Ego States in the therapeutic relationship and pre- to post-treatment change in Self Ego states

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Davide Ceridono
Daniela Viale


This study investigates process and outcome of psychotherapy conducted according to Social-Cognitive Transactional Analysis (SCTA); the perception of Self Ego states, pre- and post- treatment, and of Relational Ego states activated in the therapeutic relationship is studied. Subjects (N=288) were adult clinical outpatients who received 21 sessions of psychotherapy in Prevention and Intervention Clinics connected to four training schools in psychotherapy.  Therapists were 3rd and 4th year trainees.  Perception of Ego states was studied with self-report questionnaires based on SASB (Benjamin, 1974, 2000; Scilligo & Benjamin, 1993, Scilligo 2005) by which prototypical Ego states are operationally defined according the SCTA (Scilligo, 2009; De Luca e Tosi, 2011).  The results of the preliminary studies show that clients perceive that Free and Protective Ego states in the relationships with therapist are highly activated, and Critical and Rebellious Ego states are very low.  Pre- to post-treatment changes of Self Ego states in clients are observed: a growth of Free and Protective Ego states and a reduction of Critical and Rebellious Ego states.  This outcome appears to be related to the therapeutic relationship that stimulates Free and Protective Ego states through complementarity during the sessions, and that promotes the development of Free and Protective Ego states by internalization.

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Ceridono, D., & Viale, D. (2013). Ego States in the therapeutic relationship and pre- to post-treatment change in Self Ego states. International Journal of Transactional Analysis Research & Practice, 4(1), 49-58.


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