Transactions according to type
In the course establishing a contract, I seek to determine for myself, as therapist, at least tentatively, what the client’s character type is, because it is crucial for identifying patterns of harmful, repetitive transactions.
Obviously Type I and Type II persons are likely to engage in what we call “complementary’ transactions, whereby Type I will seek advice (Child to Parent of the other) and Type II will be glad to give advice (Parent to Child of the other). So, for a while, an Undersure and an Oversure person may get along beautifully.
Eventually, however, either one or the other may not be as motivated to function according to type as is the other. So there may come a time when Undersure, whose Child expects support from Oversure, may be disappointed because Oversure may be using the Critical Parent instead of the Rescuing Parent or, – worse! Oversure wants to use his own Child (or Adult) for a change. The result is a crossed transaction. Similarly Oversure, eagerly dispensing advice to Undersure, may feel “discounted” (i.e. not suffiently appreciated) if Undersure responds rebelliously or wants to use his own Parent for a change. It is easy to imagine any number of variations of the painful frustration can occur for either type when seeking to communicate with the other in a way that once seemed satisfactory but now fails to generate the desired responses. If either partner or both operate at a “third degree” level, crossed transactions can lead to very dangerous behavior. Communication can become just as bad or worse between two persons of a similar type if they operate on a “third degree” level. After enjoying much agreement for a while, two Type II persons may eventually become too competitive, or two Type I persons may feel let down by the other at crucial times, and sink into depression.