows for very little improvisation; once we have signed up for a particular play we feel bound by ourselves and others to act the part to the bitter or happy ending.


Precisely as in a play, the script can be a drama or a melodrama, it can be exciting or boring, it can have a good or bad ending, and this will determine whether the audience leaves the theater smiling or with tears in their eyes. Depending on whether we put on a good or bad performance, the play will be forgotten as soon as it is over or it will be remembered for a few hours, a day, a lifetime, or generations. But even if the script is dramatic, epic, triumphant or appears to have a good ending it is still a captive performance, unfree and limiting.

Regardless of the audience's reaction, whether it is harmful or beneficial or whether we read its lines lamely or convincingly, we feel compelled to stay, to continue, to finish. We can't think of anything to do other than to remain in the security of the stage, repeat the well-worn opening lines of the familiar games and stick to scripted outcomes even as we realize that we don't want to be there and that we are wasting our lives.

The striking similarities between dramatic scripts and our lives were observed by Eric Berne, who incorporated the analyses of people's life scripts into his early writings on Transactional Analysis. Karpmanís Drama Triangle (See Chapter 3) made the transactional nature of scripts palpable by reducing the roles to three Rescuer, Persecutor and Victim and highlighting the constant circular switching between them.

After many years of work with scripts, my own interest has narrowed to how people change and how we can give up scripts. Who wrote the script, why we decided to be players in it, and even what the script is called, are not nearly as interesting to me now as how I can help myself and others to look up from our tightly held libretto and, as the audience watches in astonishment, turn on our heels and, ignoring the protests of other players, directors, and producers, walk to the backstage alley leaving the show behind as we search for a genuine, autonomous, and spontaneous way of life.


Specifically the script of alcoholism, which we are all so familiar with, can be given up as well. The alcoholic can decide to change his life. Because my interest has become focused on how to give up the script, this book will deal with script analysis very differently than my previous books and will reveal in more practical detail the way I carry out script analysis.

Briefly however here is the theory behind my alcoholism work:

Starting from the premise that alcoholism is a game as well as an addiction, my first priority is to stop the game. That requires, first and foremost, a commitment to complete sobriety for a substantial period of time (one year minimum)

Stopping the drinking will strongly weaken the components of the game. Understanding the game will help as well so I will explore the components of the game with the client. Who are the players in it? What are the opening gambits? How does the game end? How are the roles of Rescuer, Victim and Persecutor played? How does the game procure strokes for the players? How does it help structure time? What other games does the person play to reinforce or substitute for the alcoholic game?


As the game intensity and frequency diminishes it is an important short-term strategy to find better strokes and ways of structuring time. AA is an excellent for this phase; meetings are plentiful, people are friendly and time can be passed fruitfully.

Reducing the alcoholic game and its potential substitutes begins to undermine the life script or plan. This can trigger an existential crisis filled with anxiety and depression. In all likelihood the patient will have a problem filling time and finding a new purpose to substitute for the script. New friendships, relationships, activities, goals free of Drama Triangle roles have to be built up to replace the old script patterns. There might be drinking relapses, which will have to be fielded, and the damaged controlled. The healing process can be painful; even as the alcoholic is getting better he or she may feel worse and yearn to return to the fog of alcoholism.

Time and nature will weigh in. Physical health will improve, coffee, sugar and cigarette addictions may have to be addressed. Diet and exercise will improve the chances that nature will take its curative course. Some of the deeper issues that have been avoided by drinking will come to the forefront. Childhood experiences and decisions will illuminate present behavior. The short term goals and decisions will be replaced by long term ones. In time the alcoholism can be healed.



Chapter 10. The Two Parents


Parental Influences

A major determinant of the choices we have and make as children is who our parents were and how they behaved toward us. If our parents love us and are glad to have us, make room for us, feed and cuddle and pay attention to us and protect us from harm, trust us give us protection to explore the world and do not have any preconceived ideas of what we must or must not do, then our choices will be many and varied and our creative Child impulses will be allowed to express themselves. But if our parents had us by accident, are not glad to see us come into the world, have no room for us, ignore us resent its, mistrust us, and are afraid for us, then they'll want to channel our lives into narrow, preconceived paths and will give us few choices.

Why we treat our children the way we do is related to our own circumstances. A woman whose husband is an alcoholic may not want another child-least of all a boy. She may resent him and punish him for fear that he will grow to be mean and irresponsible like his father. Or she may love the boy and want to protect him from the world's lessons by keeping him isolated and fearing his every independent move. Or, most likely, she will have mixed feelings alternating between the two extremes.


The qualities of the parents and other influential adults around us when we are children will no doubt be incorporated into out personalities and affect us later in life. I would like to focus on two essential aspects of our parent's way of being, which has much to do with our choice of scripts and explains their persistence in our lives.


