The following summaries of all three Structural Ego State Maps are listed below for easy reference. These Ego State Maps are great examples of what I mean when I refer to the Internet-of-the-Mind as neural networks...embedded in networks ...embedded in networks...and so on. The following video is lengthy (30 minutes) but reviews all three structural maps and then the functional ego state map. It is worth watching a few times to really take it all in:
NOTE: Click on any of the diagrams below to go directly to that specific page and learn more about each one. Click on the following link to jump directly down to the Adult/Child Syndrome and Ego States Forum.
The three primary Ego-States of TA are the Parent Ego-State, The Adult Ego-State, and the Child Ego-State.
The Parent Ego State (aka, neural network), contains the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors "taken in" from external sources - primarily parents.
Outwardly, the Parent is often expressed towards others in prejudicial, critical, or nurturing behavior -- from Second Position. Inwardly, it's experienced as old parental messages which continue to influence the inner Child...some good messages and some limiting to the person.
The Adult Ego State is not related to a person's age... It's oriented in the present and can be comparable to a computer in that it's in charge of executive functioning -- i.e., decision-making, problem-solving, etc.
The Adult is organized, adaptable, intelligent, and functions by testing reality, estimating probabilities, and computing dispassionately - from Third Position.
The Child ego state contains all the impulses that come naturally to a child... the Child is creative, adventuresome, spontaneous, curious, affectionate and so on.
The Child loves to giggle, laugh, have fun and enjoy the simple things in life. It can also be a "brat" or "whine" when it doesn't get it's way. The Child lives in First Position and is the network that contains our feelings, wants, and needs.
The P2, A2, and C2 in Second Order Structural Analysis are the ideal healthy representations of the Parent, Adult, and Child in the fully developed and well-adjusted adult.
The healthy Adult-in-the-adult (A2) is wise, mature, makes good decisions by consulting the other states and generally acts on behalf of the whole person whenever executive functions must be carried out. Healthy use of Third Position.
The healthy Child-in-the-adult (C2) is the ideal representation of a well-adjusted Child ES... a non-wounded Child with no issues from the past... The healthy use of First Position.
P1 = Parent-in-the-child or the Adapted Child
A1 = Adult-in-the-child or the Little Professor
C1 = Child-in-the-child or the Natural Child
The Child ES - specifically the Adapted Child - is the network location of the accumulated trauma. Here we have ego-states... embedded in ego states... embedded in ego states.
The Critical Parent Ego State map contains all the critical parental messages given to the child. The younger a child is, the more receptive they are to these messages...referred to as Injunctions in TA language.
The Angry/Defiant Child is the neural network for the eight to twelve year-old part of us that contains all the thoughts, feelings, attitudes and coping style of that time in our lives.
The Vulnerable Child is the Ego State map of the one to seven year-old part of us that carries all the woundedness, trauma and fear of abandonment from our childhood.
By Don Carter
After thoroughly reviewing this information, get a feel for how defense mechanisms employed by our subconscious mind influence and affects how our ego states interact with each other.
Are you a helping professional? Someone from a dysfunctional family? New to Ego States & Adult/Child Recovery? An "old-timer" in recovery? Just someone who wants to learn more?
This Forum is a place you can share your experience, ask questions, tell your recovery story, discuss recovery, talk about your inner child work, comment on others contributions, or just share what works for you.
Sharing is EASY...No sign-up or registration process to go through... just fill out the form below, check a few boxes and submit! You can even remain anonymous if you'd like.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
I have not properly grieved my childhood abandonment, losses, and verbal, mental, & physical abuse.
If we have ego states telling you what to do and think and argue with each other what is the point of living if you are not in charge of your own mind. …
Critical parent 3rd order state vs Parent 1st order state
Great site! Please help me understand the difference between the 1st order Parent ego state and the 3rd order Critical parent ego state. Thanks so much! …
Its funny tonight I was viewing what triggers this insecurity. An insecurity, that surfaces from chapters closed. Persistently it flutters through, a …
About the drama triangle
Hi Everyone, I wasn't sure where to post this but this seemed to be as good a place as any! Apologies though, if it's better placed elsewhere. I …
Transition to New Friends
Hello! So, I am unmediated and going through the painful process of 'ditching' my old inappropriate friends. That means I don't contact them anymore. …
TA in Education
I am starting to explore TA to analyze my students' behavior. It's a challenge for me due to the fact I do not have so much information about this specific …
What is Adult Children of Alcoholics Syndrome?
NOTE from Don: My wife, Angie Carter, is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. She writes a column for the Jefferson City News Tribune each month …
Wounds of the Inner Child
I have always acknowledged that my codependency and ensuing addictions to most anything and everything began with pain, fear, and being traumatized in …
The Swan Lake Ballet, "When will I ever Dance?"
No Guilt, No Blame, No Remorse! When I was a child, I was a gifted child. I won awards and accolades from my peers, my teachers and the society around …
First timer here
I met Don for the first time yesterday and he told me about this site so just checking in. My experiences have taught me that if I put it off, I will …
Someone who wants to learn more
I have no real knowledge about Adult/Child Psychology, and really haven't even read much of Don's material on this, but I most certainly will. My …
Knowing how to handle emotional reactions
Hi! My name is Angie Carter and yes, I am related to Don ~ I'm his wife :) I just wanted to contribute my own experience to this forum in connection …
Intellectual awareness Not rated yet
Hi all, I am one of those people who are curious and on a quest to of self fixing. I gained a lot of awareness and glimpses of consciousnesses that …
Overwhelming guilt Not rated yet
I'm a college student that is struggling in a number of areas in my life, and i'm hoping to figure out how to eventually solve some main problems, instead …
10th born of 17 children Not rated yet
I have been struggling with family of origin issues for 20 yrs, started with a major depressive episode that landed me in the hospital for 14 days. needless …
Adapted Child ego state awareness Not rated yet
I have been looking at the ego state map, and It is getting so clear what has been happened to me recently. I know I am grieving about my dad dying just …
WORKING THROUGH THE GRIEF Not rated yet
I am in a kind of spiritual and emotional limbo at the moment(not for the first time)I am waiting for my house to sell and for my finances to finally balance …
DID going a lot better Not rated yet
Hi, I'm just dropping by to say hello and let all you out there know I'm ok. I've had it rough in the past few months. Dissociative Identity Disorder. …
New to this too... Not rated yet
Learning more these days about how to handle these different parts of Self...namely the critical parent..