Building relationships at school by responding to the individual needs of students and teachers using the Process Communication Model®

Article appeared in the Educational Transactional Analysis Journal which is a scientific journal aimed at educators, teachers, psychologists and people dealing with transactional analysis in theory and in practice. 

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The purpose of this article is to present the basic concepts and practical application of the Process Communication Model® in the field of education. The PCM® is a psychological personality model developed by the American clinical psychologist Dr Taibi Kahler (1975, pp. 280-284). The model shows how to communicate effectively taking into account different personality types by using communication channels and gives the key to recognizing psychological needs and the resulting individual motivations specific to the base type of personality and phase, i.e. the currently dominant personality type (Kahler, 2008, pp. 45-81, 111–116). Also practical conclusions from the application of the model in the field of education in schools in the USA are presented (Donlan, 2003).


”Better teachers’ competencies in building relationships would be beneficial to everyone. Children have many competencies, but there is one thing we cannot demand from them: they are not able to take responsibility for the quality of their contact with adults.” (Juul, 2013, p.36). These are the words of Jesper Juul, a Dutch therapist and educationalist, author of many books on bringing up autonomous children, respecting their individual integrity. His book Schools in Crisis. What we must do to improve the situation for children, parents and teachers accurately diagnoses students’ and teachers’ burnout, caused, among all, by lack of appropriate communication between the three subjects mentioned in the title, and by lack of care about both students’ and teachers’ needs. The role of teachers, parents and educationalists is to raise the standard of living for us and other generations. According to the American psychologist, Dr Taibi Kahler, to achieve success in that field, we have to support our children in the way that is best for their individuality (Pauley, Bradley, Pauley, 2002, p. xi).

Nowadays, we can notice an even bigger crisis of school and the whole system of education, expressed by the teachers’ strike (2019) and a growing percentage of depression and suicide cases among school teenagers (2020, It is necessary to make use of tools available “here and now”, without waiting for equally desirable but possibly remote education reforms. The PCM® is an easy to implement tool for teachers and students, which translates into a better atmosphere in the classroom and ensures better conditions for the process of learning.

“The message sent is not always the message received.” Virginia Satir

The article presents a practical model that supports building genuine relationships between teachers and students in the school environment, verified by numerous scientific researches and nearly 30 years of practical use in various areas of life, beginning with business, via politics and finishing with education. The Process Communication Model® is a verified tool developed by the American clinical psychologist, Dr Taibi Kahler. According to the assumptions of the model, recognizing well the perception of the speaker and their current psychological needs is a key to genuine understanding, which also lets us avoid or minimize misunderstanding and minimize distress (Kahler, 2008, p.45). Without good communication, there are no authentic relationships that constitute an optimal learning environment. The PCM® offers a key to communication that matches natural preferences of the receiver, thanks to which a teacher knows how to send their message so that its content is well received by a student. Like Kahler wrote, while using a short-wave radio, both parties must be on the same wavelength to hear each other. Similarly, everyday communication requires individuals to use the same channel if they want to hear information well (Kahler, 2008, p. 68). Using the PCM® in education supports teachers in choosing their communication style that matches a given student best, and in motivating and solving problems by understanding individual needs (Pauley, Bradley, Pauley, 2002, p. xi).

The article briefly presents the development of the concepts that resulted in creating a complete model and possibilities and examples of its use in order to build good relationships in education.

Kahler’s drivers and needs

Based on Eric Berne’s five conditions: words, gestures, tone of voice, facial expression, body posture, in his clinical work Dr Taibi Kahler noticed behaviours lasting less than a few seconds that always occurred directly before noticeable behaviours linked with distress (Kahler, 2008, p. 4). After a few weeks of observation, Kahler distinguished five separate behavioural signs that he called drivers. There are no feelings connected with drivers, and getting out of a driver gives us a sequence of stress and strengthening a life script (Kahler, 1975, p. 280). On the other hand, frequent staying in a driver mode strengthens a life position of conditional being OK. Being aware of entering a driver and having knowledge of sentence patterns used there, we can change their formula and influence a change in a life script (Kahler, 1975, p. 283). Nearly 50 years after this discovery, the research conducted during that time confirmed the closed list of drivers: Be Perfect (introjected and projected), Be Strong (introjected and projected), Please Others, Try Hard, Hurry Up (Kahler, 2008, p. 5).