If our parents relate to us mostly from a nurturing, loving, accepting, protecting, Parent ego state, then we will see our mother or father as being loving, nurturing, and protective, and our own Parent ego state will be a loving, nurturing and protective ally. If our parents relate to us in an angry, demanding, impatient, controlling, careless, jealous, competitive Child ego state, then our Parent ego state will in turn be an angry, demanding, careless and competitive enemy. The Parent ego state that we learn as children will be primarily a replica of the behavior that our parents exhibited toward us when we were children.


The Nurturing Parent or Ally. This Parent ego state holds the view that people are OK and need to be given free rein. It is a care-taking ego state that wants to protect people, feed them, clothe them, shelter them, and protect them from harmful influences. It provides for the necessities of life while it encourages self-determination. When it doesn't succeed, it becomes sad and worried.

The Critical Parent or Enemy. This ego state believes that people are not OK and need to be controlled into doing what is right. It is a controlling ego state, concerned with preventing people from doing certain things and manipulating them into doing certain others. It is willing to use force and all manner of power plays to achieve its purpose. When it doesn't succeed, it becomes angry and violent.


One of these two Parent ego states, critical or nurturing, dominates the small family world in which we were brought up, but no family is completely devoid of the other. As we learn our daily lessons from our parents and other influential people around us, they are incorporated into our own personality and when we finally leave childhood and our parents behind, these two Parent ego states remain inside of us to become major influences in our behavior. We will perpetuate the way our parents treated us in our treatment of our own Child ego state, our children and of people all around us.

Our own spontaneous, aware and intimate selves will be treated either with nurturing or with harsh criticism by our Ally or Enemy. We will also treat others, especially those whom we see as children-with the same nurturance or harshness we were familiar with as children. In this manner we will perpetuate the influences of our childhood in ourselves, in our children, and on other people. Because of this, the study of the Ally and the Enemy is essential to the understanding of scripts and of alcoholism.


Readers must not confuse the discussion of the Nurturing and Critical Parents with a discussion of actual parents. The Ally and the Enemy are ego states which exist in everyone to a lesser or larger degree. We are interested in the Ally and Enemy in the parents of people because they are the main influence in scripting.

Princes, princesses, fairy god mothers and witches.

Eric Berne once said "People are born princes and princesses until their parents turn them into frogs." It is as if the newborn child is faced, not just with father and mother, but with a complicated cast of characters made up of all the ego states of parents, brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and grandparents. There will be fun-loving, sad, creative, studious or intuitive children and adults; but there will also be loving, protective fairy godmothers and godfathers, and wicked, abusive ogres and witches. Just as in childhood fairy tales, these characters are of major importance in our early lives and remain important throughout our lives.


When and if they enter our lives these real-life witches and ogres lay various "curses" on us. They tell us what we are going to do and what is going to happen to us. They prohibit us from thinking so that we must drink to solve our problems, or they disallow our feelings so that we carry them around bottled up, waiting for an excuse to pull the cork and let them go. They prohibit us from acting, threatening punishment of eternal sleep or being turned into frogs or ugly ducklings. In short, they frighten us into giving up our birthright of aliveness and settle for an approved life path in which choices are made for us rather than by us. 

Many people try to rebel against this tyranny. Some of us, with the help of fairy godmothers or godfathers succeed in escaping the curse. But most of us choose to give in and become comfortable frogs. We wait until we leave the ancestral home to find the one who will give us the magic kiss that will turn us back into our original princely shape.


An afternoon at the supermarket

Most fathers and mothers will use both Parental ego states at different times. The point is not that mother was an Ally or father was an Enemy, the point is that they related to their child from one or the other ego state at important times which set precedents in the child's scripting. No parent is all good or all bad, though some are extreme. Witness, for instance, the thousands of yearly cases of child abuse in this country alone. Extreme nurturance exists too, of course but does not often make the headlines. Let us look at these two protagonists-the Nurturing Parent or Ally and the Critical Parent or Enemy-as they act in our everyday lives.


As a transactional analyst I am always interested in analyzing transactions. There is an easily available place to observe nurturing and critical Parent in action; a supermarket on a busy Friday afternoon Tired by a hard day's work, dazed by the rows and rows of hypnotically designed packages, mothers and fathers cart their children through the isles ms they try to get the next week's shopping done. The children want candy, cookies, potato chips, and lollypops. They want to be carried, or they want to push the cart, or they want to ride in it and throw its contents back onto the shelves. They ask questions, beg to be held, cry, interrupt, get lost, break jars of mayonnaise or honey as they exercise their drive toward spontaneity, awareness, and intimacy. Regardless of how exhausted they are, we can still clearly see two patterns of Parent behavior: nurturance and harshness, sometimes exclusive of each other, sometimes following one another in rapid sequence, sometimes bursting out in furtive excesses of anger or love.

