The Golden Stroke Triad

1. +US (positive unconditional stroke) = PRAISE OF BEING

• How smart you are!

• How creative you are!

• How beautiful you are!

Basic message: YOU ARE VALUABLE!

These are messages that express feelings: unconditional love, respect, faith in others, trust, etc.

In children, such messages can affect the following:

• Developing a positive self-image;

• Developing a positive child's identity;

• Developing a positive self-presentation;

• Developing self-feelings – self-love, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

The parent sends +US> messages to get internalized/internalized in the ego state of Parent of the child> the child is able to activate the internal source +US> capability of self-stroking> the child maintains a positive self-image> developing self-feeling (self-esteem, self-love, self-confidence)

In adults, such messages can affect the following:

• Detection, recognition, and acknowledgment take place;

• Acknowledgment of those qualities the person believes he/she possesses;

• Developing an adult's positive identity;

• Developing a positive relationship between two people.

2. +CS (positive conditional stroke) = PRAISE OF ACTIONS/BEHAVIOR

• That was funny.

• You write very well.

• I like how you handled that situation.

This type of stroke encourages and reinforces behaviors. They include the following:

• Praising behavior;

• Promising a reward (a powerful tool for encouraging new desirable behaviors);

• The reward (stroking is stronger than praising and it needs to be a symbolic award).


• Process or supportive (important in the process of raising children – helps a child in the process of mastering a skill)

   ☑ I really like how you have done your homework so far. You're doing great, just keep going.

• Final

   ☑ Nice job! You've been reciting very well. I'm very proud of you, I'm taking you out for ice cream.

3. -CS (negative conditional stroke) = CRITICIZING ACTIONS/ BEHAVIORS

• I don't like it when you slouch.

• The way you talked to your friend in the park today was not nice.

• It makes me angry when you don't put your toys away on time.

A negative assessment of what a person is doing, has done or is about to do.


The skill of giving a -CS is related to the intensity of discomfort and quality.

While expressing anger or disagreement with a person, it is IMPORTANT that the person knows that he/she is OK as a BEING, and that his/her behavior is negative!
Anita Marković