I made speak the little girl in me


Isabelle Crespelle is a psychotherapist and trainer in transactional analysis. She agreed to receive our journalist and try, in one session, to give us an overview of this method that goes in search of our Inner Child.

Elisabath Morlainville

Five more kilos since September. Not the drama of the century but a real concern. And an anxiety: that to see reappear the lost pounds, two years ago, after a long battle. How did I have the will to "keep" a strict and severe diet for eighteen months and, brutally, be again unable to resist the call of the caramel macaroon at the least stress?

Isabelle Crespelle receives me in a warm room and explains to me that the work begins with a contract between the therapist and the client: set a goal and find the way to achieve it. Obviously, where a real therapeutic approach would lead me to take the time to test my desire, this unique session forces me to make it simple. "In which direction do you want to go today? Guide me the therapist. weight or to test your fear of getting fat, one is in the register of knowledge, the other is in emotion, it's not the same job. " My first impetus is to choose the understanding, the intellect, the rational. But I sense that this is a form of protective leakage.

Let's go to the emotion. So, I'm going back to the little girl that her parents put on a diet very early. Two images come to me: the obligatory weigh-in of Sunday morning, under the eyes of the assembled family; and later, my father forcing me to put on one of his jeans and trumpeting that I do not fit in. "These are traumatic situations that you tell, intervenes Isabelle Crespelle.This repetitive violence of the Sunday weighing generated in the little girl a terrible stress, and eating is one of the ways to reduce this stress, we all know that the kilos are a form of camouflage that aims to protect us from aggression.When you return to the child who undergoes these episodes, that feel -you?" In loose come anger, sorrow, humiliation, anguish.

For the transactional analyst, our self is made up of three aspects, called the ego states: the Parent, the Adult, and the Child (see below).

=> The Child, at a time of stress, wants to gorge on macaroons. Then this inner dialogue is formed.

=> The Parent: "You should not"; the rebellious Child: "Do not care, I eat anyway"; the persecuting Parent: "You are null."

=> The Adult intervenes after: it is he who analyzes, a posteriori, and who notes: "When I am anxious, I return to this mode of compulsive functioning.How to prevent it? "

" Our self-parent, "explains Isabelle Crespelle," incorporates what we experienced with our own parents - and parenting models in general. Your Parent is aggressive and, without play on words, it weighs you, it is you who say it. He remains in the depths of you a girl terrorized by the relation to the food and the weight that has been imposed on her. Then the child-self rebels and does the opposite of what her ego-Parent expects of her: she eats. "

But the therapist is reassuring:" The Parent is the one on which it is the easiest to to work since it is outside us. The little girl in you needs a protective Parent. In the example of weekly weighing, what would have been the words you would have liked to hear from a protective parent? "I close my eyes, I imagine parents assuring me that the weight does not matter, that they love me as I am, that the important thing is to feel good.This makes Isabelle Crespelle smile: "Be careful not to idealize your child-ego. If your parents had made this speech, do you honestly think you would not have thrown on sweets like many children? The protective parent gives healthy boundaries. In this case, yours should not let you eat anything, otherwise do not hope to slim down. "

If the sessions had continued, I would have learned to develop my Parent Protector, the one who prevents my Inner Child from drowning his fear in the lemon pies, not to make him a victim on which to pity himself, just to regain the freedom of childhood, the transactional analysis has this tremendous Inner child's rightful place: that of a child Of course, this tool is not magic: it requires a therapeutic work that can take time, but the path of childhood is never as far as it is believed.

What is Transactional Analysis?

Transactional Analysis (TA) was developed by US psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Eric Berne (1910-1970) in the 1950s. postulates that there are three states of the self: the Child, which expresses its spontaneity and creativity; Adult, who concretizes the creative impulses of the Child; the Parent, who respects the values ​​and cares for the Child. But these states do not always work harmoniously.

• The wounded child submits or rebels, stifling the free child.

• If the Parent has incorporated a persecutory or lax model, he or she will not be able to afford the appropriate protections or permissions.

The AT allows one to become aware of one's psychological functioning and then to reach one's goal: to find the free-self, to strengthen the failing Parent-self, to develop, structure and consolidate the Adult. This therapy is especially for those who suffer in their relationships with others.

Between 60 and 80 € the session of

forty-five minutes.Information

on the website of the French

Transaction Analysis Institute: www. ifat. net


• "Transactional Analysis and Psychotherapy" by Eric Berne.

Presentation of the method by its creator (Payot, 2001).

• "Manual of Transactional Analysis" by Ian Stewart and Vann Joines

A clear and comprehensive introductory book, enriched with numerous examples and exercises to train alone or in a group (InterEditions, 2000