One mother, alone with a one-year-old and a four-year-old speed demon is trying to decide between Purox or Clorex. The older boy tugs at her pant leg and shakes a box of animal crackers against her thigh. The little one sitting in the cart is drooling all over her purse as he sucks on a overripe peach which mother reluctantly let him have after she gave in to his insistent whining. "Stop it!" she begs while she tries to compare prices and contents. "Stop it, stop it, I said." The anklebiter is undaunted. She squats down.

"Please, would you stop it? What do you want? Can't you see Iím trying to shop?" There is strain and desperation in her voice. Yet her free hand cradles his head gently and her anger is not really directed at him. He starts crying. The peach splats on the linoleum next to them. Anger flashes in mother's eyes as she straightens up. The little one is startled and frightened; motherís tight-lipped anger melts as she wipes his face and gives him a kiss. "You nut" she says, "I'm going to flip out. Let's get out of here." 

A woman enters from the sidelines.

"Cut! That was good. I think we can use it. Let's try the Enemy now. Take it from the top." She disappears. We are back to the beginning of the scene. "Action!"

"Stop it!" This time the mother's voice is harsh. Her leg pushes the child away as her hand slaps his and knocks the crackers out of it. She squats down and grabs his arm, shaking him. "Can't you see I'm trying to shop? What do you want? She pushes him away. "Get those back where you got them. And don't you start crying." She hits him on the butt with her open hand, propelling him away from her. "Splat" goes the peach. She bolts up tight lipped "No, No!" She furiously tears up a package of paper towels and, with teeth clenched, roughly wipes the little one's face and then the floor. Her face stony, she wheels the cart away. There is an ominous feeling left behind as she turns into the next aisle. The cries of the children fade into the noisy shopping background. 

The above is a birds-eye view, as it were, of the difference between the Enemy and the Ally.

Let us now make a more detailed analysis of in which the interplay between the Enemy and the Ally can be more easily seen. (The dialogues are annotated for future reference)

Michael's school grades have arrived and the family is having dinner around the table. Father has had a couple of drinks.

Father: (angry) "Well, Tom, it looks like you are not going to make it to college after all." (1)

Michael: (surprised) "What do you mean?" 

Father throws the report on the table.

"Look at these. What are you trying to do? Are you trying to get an award for the lowest grades in history?"(2)  

Michael: "That bitch Mrs. Spruce! She's picking on me again. I worked real hard on that essay, and she still gave me an F." 

Father: "Don't swear at the goddamn table, and don't try to blame it on the teacher. I haven't seen you do any homework for weeks. All I can tell you is this: if you aren't even going to graduate from high school, (3) you had better start looking for a job real quick. (4) I'm not supporting a bum (5) around this house." 

Michael: "I don't need you to support me. Iíll get a job-don't worry."

Father: "Sure, lots of luck. (6) Let's hope that you keep it longer than you kept your summer job. That lasted exactly a week. You'd better get going on something around here, or there is going to be hell to pay."

In the above exchange, Michael's father was acting as the Enemy. Let us see how the Ally would handle the situation.


Father: (worried) "Tom, lets talk about your grades. (1) (He pulls the report out of his pocket and lays it in front of the boy. This doesn't look too good. What's going on, Michael?" (2

Michael picks up the card and looks at it intently while father waits. 

Michael: "That bitch, Mrs. Spruce-she's picking on me l worked real hard on that essay, and she stall gave me an F." 

Father: "There's no point blaming the teacher for this. What happened? Why are your grades so low? (3)"


Michael: "Well, I'm trying to study, Dad. I just don't seem to be getting anywhere. I put a lot of work into that essay and it still wasn't good enough." 

Father: "Well, I haven't seen you do much homework in the last month Maybe you're working hard, but perhaps you're not working hard enough. Or maybe you need some help. (4) You had better do something, though, because it looks to me like you are not going to be able to graduate and I'm worried (5) that you won't be able to land a job the way things are nowadays."

Michael: "Don't worry, Iíll get a job." 

Father: "Well, I am worried, and I think it is important that you take this school business a little more seriously because things are rough out there, and they are even rougher for people who don't finish high school. Maybe I can help you with your homework." 

Michael: "Sure. When you come home from work, you are too tired and you want to read the paper or watch TV. You never listen to what I tell you, you wouldn't be able to help me with my homework. 

Father: "I know what you're saying is true, and I know it is a problem, (6) but I think we had better get on this before things get really bad and you do flunk out of high school. Let's give it a try. What do you say?"

