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Letter to the Editor, Social Services

Call for self-image change, fails to address need for societal reform

To the editor:

(Plain Press, June 2016) In regard to the letter in your May issue, “Can we trace addiction to our image of ourselves?”, in which the writer refers to Transactional Analysis, although he nowhere mentions this name in his letter, this is what he is discussing.

Developed by John Bradshaw, Transactional Analysis (TA) is nothing more than recycled Freud, who has been largely discredited. TA’s “child,” “parent,” and “adult” in relation to the personality correspond to Freud’s “id,” “ego,” and “super-ego”. TA’s assertion that all psychological deficiencies are caused by dysfunctional families is obviously Freudian, although with less emphasis on sexual aspects. Nowhere in TA are the injustices and oppressions of society discussed, by which families and people in general are mainly influenced. As a famous philosopher once said, “We are the ensemble of our social relations.”

According to the simplistic thinking of TA everybody is born with “a life –script,” whether written for them or by them, that they follow in their life. So “write your own script,” “change your script,” you then change your life!

What Mr. Bradshaw misses is that families are an integral part of any society; they don’t exist in a vacuum. Poverty, unemployment, lack of adequate health care, inability to get an education, etc. all lead to dysfunctional people who are on drugs, who are alcoholics, who are criminals. So instead of writing scripts, anybody who has any knowledge of what is really going on and the actual conditions of our society and our world should be working to change all of this. And yes, we need more drug treatment centers, but the only way peoples’ lives are going to improve is by feeling and being a significant member of society, not by writing a so-called “life-script.”

Ernest Field



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