Blog Posts

The Aim Of Transactional Analysis

By Ian Tomlinson

In many of my blog posts I talk about what I see as the aim of therapy.  As a therapist I work with my client to move them towards a rich, fulfilling life. Notice I did not say happy life.  Since happiness is an emotion then you can reliably predict that it comes and goes.  You have no say in when it does either. If your aim in life is to be happy then you fall into The Happiness Trap.  The happiness trap involves chasing something you have no control over and then becoming frustrated/angry/despondent/ anxious that you can’t control it.…

What Is An Ego State?

By Ian Tomlinson

Last week I talked about the core assumptions of Transactional Analysis, the principles that underlie the theory. In this week’s post I’m going to introduce on of the fundamental theories in TA, ego states. What is an ego state? An ego state is a consistent way of thinking, feeling and behaving. According to Eric Berne there are three different ones: Parent ego state Thoughts, feelings and behaviours that you have copied from your parents. Adult ego state Thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are a direct response to the here and now. Child ego state Thoughts, feelings and behaviours that you…

What Is Transactional Analysis?

By Ian Tomlinson

Transactional analysis is a “theory of personality”. It’s a way to understand yourself, others and the relationship you have with others. As you get to understand the different parts of the theory then you will find you have more “oh I get why I do that” moments. As your awareness about yourself grows, so does the opportunity to do things differently if you want to. What Transactional Analysis is not is the truth. It’s a theory. “All theories are lies in search of the truth*.” The basic philosophical assumptions of Transactional Analysis. TA is based on three core assumptions. It’s…

How Is Transactional Analysis Therapy Useful?

By Ian Tomlinson

I’m a pragmatic guy. If something is not useful then I sometimes struggle to see the point of it. This does not make me a very fun guy to hang out with in art galleries. I’m not great at buying clothes for myself either, though I do get that they are useful – I’ve got some clothes that I bought ten years ago so why should I buy more? Jewelry I definitely don’t get. It doesn’t do anything. I can’t comprehend why people are willing to pay thousands of pounds to buy something so … useless. We are all entitled…

How To Do Therapy

By Ian Tomlinson

Once you find a counsellor – then what? So, you’re trying to find a counsellor and start therapy? It’s a big step and hopefully, one that will change your life for the better. The prospect of sitting in front of a total stranger talking about difficult stuff is bound to be a scary one. So how do you “do” therapy?  Here’s a few pointers from my perspective as a therapist and also as a bloke who’s spent years in therapy himself. First time in therapy? Relax, you’re OK First off understand that you’re not a freak and you are not…

Why You Need A Budget And How To Get One

By Ian Tomlinson

Are you struggling to stay within your means financially?  Do you find that you overspend but don’t even realise you are doing it? You may think that talking about financial issues on a counselling and psychotherapy website is a bit odd but many of the clients who come to my therapy centre in Wilmslow talk about how stressful dealing with money can be. You don’t have to be poor to worry about money It’s not just those in lower paid jobs that struggle with money.  I work with many wealthy clients who still find balancing the books a challenge. Once…

How To Get More Sleep

By Ian Tomlinson

One of the problems people with anxiety or depression often struggle with is getting to sleep.   When clients who come to my therapy practice in Cheadle with this issue here are the suggestions I give to them: Put a routine in place Do the same thing every day.  This way your body will get to know what to expect.  Make this routine sensible and doable. Set yourself a bed time and aim to hit it every day. Prepare yourself to get more sleep Now you have set yourself a bedtime work backwards.  Have at least an hour away from…

How To Really Talk To Your Partner About Important Stuff

By Ian Tomlinson

If you are looking for Relationship Counselling in Manchester, you are probably struggling communication with your partner. There are several things that everyone wants in their relationship.  They want to be heard, understood and validated.  They want their partner to know what’s going on for them and “get it”. Many couples that come to my marriage counselling sessions in Cheadle just don’t feel heard by each other.   They are both screaming “SEE ME” at each other, metaphorically and sometimes literally.  They feel they are getting nowhere. This is why I love Imago dialogue. What is Imago Dialogue? The Imago dialogue…

contact with the present moment

Contact With The Present Moment

By Ian Tomlinson

Ever find yourself thinking about the future?  What about working through all of those stupid, idiotic things you did in the past? Like most people you probably spend an inordinate amount of time engaging with fantasies about what might happen or dissecting the hows, whys and wherefores of your history.  This is normal, this is what humans do. What does this cost you when you do this?  It costs you your life. F**k It Therapy There’s a great opening to the book *.   John Parkin talks about how he introduces his retreats to the participants who are all there to…

Who’s Breaking Bad Mike In Your Relationship?

By Ian Tomlinson

Have you ever stood back from your relationship and looked for patterns? Try it now.  Notice if you spot any familiar positions you and your partner take. One position that may not be immediately obvious is the one around disappointment. Chances are that one of you is Breaking Bad‘s Mike Ehrmantraut pretty much all the time! If you’ve not seen the show, Mike is a hit man and “fixer” who seems to spend the entire series being let down.  He is pretty much impossible to please.  Can you imagine having him as your other half? Disappointed with your partner? If…

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