Contrasting these two examples, we see how Michael's father, in the Enemy role, attributes failure and scares Michael by suddenly bringing up the topic of his grades (1) Next he ridicules (2) and soon again attributes failure to (3), threatens (4), and insults (5) Michael. This is followed by sarcasm (6) and renewed threats.


In the Ally role, Michael's father avoids threats, insults, and sarcasm. He avoids scaring Michael, and he does not attribute failure to him. Instead, he brags up the subject carefully and gently, (1) he asks question (2), (3), he suggest solutions (4), talks about his feelings (5), and accepts some responsibility for the problem (6).


Let's look at an example relating to drug abuse.

Uncle Boris and Joan are having a conversation which he brings around to drugs. 

Boris: "If there's one thing I can't stand it's seeing those kids racing around in their cars and drinking beer. It makes me sick."

Joan: "Well, you drive around and smoke marijuana; what are you complaining about?" 

Boris: "Thatís different. Marihuana doesn't affect your driving. You can actually drive better when you are stoned. Anyway, I don't smoke it that much. Those kids probably drink and smoke and do uppers and downers all at once." 

Joan: "They drink because it's the only thing they can buy to get high on."


Boris: "Yeah, that's all they can think of. Getting high, sex, and cars. Seems to me that when I was their age, I had better things on my mind. These kids don't seem to have any brains at all. Why do you defend them-are you drinking too?

Joan: Tight lipped, says nothing

Boris: "Come on, don't lie to me. I know you are! You are just like all the others." 

Joan: "There you go again, I hate you! You always start these arguments in that sneaky way of yours. Leave me alone." 

Now let's try the nurturing approach. 

Boris: "I'm really surprised to see that all the kids are going back to drinking alcohol again I thought the young people had gotten some sense. I'm really disappointed to see all of that come back. Do you drink alcohol, Joan?"

Joan: "Sure I do. What do you think? It's the only thing there is to get high." 

Boris: "But don't you realize that alcohol is really harmful and that you can get addicted to it?" 

Joan: "What am I supposed to do-smoke marijuana like you do? For one thing, it's illegal. For another, it's hard to get. For another, my friends aren't into it. So what am I supposed to do-borrow a joint from you and get stoned by myself?" 

Boris: "I don't know what to tell you I just know that drinking and driving is very dangerous. I don't like the pattern that I see your friends in, and I hoped you wouldn't get involved in it." 

Joan: "Well, Iím not all that involved in it, and I don't actually like to drive with the kids while they are drinking. We actually do smoke marihuana anyway, but there is very little I can do except to avoid the gang, and sometimes I actually do that. Some of my friends and I really don't like it at all, and we often stay away from the whole thing."

Boris: "Well, I can see that it's a problem any way you look at it. Drugs will always be a problem, I suppose. Let me know if there is anything I can do, and please take care of yourself." 

Joan: "Thanks. Iíll keep that in mind, and Iíll take care of myself. Donít worry." 

These exaggerated examples of Critical Parent and Nurturing Parent behavior illustrate the way in which the Enemy makes categorical not-OK. judgments of others, predicts not-OK outcomes, attributes noxious features to people, and attempts to control behavior without a real understating of what it is dealing with. In contrast, the Ally tries to protect children from harm, assumes people are O.K., expects O.K. outcomes, presupposes that people are well intentioned and cooperative, and attempts to guide people's lives not through control but through negotiation and encouragement


The alcoholic's Enemy typically persecutes its owner with insults (You're drunk, weak-willed, stupid) injunctions (Don't think, don't trust, don't feel) and attributions (Once a drunk, always a drunk. You'll never straighten out"). In the face of such harassment, the Ally will counter with strokes (you're strong and smart), permissions (Think, trust, feel) and positive attributions (You will change, you can be completely O.K."). For a more elaborate exploration of these Parental influences see my book Scripts People Live.

Combined with a well-informed Adult and fun-loving, joyful Child, the Ally is a positive influence in people's lives. In contrast, the Enemy is usually combined with an inhibited, constricted Adapted Child and whether or not it is connected with a knowledgeable Adult, the combination of Enemy and Adapted Child is conducive to the formation of scripts. Eventually the child incorporates the Critical Parent and then proceeds to deal with others and his or her own Child ego state in the same manner in which his parents taught him. Eventually the Enemy becomes the repository of all the not-OK messages, the prison guard that jails the child's awareness, intimacy, and spontaneity and which prevents thinking about or making the changes which might abolish the script and redirect life in a more workable direction. What this has to do with healing alcoholism will be explored in depth in Part Three of this book.

Go on to BOOK 3?

Return to home?