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On first seeing the title “I’m OK – You’re OK” by Thomas Harris, MD, under the recommended reading list of another book, I found both the title and its description intriguing. I was so curious to read it, but unfortunately couldn’t find a copy anywhere and eventually forgot about it.
Until one day, over a decade later, I stumbled across a 1973 paperback copy at a second-hand book store in Sea Point, Cape Town. Needless to say, it felt like stumbling across a long lost, albeit very inexpensive treasure.
Since then I’ve read and studied it many times. It has the perfect combination of providing valuable, scientifically sound and potentially life-changing information in a format that is both an easy and entertaining read.
It explains the theory of transactional analysis simply, yet in enough depth to ensure that the reader understands the concept well enough to start putting it into practice.
Transactional analysis has to do with the idea that every individual’s personality is formed and made up of their internalized parent, adult and child. These three should coexist in a healthy balance and when the inner parent or child becomes either overpowering and contaminates either or both the others or is completely blocked out, that is when various kinds of mental health issues arise.
Through learning how the parent, adult and child functions, which can be identified through how a person communicates, it becomes possible to notice when they are out of balance and attend to this by addressing that part of their own or another person’s psyche in a way they’ll be both receptive to and can easily apply.
This book has the rare quality that it’s relevant and beneficial to everyone and its methods, simple enough to be learned and practiced by individuals and groups across all ages, genders, cultures, nationalities, levels of intelligence, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds.
I highly recommend reading I’m OK – You’re OK at least once. It has the potential to greatly increase one’s knowledge on human behavior and by providing easy to apply communication tools, can make a valuable contribution to your level of personal freedom and ability to change or optimize any aspect of yourself, which is priceless.