In Hay (2012) I proposed 4 elements to autonomy:
“awareness - being in the here-and-now, knowing who we and others really are
alternatives - having several options for how we might behave, being able to choose what to do
authenticity - knowing that we can be our real selves and still be OK, not having to wear a mask
attachment - being able to connect and bond with other people” (p. 16)
Prompted by students at a workshop in Hertford, I have picked up on material by Drego (2006) and Moodie (2005) and added a fifth that reflects ‘responsibility’ to the original Berne (1964) version of awareness, spontaneity and intimacy:
accountability – accepting responsibility for our own behaviour, recognising that we act based on our own decisions (and that we can change previous decisions)
Drego (2006) had commented on a workshop that had been run by Moodie (2005) about the way that early social responsibility had developed in Scotland, and wrote that Berne's (1972) three-handed position of "I'm, OK, You're OK, They're OK" envelops both individual and social freedoms. It spans both individual wholeness and mutual responsibility [italics added] between individuals and between groups. (p. 90).
Recently, a colleague mentioned how Richo (2002) and Yacovelli (2008) present the components for mindful loving and emotional fulfilment (respectively), and that prompted me to think that we need to add more about ‘the other side’ of autonomy. In his original description of autonomy, Berne mentioned spontaneity, awareness and intimacy - only intimacy has a focus on ‘the other’.
I can see that a more cocreative view of autonomy might include:
I prefer not to use appreciation or approval, as both of these imply that our sense of OKness is dependent on the opinion of someone else. However, affection, attention, and acceptance seem to me to be useful additions to how we think about autonomy.
These ideas stimulated me to look at the five elements I had already to think about how each of these might be presented in a cocreative manner – below is the result:
Berne, E (1964) Games People Play, New York: Grove Press
Drego, P (2006) Freedom and Responsibility: Social Empowerment and the Altruistic Model of Ego States Transactional Analysis Journal 36: 2 90-104
Hay, J (2012) Donkey Bridges for Developmental TA Hertford: Sherwood
Hay, J (2014) Extending the Donkey Bridge for Autonomy IDTA Newsletter 9:1 8
Moodie, A. (2005, 8 July). Robert Burns, the Scottish enlightenment & TA. Workshop presented at the World TA Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland
Richo, David (2002) How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Relationships Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications
Yacovelli, Dyan (2008) The 5 “As”: Acceptance, Affection, Appreciation, Approval, and Attention: The Journey to Emotional Fulfillment. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse Inc
© 2018 Julie Hay
Julie is a fan of open access publishing, so feel free to reproduce any of these blogs, as long as you still attribute it to her.