The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Strokes and Transactions

Tonight, my Process Communication Model (PCM) group and I worked on the PCM concept of Psychological Needs.

The idea of Psychological Needs is an interesting one as it establishes a connection with the idea of desires that motivate each of us to want certain things and to act in certain ways. It also stipulates that satisfying these motivational desires will allow us to stay in a positive and productive frame of mind.

A consequence of this idea is that one solution to remain productive is to know the things we want and to act accordingly.

It showed that “knowing the things we want” isn’t as easy as it seems. There are four levels of ´things we want: the things we buy, the things we do as a hobby, for example, the achievements we are looking for and the things we strive to do out based on our personality. The last two are the ones which stay with us and can be described as psychological needs.

They are also the ones we can pay attention to at any given moment, even in such a small unit as a transaction.

Eric Berne the creator of Transactional Analysis (TA) and Author of Games People Play described a transaction as the fundamental unit of social intercourse. This described a look that is returned, a hello which is exchanged, an intense discussion just as well as other forms of acknowledging the presence of the other.

Berne also defined a stroke and described it as the “fundamental unit of social action”. A stroke thus describes a caring as well as a somewhat violent transaction with someone else.  The possibility that a stroke can have a positive as well as a negative impact is essential here. It is also one of those details make it difficult to know what we want.

Receiving a stroke is so important to most of us, that we take a negative just as well as a positive one. What we try to avoid with all means is to receive no stroke at all.


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