Structural analysis leads to some surprising conclusions concerning “normal” people, which are nevertheless in accord with competent clinical judgment.
In structural terms, a “happy” person is one in whom important aspects of the Parent, the Adult, and the Child are all syntonic with each other…
The following anecdote illustrates the structure of the “happy” personality carried to its logical end:
A young man came home one day and announced to his mother: “I’m so happy! I’ve just been promoted!”
His mother congratulated him, and as she got out the bottle of wine she had been saving for such an occasion, she asked him what his new appointment was.
‘This morning,” said the young man, “I was only a guard at the concentration camp, but tonight I’m the new commandant!”
“Very good, my son,” said his mother, “see how well I’ve brought you up!”
In this case, Parent, Adult, and Child were all interested in and gratified by his career, so that he met the requirements for “happiness.”
He fulfilled his mother’s ambitions for him with patriotic rationality while obtaining gratification of his archaic sadism.
In this light, it is not so surprising that in real life many of these people were able to enjoy good music and literature in their leisure hours.
His distasteful example raises some serious questions about certain naive attitudes concerning the relationship between happiness, virtue, and usefulness, including the Greek aspect of “good workmanship.”
It is also an effective illustration for people who want to know “how to raise children” but cannot specify clearly what they want to raise them to be.
It is not enough to want to raise them to be “happy”.
Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy
Eric Berne (1910 – 1970) was a Canadian-born psychiatrist who created the theory of transactional analysis as a way of explaining human behavior.
Berne‘s theory of transactional analysis was based on the ideas of Freud but was distinctly different.
Freudian psychotherapists focused on talk therapy as a way of gaining insight to their patient’s personalities.
Berne believed that insight could be better discovered by analyzing patients’ social transactions.
Berne was the first psychiatrist to apply game theory to the field of psychiatry.