It is possible to break free of old patterns and change for the better?
Rose Tinted Spectacles?
Everyone takes their own unique view on life. A few people see it through rose-tinted spectacles, although most of us take a less colourful view. You could say everyone has a pair of spectacles tinted to their individual ‘prescription’.
Counsellors and psychotherapists tend to like people; it certainly helps in their field of work. The similarities and differences between people can be truly fascinating.
Another name for how people view the world is ‘Life Script’. This term was adopted by Eric Berne, who developed Transactional Analysis in the 1960s. His theory, which has subsequently been developed by others, is today widely used by counsellors, psychotherapists, teachers, managers, parents, health workers, and people interested in personal development and communication.
The theory says that when we are young we make decisions about ourselves, other people and about life. These decisions will vary depending upon individual personality, the parenting received and the culture that the individual grew up in. These decisions will affect the pattern of a person’s life and go to make up their Life Script.
“To live out our Life Script we develop a Frame of Reference,” explains Counsellor and TA Psychotherapist Leilani Mitchell “This is the way we view the world, through our own pair of spectacles.”
Paul provides a good example of this. He grew up in a household where there was lots of arguing. He was not set clear boundaries and was left to his own devices much of the time. Paul felt unable to cope but had no support; his parents constantly let him down and did not protect him.
Over time Paul came to the conclusion ‘The world is a scary place and people cannot be trusted.’ This then became part of his frame of reference ( or view of the world).
He lived his life noticing when life was scary and people let him down and not noticing (known as discounting) when he felt safe and supported.
Unconsciously Paul set up situations to prove himself right. He got into relationships with people who are unreliable and let him down; he spent time watching scary films and put himself in dangerous situations. Each time one of these things happened Paul said to himself, ‘You see the world is a scary place and people let me down.’ It became self-fulfilling.
What will the future hold for Paul? He may continue in the same frame of reference and fulfil his Life Script by dying a scared lonely man or he may break free of his script and find happiness.
Everyone has a life script and frame of reference. Often these are unconscious and we may need some help from a counsellor to identify them.
When people find themselves feeling a familiar bad feeling they might find it useful to explore whether they are be setting up situations and looking through their established negative frame of reference to ‘prove’ the expected outcome.
We all have choices but are sometimes not aware of these choices because unconsciously we believe something to be true when it may well not be. With a belief in our ability to do things and to change we are far more likely to succeed.
For further information on Transactional Analysis….
Leilani Mitchell Dip Couns, CTA, UKCP Rec Psychotherapist, PTSTA
The Link Centre www.thelinkcentre.co.uk
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