Where’s MY Permission Slip?

We all want someone to write us a “Permission slip” when we have not given ourselves permission to have what we want, or to say NO to what we don’t want.  We often become stuck in patterns of thinking, behaving, and believing that reflect our childhood decisions.  These decisions created your “Lifescript”, our blueprint for living.   Eric Berne, founder of TA, stated every person is born with basic Permissions:

  • Be-the permission to exist on this planet
  • Feel-the permission to feel my feelings
  • Think-the permission to think for myself
  • Share–  the permission to share who I am with others

As you reflect on your life, did you have permission to be you?  To feel your feelings?  To live your life the way YOU want?  If not, your “Lifescript”, the story of your life, may include several unspoken decisions and rules that keep you from living the life you really want to live.



Key Concepts of Transactional Analysis

A Summary of Transactional Analysis Key Ideas from ITAA

Transactional Analysis theory was created by Eric Berne MD.  It is a theory of positive psychology.  Here are some key concepts from TA:

I’m OK – You’re OK

“I’m OK – You’re OK” expresses an important purpose of transactional analysis: to recognize the value and worth of every person. Transactional analysts regard people as basically “OK” and capable of change, growth, and healthy interactions.


Berne observed that people need strokes, the units of interpersonal recognition, to survive and thrive. Understanding how people give and receive positive strokes, and changing unhealthy stroke are powerful aspects of work in transactional analysis.

Ego States

Eric Berne made complex interpersonal transactions understandable when he recognized that the human personality is made up of three “ego states”. Each ego state is an entire system of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors from which we interact with one another. The Parent, Adult and Child ego states and the interaction between them form the foundation of transactional analysis theory.


Transactions refer to the communication exchanges between people. Transactional analysts are trained to recognize which ego states people are transacting from and to follow the transactional sequences so they can intervene and improve the quality and effectiveness of communication.

Games People Play

Berne defined certain socially dysfunctional behavioral patterns as “games.” These repetitive transactions are principally intended to obtain strokes, but instead reinforce negative feelings and self-concepts, and mask the direct expression of thoughts and emotions. Berne tagged these games with recognizable names as “Why Don’t You, Yes But,” “Now I’ve Got You, You SOB,” and “I’m Only Trying to Help You.”

Life Script

Eric Berne proposed that dysfunctional behavior is the result of self-limiting decisions made in childhood in the interest of survival. Such decisions result in the “life script,” the pre-conscious life plan that governs the way life is lived out. Changing the life script is the aim of transactional analysis psychotherapy.


Transactional analysis practice is based upon mutual contracting for change. Transactional analysts view people as capable of deciding what they want for their lives. Accordingly, transactional analysis does its work on a contractual basis between the client and the therapist, educator, or consultant.  Adapted from www.itaa.org

Upcoming: TA Basics

This group will meet for 2 weeks in September.  It is a preview of the TAP Program offered this Fall in mid-September. Cost is $30.

  • Learn about The TA Tree and the Seven Principles
  • receive tools for remembering TA Definitions
  • network with others interested in TA

Learn more by sending an email to theTATeacher@gmail.com.

The Top 7 Reasons Why Women Don’t Play Golf….(and they should!!)

Five years ago, I took group golf lessons from the local recreation department.  I had always wanted to try golf.  It looked like fun.  After 6 lessons was told to “get out there and play”.  I didn’t pick up a club again for two years.  Why? 

Several reasons! I was intimidated.  I lacked the confidence.  I almost NEVER saw any women on the course, and  I didn’t have any women friends that played.  I didn’t feel like I was good enough.   And I thought it was too late for me to learn.

Luckily, I reconnected with a friend who wanted to play golf, so now I play every week.  I LOVE golf.  When I am on the golf course, I forget about all problems, worries, and concerns.  It is like taking a 2-hour vacation.  Now I think back and wonder–what was I so afraid of?  I thought other women felt the same way I did.  Maybe playing golf could help them, too.

In the last couple of years I started a second career as a counselor.  Women come in for depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and stress.  One of the strategies I use to help them is….golf.  I teach basic golf routine and etiquette.  Hitting a bucket of golf balls is excellent for stress and exercise!  When you learn how to play golf, it increases your confidence and self-esteem.  And it is FUN.  Here are seven reasons why women may demur from playing golf:

  1. Women learn differently from men.  Their brains are different–men are dominantly left brain, logical thinkers, and women often favor their right brain, experiential side.  Women learn best when their instructors understand that women need to “Feel good to DO good”, and have fun while they learn.
  2. Women don’t like to feel stupid while they are learning to play. Remember the I Love Lucy episode where Ricky and Fred teach Lucy and Ethel how to play golf—the wrong way??  Making mistakes is part of the game.
  3. Women first learned how to play golf from their husband or boyfriend.  This can really jeopardize a relationship.  I recall that my brother wanted to teach his wife to golf.  After giving her plenty of “instruction” and “direction” and “tips” and “reminders” on her swing, by the second tee his wife threw her club on the ground and announced “Golf is a dumb game” and hasn’t played since.
  4. Women don’t have other women to play with.  Notice the next time you drive by a golf course, and see how many players are women.  Not many!!
  5. Women don’t realize that women’s golf clothes have gotten really stylish and cute in the last few years!!  My motto is… if we have to feel uncoordinated and clumsy while we are learning the game, at least we can look cute!!
  6. Women don’t want to spend all day playing golf (the only activity that is that much fun for women is shopping).  Women need to know that they can play 9 holes in two hours.  And afterward there are cocktails!
  7. Finally, women think they have to be good before they start playing on the course.  Men don’t think that way! There are more men who are hackers out there than women think! 

So women….don’t worry about being good at the beginning.  Just learn the basics of play and etiquette and get out there!!  Practice between rounds and you will get better! Play golf and have fun!

Catherine O’Brien worked for 20+ years as an instructor and specialist in personality types and learning styles.  She started Golf Coaching for Women to help get women started and continue playing golf.  And she has hit a hole in one.