Relational contact in the Parent interview

Did a nice piece of Parent interview work today. A woman interviewed her father. She reported it was most helpful for her as she felt lighter. Father had been angry a lot when she was a child and she discovered what his Child ego state was feeling and the source of the anger for him.

Generally Parent interviews are not too hard to do and the transactions show what is happening (Black transactions). The Parent interview allows the person to experience (and understand) the introject they made of the parent. In this case her introjection of father into her own Parent ego state and we were wanting to access the Child ego state of the father (CP) to learn about his anger.

The transactions (in black) show that her Adult and Child ego states learnt about the Child ego state of the father (which she introjected in childhood).

relational contact in parent interview Jpeg

This is quite a simple process really but it can be quite profound because it is rare in most people’s lives. Very few people in their normal life would ever get in a circumstance where that part of the personality (introjected father) transacts with other parts of the personality such as the Adult and Child ego states in a way that is not adversarial. It is rare that the transactions shown seeking understanding and empathy, would occur in most people’s lives. In essence there is simply a lack of communication in this way for most people.

When this communication is facilitated such as in a Parent interview the parts of the personality have an enriched understanding of each other, which of course creates

Awareness – people are now more aware of themselves and their personality.

Integration – with an awareness of these parts people are then in a position to integrate them into self and one gets an enhanced sense of being an integrated whole.

Feel heard – this process allows the parent introject to feel heard. We all know what it is like to not feel heard by others and when one is finally heard what that also feels like. The same applies for the introjects we all have inside us.

And one could say that some relational contact was established between those various parts of the personality which would allow for integration and a sense of feeling heard. Each of our different ego states (or parts of the personality) will have different relationships with each other. The Parent interview facilitates the development of some of those internal relationships between our ego states that we all have inside us.

What was also done in this instance, that is not done in a usual Parent interview is some relational contact between the therapist and the client when they re experiencing the parental introject. In this case I spoke a little bit with the client’s CP of her father from my Adult and Child ego states. (Blue transactions). The first step in building up relational contact between the therapist and this part of the client’s personality.

Again this is usually not difficult to do but is rare in most people’s lives. Most people would have never experienced this part of self communicating directly with another person. Again it will lead to a sense of feeling heard and feeling some level of relationship building with another person. Two positive and cathartic psychological experiences.

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