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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.


Frequently Bought Together

I'm Ok---you're Ok + Games People Play: The basic handbook of transactional analysis. + Scripts People Live: Transactional Analysis of Life Scripts
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Product Description

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.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Throughout history one impression of human nature has been consistent: that man has a multiple nature. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pop Psychology Jan. 28 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The author starts the book with a chapter on experiments that were performed, involving electrical stimulation to certain areas of exposed brains during surgery. These experiments purportedly yielded some of the first and most important discoveries ever made into how our minds work. Then he uses the findings to explain the rest of his theories. But, further research by me into these claims showed that the claims were exaggerated, speculative and did not have the acceptance of modern day neuroscientists. I continued reading the book making allowances for the fact that nuggets of Truth may still be hidden under mounds of speculation and media hype.
The author borrows from Eric Berne, MD, the ideas of Transactional Analysis, which assumes the basic scientific unit of psychotherapeutics to be 'The Transaction'; and the concept of 'Parent' 'Adult' and 'Child'. Then Dr Harris theorizes that we live our lives according to one of four life positions.
While all this may seem to be true at the first glance, a moment of rumination indicates that this is a gross simplification of the human nature. It is indeed audacious on the part of Dr Harris to categorize all the 5 Billion plus individuals into four, albeit dynamic, basic types. Like a modern day 'scientific' version of the 12 zodiac signs, readers are sure to go through the book minutely wanting to classify themselves into the categories and seeking to look into their own nature and their angst ridden past present and future.
Next he seems to say, "Wait, you are not condemned to live in any one of these four categories, you can change. Come to me, I shall teach you how..".
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Are you Ok Aug. 26 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a simple catchall book. However cursory as the detail is about achieving the state of all round OKness, many of us, myself included were helped by this book. it illustrated the 4 key states of Ok. it has helped me resolve conflict among others since I can Identify what's the matter and see if i can rectify it. This is a critical book and should be a cornerstone to build upon. Even in a Seinfeld episode, I saw George Castanza with an I'm Ok You're Ok book, although he was ashamed that Jerry should see him with it. I say, why should one be ashamed to be reading a self help book. To act as though you are perfectly all right and that you are perfectly well adjusted without reading anything to identify you're personal strenghts and weaknesses is a sign of conceitedness and shows a superiority complex; not a good thing. This shows me that you aren't ok since you need to cover up your insecurities under a mask/facade: I'm better than you and I'm always right, don't correct me, did I ask you? etc... not only reflect your insecurity, but will drive people AWAY from you. oh yeah. To be humble, helpful, humaine and honest (the 4 h's as I callit) seem so simple yet are so hard for many of us, especially Americans. Me being one, I have been bombarded by media campaigns since i was -9 mos. old, preconditioned what to buy, how to act and what to think. I see commercials glorifying greed and self centeredness (the DR. Pepper Commercial) where the girl dumps the boyfriend into a lagoon of Aligators for a can of soda. You're not cool if you don't "Fall into the Gap." Thirsty? Coke is it, or this Bud's for you. etc... ad tedium (nausium) Caveat Emptor ....Hail Caesar, yada yada yada, bla bla bla....
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars im ok,youre ok
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.
Published 3 months ago by LMuenz
4.0 out of 5 stars Well known book's rep live on ...
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... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Shaun Courtney
3.0 out of 5 stars We're all OK, but is that enough today?
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... Read more
Published on Jan. 26 2003 by Glen Engel Cox
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good book.
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. Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2002 by S. Bailey
2.0 out of 5 stars It's alright
I like the theory of parent, adult, and child...But how do you explain when the adult/parent becomes a child??
Published on March 8 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Very stimulating and enlightening book!
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... Read more
Published on Dec 13 2000 by Nicodemus Chan
5.0 out of 5 stars It works
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... Read more
Published on July 4 2000 by Artem Naumov
4.0 out of 5 stars We're OK
An outstanding self-help book discussing human behavior based on transactional analysis, in an easy to understand language while still technical.
Published on April 10 2000 by Mehrdad Ordoobadi
1.0 out of 5 stars Hocus Pocus
I reread this book after a gap of 10 years. In this time I had done a bit of reading up on philosophy and psychotherapy. Read more
Published on Jan. 26 2000 by Dr Badi
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth about how our minds work
I read this book when I was eleven years old, and somehow, I was just old enough to understand it. While Freud uses smoke and mirror terms like "id", "ego" and... Read more
Published on May 2 1999 by Michael Mcgehee
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