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O.K. Positions

A simple, but illustrative model for fixed self-representations with regard to affirmation and negation, is provided in Transactional Analysis with the so-called ‘O.K.’ positions. Here, these attitudes are combined with regard to oneself and others. Thus, there are four fields/possibilities for positioning oneself: okay to oneself and to another (+/+), okay to oneself and not okay to another (+/-), not okay to oneself and okay to another (-/+), as well as not okay to oneself and not okay to another (-/-). This matrix can provide initial fundamental hypotheses about what basic inclination someone has (to devalue oneself, others or both) and in which situations or against what people such inclinations can, in particular, be reliably activated. This often helps clients to change their self-perception and their personal responsibility in such situations, and there they can take the first step towards interrupting a pattern.

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