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The Handbook of Knowledge-Based Coaching: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE by Diane Brennan, Leni Wildflower

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LIFE POSITIONS

TA suggests that as children we create convictions about ourselves and that these are likely to have long-lasting impact. These are well described by Thomas Harris in his I’m OK, You’re OK (1967), an early contribution to TA. Harris describes four possible life positions based on two axes: “I’m OK—I’m not OK” and “You’re OK—You’re not OK” (see Figure 4.1).

I’m OK—You’re not OK

You have learned as a child that by striking back you can survive. You have probably been at the receiving end of authoritarian parenting, so you know how to be tough, and it becomes a life position to bully and threaten. This comes out of the energy created by fear. The best form of defense is to attack. Those around you are likely to perceive you as overbearing, ...

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