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Frame of Reference

Frame of reference is a concept from the theory of transactional analysis which we find very fitting. It describes the phenomenon that each person is affected by a comprehensive set of presumptions, expectations, determinations, interpretation patterns and evaluations about the world. This framework, which then secondarily goes on to influence feelings, cognition and actions, is acquired in many different ways: by experiences with formative relationships, important events, atmospheres, unwritten rules, upbringing, social environment etc.

This frame of reference is partly conscious (values, norms, beliefs, convictions) and partly unconscious (reaction patterns, ‘red buttons’, preferences and aversions, choice of partner, career choices etc.) As a whole it illustrates, to some extent, the things we take for granted, those which we have developed about ourselves and the rest of the world.



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