The interwoven structure of the life script

The persistence of the life script is well illustrated by the theory of the racket system. One of the insightful features of this theory is how they have collated various aspects of human psychology into a system. Showing how they can interact but more importantly how they can support each other.

A person’s belief systems, behaviors, feelings body sensations (bodily holding patterns or psychosomatics), self generated fantasies and reinforcing memories (thoughts) are included. It is a nice collation and organization of various aspects of the human psyche.

Interwoven racket system Jpeg

Racket system questions Jpeg

As the diagram shows this results in powerful structure and explains why the life script path is a hard thing to change. Such change is difficult because the personality has a structure of interwoven parts which support each other and are supported by each other. This also demonstrates an interesting evolution of human psychology. It has evolved into a very stable structure. It has evolved in a way such that human personality is a stable structure by spreading the determinants of personality amongst at least five areas. It has not evolved such that “all its eggs are in one basket”. This means once the child has established the basic features of the personality in the five areas it becomes solid and resistant to significant change. If one area is challenged in some way the other four will ‘repulse’ the challenge with their own consistency and reduce the amount of overall change.

The Gouldings always maintained that after a major redecision has been made it takes about six months for that redecision to be fully integrated into the overall personality. Stated another way it could be said that a redecision changes a persons belief systems and it then takes the four other areas six months to adjust to that the new decision. After that time it can be incorporated into its overall structure where all five areas are again being supported by and supporting each other. It could be said that it takes six months for the new decision to move from being ego dystonic to ego syntonic.

Whilst this may seem discouraging it must be remembered that this works both ways. If a child establishes healthy and positive personality structures that also is going to be resistant to change. Changes in the negative direction will be resisted just like changes in the other way. In addition if a person does make some good changes in psychotherapy, then once fully integrated into the personality that is also going to be resistant to change.


All systems resist change


The other good point about this is that it is a system. Indeed it is called the racket system. Any system is only as strong as it weakest part. In therapy one looks for the weakest part of the five areas and focusses on that. As soon as one part changes then all other four areas will have to readjust at least to some degree. To remain as a successful interwoven system they have to readjust.

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