Professional Development

17 - Contamination and exclusion I
We have looked at each of the different ego states separately. As we were saying, there are three components in the mix, so there is constant interrelating between them. We are most efficient when we concentrate our psychic energy in the ego state most suitable for each circumstance, and this has a technical name, cathexis - the ability to bring out and put into play the most appropriate ego state according to our objectives at the time. There are two types of functional problem with respect to this view of correct behavior: contamination and exclusion.Contamination of the Adult occurs when the Adult is invaded, either by the Parent component or the Child component and, as a consequence, the Adult has little capacity for control and is incapable of correcting its erroneous information. For example, when the Adult is contaminated by the Parent we have behavior based on prejudiced, outdated Parent information, that is not subjected to criticism and expressed as the truth. Carried to the extreme this produces rigidity in behavior and judgment which, although it may appear contradictory, are for reasons of security. In other words, the more insecure a person feels the more likely it is that behavior will appear based on prejudice and preconceived ideas, expressed with little flexibility and much rigidity, because this is their way of protecting against insecurity.When the Child is the component producing contamination of the Adult, we have a person greatly affected by illusions and hallucinations. An illusion is based on fear. A hallucination is caused by a state of anxiety and external tension in which a past experience takes on elements of the present. So, in contamination by the Child, what we see is behavior with an Adult component with little control over their Child, who therefore acts based on excessive or very low level illusions and hallucinations, which is to say fears, anxieties or conditions of tension that do not correspond with the reality that the person is living.