I still don’t know what I was waiting for

And my time was running wild

A million dead-end streets

Every time I thought I’d got it made

It seemed the taste was not so sweet

(omitted material)


(omitted material)

Time may change me…

So sang David Bowie on his 1971 album Hunky Dory.

One of the puzzles in counselling work has been why clients find it so difficult to make changes that they clearly want for their own good. Sometimes changes are totally resistant or only occur with time and the mellowing of older age. Ego State theory developed by Eric Berne in Transactional Analysis in 1957 helps understanding of this. Loosely based on Freud’s multifaceted personality theories, Ego State theory explains how people can have several opposing strands of motivation running at different levels in the personality  at the same time and some of them outside of  awareness. Berne called the ego states the Parent, the Adult, and the Child. Berne explained how experiences and decisions formed at the Child level remained locked in and dominating of life outcomes in adulthood.

Redecision therapy was developed in 1965 by Bob and Mary Goulding. This therapy is based on the assumption that if decisions are made in chilhood in emotional situations,then redecisional changes are best made by re-invoking those emotional scenarios often in role play situations. The therapy is a combination of Transactional Analysis,Gestalt Therapy, and Cognitive Therapy.The therapist offers support for the making of more self-enhancing beliefs at all levels of personality.However, because of the intense emotions often invoked, this therapy is only suitable for clients with good ego strength who can well integrate the material.

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