The Little Professor: Reflection on the Structure, Development and Evolution of the Adult in the Child

Main Article Content

Tânia Elizabeth Caetano Alves


According to the concept of the Life Script, developed by Eric Berne, the fate of each individual is sketched in the early years of life. The subdivision of Child Ego State, known as Adult in the Child or Little Professor, is responsible for decoding the world throughout intuition and analogical thought and, thus, in one way or another, having physical and emotional survival guaranteed. The purpose of this article is to qualify and recognise the Adult in the Child and its relevance in the construction of personality trait, by studying the anatomical, physiological and emotional scenario in which the Adult in the Child develops itself. The author suggests that the peculiar stamina and wisdom held in the Adult in the Child may be present in adult life in a positive manner, even if the events that structured it were dramatic.

Article Details

How to Cite
Alves, T. (2019). The Little Professor: Reflection on the Structure, Development and Evolution of the Adult in the Child. International Journal of Transactional Analysis Research & Practice, 10(2), 79-86.
Author Biography

Tânia Elizabeth Caetano Alves, UNAT-BRASIL

Tânia Elizabeth Caetano Alves MD, is a psychotherapist who holds Transactional Analysis Clinical Certification from UNAT-BRASIL.


Allen, James & Allen, Barbara. (2005) Therapeutic Journey: Practice and Life. Oakland: TA Press

Berne, Eric (1961) Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy New York: Grove Press

Berne, Eric. (1972) What Do You Say After You Say Hello? New York: Grove Press

Berne, Eric. (1985) Análise Transacional em Psicoterapia. [Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy] São Paulo: Summus. (quotations taken from this version)

Berne, Eric. (1988) O que você diz depois de dizer olá? [What do you say after you say Hello?] São Paulo: Nobel (quotations taken from this version)

Blackstone, Peg (1993) The Dynamic Child: Integration of second order structure, object relations, and self psychology Transactional Analysis Journal 23:4 216-234

Blackstone, Peg. (2005) 'A Criança Dinâmica: Integração da Estrutura de Segunda Ordem, Relações Objetais e psicologia do Self. In: UNAT-BRASIL. Prêmios Eric Berne 1971-1997. Porto Alegre: Suliani Editografia Ltda. 251-281.

Clarkson, Petrūska (1988) Ego State Dilemmas of Abused Children Transactional Analysis Journal vol. 18, 2 85-93

English, Fanita (1969) Episcript and the "Hot Potato" Game Transactional Analysis Bulletin 8:32 77-82

English, Fanita. (2005) Episcript ou o Jogo da Batata Quente. In: BRASIL, Unat-. Prêmios Eric Berne 1971-1997. Porto Alegre: Suliani Editografia Ltda. 306-312.

Federn, Paul (1952) Ego Psychology and the Psychoses New York: Basic Books

Goulding, Robert & Goulding, Mary (1978) The Power is in the Patient San Francisco: TA Press

Hargaden, Helena & Sills, Charlotte. (2002) Transactional Analysis: A Relational Perspective. London: Routledge

Hine, Jenni. (1997) Mind Structure and Ego States. Transactional Analysis Journal. 27: 4 278-289

Hine, Jenni. (2003/2004) Estruturas Cerebrais e Estados de Ego. Revista Brasileira de Análise Transacional. Ano XIII,v.1/ Ano XIV,v.1 59-80.

Hine, Jenni (2005) Brain Structures and Ego States Transactional Analysis Journal, 35:1, 40-51, DOI: 10.1177/036215370503500106

Klein, Mavis (1980) Thoughts and Feelings: A Functional Description of Health, Pathology, Diagnosis and Cure Transactional Analysis Journal 10:2 96-100

LeDoux, J. (2002). Synaptic self: How our brains become who we are. New York: Penguin Putnam.

Levin-Landheer, Pamela (1982) The Cycle of Development Transactional Analysis Journal 12:2 129-139

Lewis, Melvin & Wolkmar, Fred. (1993) Aspectos Clínicos do Desenvolvimento na Infância e Adolescência. Porto Alegre: Artes Médicas

Lima, Michelle de Abreu e. A Criança (1988) Esfinge: impasse de 3º grau. Revista Brasileira de Análise Transacional: 1: 1 18-35.

Penfield, Wilder (1952) Memory Mechanisms Archives of Neurology & Psychiatry, 67, 178-198

Pinheiro, Marta.(2007) Fundamentos de Neuropsicologia- O desenvolvimento cerebral da criança. Vita Et Sanitas, 1: 1 34-47

Quintana, Mário.(1983) Lili inventa o mundo. [Lily Invents the World] Porto Alegre: Mercado Aberto

Schiff, Jacqui & Contributors (1975), Cathexis Reader: Transactional Analysis Treatment of Psychosis, New York: Harper & Row Publishers Inc

Schiff, Shea. (1977) Personality development and Symbiosis. Transactional Analysis Journal, 7: 4 310-316.

Schöfield, David. (1992) A comparative TA view of child development. In Clarkson, P. Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy: An Integrated Approach, New York: Routledge Appendix A. 311-319

Steiner, Claude (1976). Os Papéis Que Vivemos Na Vida. São Cristovão: Artenova

Stewart, Ian (2001) Ego States and the Theory of The Theory: The Strange Case of the Little Professor Transactional Analysis Journal 31:2 133-147