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Born to Win: Transactional Analysis with Gestalt Experiments Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1978

4.5 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Muriel James is a licensed marriage and family counselor, an international consultant in human relations to corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies, and was an advisor to the California Commission on the Status of Women. Dr. James received her doctorate from the University of California at Berkely. She is past president of the International Transactional Analysis Association, and was a colleague of Dr. Eric Berne. Dr. James is author and co-author of seventeen books, including Breaking Free, Hearts on Fire, The Better Boss in Multicultural Organizations and Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit.
Dr. Dorothy Jongeward is an internationally prominent management consultant who has pioneered the field of productivity through "people skills." She served on the faculty of the University of California Extension for many years and has made a lasting contribution to understanding the psychology of women. She is a Teaching Member of the International Transactional Analysis Association and a Life Member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Counselors. She has authored or co-authored seven other succesful books including Women as Winners and Winning with People. Her creative career is cited in many references, including The World's Who's Who of Women. In 1990, Dr. Jongeward was selected as one of six alumni of Washington State University "who have made significant contributions to history and culture in this century."
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Reissue edition (July 1, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451165217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451165213
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #727,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By amf0001 VINE VOICE on September 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
There are a plethora of books in the self help section, and sometimes you don't know which ones are really helpful or not... This book is a classic. It was written in 1971, and unlike many texts of that time, it is still fresh, interesting and relevant. It's written in an easy, jargon free language, which has at its heart a depth and genuine empathic concern for people and their journies.
The techniques they apply are based on the transactional analysis model developed by Eric Berne, but don't worry, you don't have to know any thing about that - the book explains itself beautifully.
The main reason I love it is that it is filled with exercises that you can do by yourself, or share with a partner, about who you are and how you relate to things. It has excellent, simple exercises that open you up to examining childhood influnces, parental attitudes and current behaviour patterns in an illuminating, non-judgemental way.
If you are interested in learning a bit more about yourself, or if you have behaviour patterns that are troubling you and aren't sure where they come from, this is a great place to start.
I've given this book frequently as a gift (adolescents love it!) and I always get lovely feedback. I would definitely recommend this book ahead of a host of others that are out there.
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Format: Paperback
We all instinctively seem to categorize everyone we meet (including ourselves) as a Winner or a Loser. We may not necessarily share our opinions with others, but we still constantly judge everyone and everything. Judgement is necessary for us to make everyday decisions on situations we run into but there may NOT be a need to place a positive or negative value on the judgements. This seems to be the unexpressed basis behind the book's methods to help us achieve our potential of a Winner that we were born to be.
The authors in this book start by defining Winners and Losers and present the two tools available in the early seventies to change oneself into a Winner. These two tools are Gestalt Therapy and Transactional Analysis. Gestalt Therapy was introduced by Dr. Frederick Perls and focuses on making ourselves into a whole in order to be a Winner. Transactional Analysis was brought to us by Dr. Eric Berne and focuses on understanding our interactions with others and what drives these interactions. He also delves into how these interactions (transactions) can go haywire and lead to problems in relationships.
After introducing the ideas in the above paragraph in Chapter 1, the book goes into an overview of Transactional Analysis by modeling the different parts of our personalities into three ego states - Parent, Adult and Child. ...
This is of course a simplification of the theory and the book spends an incredible amount of time addressing how these three sides to our personalities can interact with these same three ego states in another individual and all the things that can go wrong along the way and how to fix them. The process of getting these three ego states to work together is where Gestalt Therapy comes in.
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I have yet to give 5 stars to a book because, in my view, a 5 star book is one I would recommend to everyone. My holding back a star on this book is merely because it is presented in a "self-help" format. There's great stuff in this book, without a doubt. But some people -- perhaps the ones who may need to know about transactional analysis the most -- are not so open to exercises that are "touchy-feely."

My interest in transactional analysis (TA) is from an organization development point of view. For anyone who has ever worked in an organization, to say it can be dysfunctional is an understatement. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a roadmap that everyone can follow where all interactions could be pleasant and productive? Well, there is such a roadmap. TA is brilliant in presenting, somewhat simply, the different states from which we communicate (transact) and how some just don't work.

If you've ever tried to read the writings of Eric Berne, the originator of TA, it is very hard to follow. This is where Born To Win shines. It has done a beautiful job of distilling the essence and presenting it in the most comprehensive way. Reading this book will allow you to recognize the games people are playing, ones you're caught up in or maybe even those you've initiated.

The authors posit that losers manipulate others to live up to their expectations while winners assume responsibilty for their lives while fully respecting the uniqueness of others'. This book is a great manual for realizing the ultimate goal of TA -- to reach full autonomy by throwing off patterns not relevant to the here and now.
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Format: Paperback
We all behave in ways that mystify us. There are those times when we find ourselves hypercritical and judgmental, or profoundly nurturing, or consumed with anger far out of proportion to the provocation, or able to reason with insight and dispassion. From whence come these vastly different responses to the triggers of life?

Born To Win provides a vivid and compelling journey through the emotional (ego) states that are invoked by life events. The authors conceptualize these emotional (ego) states through the hypothetical construct suggested by Eric Berne, M.D. (Games People Play). In the "Parent" state, we are judgmental or nurturing; in the "Adult" state, rational and analytical; in the "Child" state, impulsive and playful or angry and hurt. The authors demonstrate how our emotional responses to life events arise out of these three ego states.

Each ego state has an appropriate time and place. Often, however, our inappropriate or self-defeating emotional responses occur because we have been overprogrammed by aversive early life events to respond from one ego state when another would be far more adaptive. Recognizing the inappropriate ego state and making the transition to the more proper ego state vastly improves the quality of one's life (e.g., responding to constructive criticism as a rational Adult instead of as a petulant Child).

We are all "born to win" and can do so when we learn to respond to life events from the proper ego state. Born To Win is an invaluable contribution to the cause of mental health.
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