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I'm Ok---you're Ok [Paperback]

Thomas Harris
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 24 2004

Transactional Analysis delineates three observable ego-states (Parent, Adult, and Child) as the basis for the content and quality of interpersonal communication. "Happy childhood" notwithstanding, says Harris, most of us are living out the Not ok feelings of a defenseless child, dependent on ok others (parents) for stroking and caring. At some stage early in our lives we adopt a "position" about ourselves and others that determines how we feel about everything we do. And for a huge portion of the population, that position is "I'm Not OK -- You're OK." This negative "life position," shared by successful and unsuccessful people alike, contaminates our rational Adult capabilities, leaving us vulnerable to inappropriate emotional reactions of our Child and uncritically learned behavior programmed into our Parent. By exploring the structure of our personalities and understanding old decisions, Harris believes we can find the freedom to change our lives.

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About the Author

The late Thomas Harris was a Navy psychiatrist and a professor at the University of Arkansas. He practiced psychiatry in Sacramento, California and directed the Transactional Analysis Association.

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Throughout history one impression of human nature has been consistent: that man has a multiple nature. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We're all OK, but is that enough today? Jan. 26 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In answer to the usual question, "Yes, I do read all of these books-- every page." I admit that sometimes I want to do like the friar in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and "skip a bit, brother," but I always persevere...that is, with the books you see talked about in these pages. For every one that gets covered here, there's usually another that I started and I haven't managed to finish yet. I have a friend in Los Angeles who used what he called the "10% Rule," which somehow how to do with making it 10% of the page count of the book. Personally, if I'm not enjoying a book enough to continue, I just put it aside. Sometimes I restart them; more often than not, they languish.
This self-help book by Harris was a recommendation from the Lutheran minister who married Jill and I. It was a requirement of his that we do some pre-marital counseling with him before he would conduct the ceremony, and though neither of us felt it necessary, we humored him in this request. As it turned out, we enjoyed the experience, because it helped us talk about some things that we had conveniently swept under the rug for the many years we had spent together. We also enjoyed the little self-assessment test that he made us take-- we maxed out the "Equality" section, an indication of how much we view each other as full partners in our relationship.
I wish I could say the same thing about I'm OK - You're OK, but it just wasn't as much fun or as enlightening as even that simple test. I felt that the book was extremely dated, and, given my feeling of equality as an important issue, quite sexist in its own way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars im ok,youre ok July 8 2014
By LMuenz
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a book that I had many,many years go and now with studying registered psychiatric nursing it is a book I would like to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well known book's rep live on ... July 2 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I received this book in slightly less than satisfactory condition. But the seller was quit prepared to refund my money No matter the book was great to read and left me feeling good about myself. It was reccommended by a friend as being an older but great book to read and was.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Using the Transactional Analysis theory first introduced by Dr. Eric Berne, Dr. Thomas A. Harris has published the results of his pioneering work in this best selling book. This is probably one of the best books that explains how to use this theory in improving all kinds of personal relationships.
Dr. Harris starts off by going into the history of Transactional Analysis and the theories of those before Dr. Eric Berne. The second chapter explains the basic of Transactional Analysis which is the concept of the Parent, Adult, and Child ego states that are supposed to compose each and every one of our personalities. The Parent ego state contains all the information we accept as true that we have gathered from authority figures including our parents. The Adult ego state is the collection of all information that we have proven to ourselves as being true (using some sort of logic). The Child ego state is our natural good and bad side of feelings - love, anger, greed, empathy, etc. The author extensively uses the phrase P-A-C (Parent-Adult-Child) through the rest of the book.
Dr. Harris then introduces the concept of the four different life positions that each of us adopts at any given time. All of us apparently go through four life positions ending up with the last one in a sequential manner except some of us get stuck in the earlier stages (this results in problems that typically need therapy). These four positions are -
1. I'm Not OK, You're OK
2. I'm Not OK, You're Not OK
3. I'm OK, You're Not OK
4. I'm OK, You're OK
The next few chapters of the book focus on the fact that we can change no matter what stage we are stuck in and the theory behind how to change.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very good book. Nov. 21 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book, and I would have to say that it is one of the best tools in understanding how and why people act the way that they do. I work with the public every day, and was at my wit's end with my customers and the way that they act. After reading this book I have a deeper understanding of their and my inner workings and have found my work life to be more productive and less confrontational. Great book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very stimulating and enlightening book! Dec 13 2000
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand his or her behaviour in situations.
The "A-Ha" feeling you get when you start reading it comes when you understand why so-and-so makes you feel small or angry and why certain situations make you start playing some game.
It discusses the basic terminologies and vocabulary needed and then goes on to discuss in different social contexts and developmental contexts the application of Transaction Analysis.
This is not just a vague psychology book like Freud. It is extremely practical and insightful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It works July 5 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a must read for people who want to understand themselves and other people better. I agree that the idea of child-adult-parent may not reflect the exact way how our brains work but it provides an easy-understandable terminilogy to describe and think about our behaviour. The most interesting thing in any reading is not just getting some information but thinking about what you read and this book opens you a new way to do it. It really works for me, thanks to Thomas Harris and Eric Berne.
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