I'm OK, You're OK
by T. Harris
The basic premise of this book is that almost
everyone when still a child decided that 'I'm not OK and you are OK'. This
flaw in personal worth assessment is the grounds for much non-productive
work. That is, the person who has a not OK self-image has a powerful internal
force limiting the free exchange of feelings and ideas.
Dr. Harris defines the terms - parent, child, and adult - in a specific way. A child (emotions) is that memory portion of a person that recalls the feelings experienced in the first five years of life. A parent (rules) is the memory recording of the instructions and action guides that person's parents gave in the first five years of their life. The adult (reasoning) is the reasoning portion of a person's mind and the reality adjustments that the person has learned to make.
So every person has a child, a parent, and an adult capable of controlling that person's actions in a transaction. The child, when in control, often expresses emotions discordant with the circumstances. The parent, when in
control, issues directives overly rigid and confining. The adult,
when in control, seems to be ideal.A balance of parental knowledge, child-like
wonder (access to emotion), and resonong from present circumstances to current
desires with concommitant awareness.
What is the block that most people have? Dr. Harris answers the existence of the not OK child. By this, he means that in our present day-to-day existence, the feelings of our memory (from the not OK child) come to the surface. What calls them to the fore? I imagine the answer lies in certain superficial resembalances between when the feeling was first recorded and the present.
Surgery on epileptic patients were cited to show a link between memory of an instance and the feeling experienced at the recording instance. This seems dubious support for the transactional analysis position of separation of child and parent.
The pyschological theories are very interesting, but I must say that I think Dr. Harris didn't put enough meat on the bones of his theory. Is the child all memories? What evokes