Adrienne Lee
How TA theory explains the emergence of unconscious life scenarios or scripts and blockages in our lives

TA introduces us to the concept of a script or life scenario that people "write" themselves in their early childhood until the age of seven. A script or life scenario is unconscious logic underlying human destinies. It determines people's conscious life choices and thus limits the life course of an individual. Based on their early life experiences, people create certain beliefs regarding what their life will be like, thus unconsciously forcing themselves to live within these, mostly dysfunctional, life beliefs. Early experiences, parental messages, and children's conclusions about what their future will be like are built into a partially conscious and partially unconscious life plan, which will significantly affect a person's future.

Most of the script decisions are made by children at their preschool age. These are children's misconceptions of important life issues. The children write down these wrong conclusions in their frames of reference (a global internal map of reality that provides us with perception, conception, emotions, and actions in order to define our self, others, and the world) which they rely on in life. Early script decisions occur as true assumptions that are not questioned later in life, therefore, they are fundamental truths based on which a person builds up his/her further view of the world. Script decisions constitute the foundations of a life script. The children draw wrong and dysfunctional conclusions about themselves, others, and the world, or even correct and functional ones. The children perceive such conclusions as an accurate, true, and correct picture of reality. Wrong conclusions represent the basis of a life script, as the children with delusions gain a wrong perception of themselves, others, and the world. If it is not corrected, reactions and behaviors become irrational, which results in restrictions and limitations of lifestyle.

When the children make script decisions on their own, they are the result of the children's cognitive immaturity, mistaken reasoning, and lack of information (that is why parents have a huge and important responsibility). The children's parents or other important authorities also have a significant influence on the children creating a script.

Script injunctions = messages from parents or other important parental figures that contest a child's human right. They emerge in early childhood, usually nonverbally, and stem from the Child ego state of our parents and their unresolved childhood issues. Parents send and children receive such messages unconsciously. The main prohibitions or injunctions are those of existence/life and those of value/love. There are also secondary injunctions, such as Don't feel, Don't belong, Don't be close, Don't grow up, Don't think, Don't be you, Don't make it, Don't be a child and others. The reasons for this include the parents' irrationality, "upbringing" manipulations, and most often good intentions.

Script imperatives (drivers) = messages from parents that condition the child's right to life or the right to love. Script imperatives imply the existence of an injunction that is activated if the child is not what the parents require him/her to be, which means that the child is OK if/while doing specific things. Drives occur in later childhood and provide the child with a conditional OK position. Like messages, drivers come from the Parent ego state of our parents. These are various commands that a child has to carry out in order not to activate script prohibitions. There are five primary drivers: Be Perfect, Be Strong, Try Hard, Please Others and Hurry up.

Since script injunctions and drivers constitute the basis of parental messages or messages from other parental figures that influenced the script creation, we can say they are the first diagnostic data in the work process. To make it easier to understand what is happening to a person within the script, with his/her soul and feelings, the person is usually presented as a drowning man (see Figure). The person is dragged to the bottom by the weight of the script injunctions enforced, while the drivers "pull" him/her to the surface. As long as the person obeys various commands in his/her life, he/she thus avoids the activation of script injunctions. This mode of living is strenuous and difficult, which distances the person from his/her autonomy and self-realization.
Anita Marković