Transactional Analysis and Newborns

So a couple of weekends ago I attended an incredible Transactional Analysis training weekend. I am qualified as a Person Centred Counsellor, but I touched on TA in my training and found it fascinating; so I decided to dive in deeper. It was a really cleverly put together course, I recommend this training to not only therapists, but Doulas, Midwives, parents, anyone really who has an interest in self awareness. I thought I’d put a post together to share a little bit about TA in relation to new parents/working with babies and new families. So let’s talk ‘Life Script’; in short, our Life Script is formed in the very early days of life. It’s foundations are created based on the relationship between baby and caregiver; it’s the messages (as a baby) we perceive from our family-unit/caregiver. In those very early days as a baby, we make unconscious/subconscious decisions about life generally based on survival messages. When we consider neuroscience and brain development it is crucial that a baby feels safe and heard; babies must receive eye contact from their caregiver, they need to hear reassuring voices, receive touch and feed for comfort not only food (if they are being breastfed) – if the above needs are being met, baby will unconsciously form positive beliefs about their self, relationships and the world around them, their ‘Script Belief’ in later life will be along the lines of ‘I am heard, I am loved, I am responded to when I need help, I am safe, I feel secure’. However, if those basic needs are not met (for example, baby cries but is left alone in a dark room to ‘self soothe’), baby shuts down (self soothing is not something a baby has the mental ability to do, they shut down their emotions), and their unconscious Life Script is formed – “the world does not respond to me, there is no point in crying, no one will hear me, I have to be responsible for myself, no one is here to help me, I must fend for myself”. As you can see from this basically put description I have shared, being knowledgeable about the ways in which we nurture new babies and also educate new mothers/fathers (in pregnancy preferably) is absolutely crucial for society as a whole. Have a think about what your Life Script is as an adult, do you feel like you can reach out to people for help when you feel sad? Do you feel like you’re a burden? Do you feel safe, anxious, loved, nurtured? Perhaps ask your mother/caregiver if they are around, how you were responded to/treated as a newborn, it’s really interesting to take a look back to your early years. Generally the foundation of our Life Script is fully form by age three. If you found this interesting feel free to chat to me about this to ask any questions, or if you would like to dive in deeper, reach out to The Link Centre for info on courses. As a Doula I can apply this knowledge in birth preparation/preparing for a baby, I also will share this kind of information with you when teaching Baby Massage. With love always, Emily xx

Leave a Reply