”Life reflected in a sentence pattern”

Having defined the concept of a driver, Kahler formed the concept of a miniscript, which determines a sequence of distress triggered by a driver appropriate for a given personality type (Kahler 2008, p.7). Earlier on, Eric Berne had defined a life script as “a pre-conscious life plan chosen in childhood” (Collignon, Legrand, Parr, 2010, p.211). The miniscript is a sequence of behaviours taking place within a few minutes or even seconds, which results in strengthening a life pattern (Kahler, T., Capers, H., 1974, p.28). In his research, Kahler confirmed that while listening attentively, it is possible to find a pattern in one sentence, a pattern that a given person keeps repeating again and again in their life. What is more, every moment of the day, we are either in our miniscript in the OK or the not-OK position, strengthening our life position in this way (Kahler, T., Capers, H., 1974, p.31). Referring to the area of education, it is easy to conclude that students who are constantly at a loser position in their school environment and who do not receive a well-formulated invitation to get out of distress and regain access to their resources, are consolidated in this position.

Contact doors

The American psychiatrist Paul Ware, Kahler’s friend and colleague, developed the “contact doors” concept, which facilitates effective communication with clinical patients and further development work while focusing on behaviour, thinking or feelings dependent on an individual’s preferences (Ware, 1983, p. 11). Dr Ware sequentially conceptualized thoughts, feelings and behaviours and showed the clinical value of using the following door types while working with patients: the open door (the most energised one) to initiate contact, the target door as an area for most effective therapeutic changes, and the trap door to be avoided by a patient as they may make the least progress there. In his cooperation with Ware, Kahler introduced the area of contact and communication in his research, which contributed to creating the Process Therapy Model (Kahler, 2008, p. 19). In the PTM, the concept of the open door was reflected in the “perception” of the base personality type.

In his research, Kahler discovered the correlation between 6 personality types and the way they “perceive” the world. Perception is an individual way of looking at the world with the help of one’s thoughts, opinions, emotions, reflections (inactivity), reaction (I like or I don’t like) or action (Kahler, 2008, p. 45). These are both filters which help us experience the world and the way in which we communicate and we would like others to communicate with us.

The success of communication depends not only on using the perceptual framework of reference, but on whether or not we use an appropriate “channel” for a given person. Certainly everyone remembers situations from their life when their interlocutor preferred a direct way of speaking or an exchange based on facts (like between two computers), an exchange full of care and warmth, or a spontaneous and jocular one. Using channels requires practice, but it is intuitive and when we know our interlocutor’s personality type, it becomes a habit facilitating communication (Kahler, 2008, p. 68).

Further work with the PTM and clinical research let Kahler create a comprehensive personality model, the Process Communication Model®, which with scientific precision determines individual personality traits, such as preferred perception, communication channel, strengths, psychological needs and motivations resulting from them. The personality structure from the PCM® perspective makes it also possible to predict a probable sequence of distress and explain in detail changes in motivation and drivers that a given person may experience during their life, facing important events (Kahler, 2009, p.vii). Such a model has been used, among all, in the recruitment process of astronauts for the NASA missions, in business, medicine, and also education. In the school environment, the PCM® makes it easier to understand why both teachers and students feel, think and behave in a certain way (Pauley, Bradley, Pauley, 2002, p. xi).

The table below presents a combination of the aforesaid basic concepts constituting the PCM® elements. As it is described in the further part of the article, these concepts constitute an easy to learn and very efficient key to building good teacher-student relationships in the school environment and let us avoid commonly encountered difficulties in communication, which too often result in tagging students as difficult. Taking into account how influential this adult tagging of children can be, such a label may disturb or even ruin healthy development of a given child at school.

Base type Perception Channel Driver
Thinker Thoughts Interrogative Be Perfect (Me)
Persister Opinions Interrogative Be Perfect (You)
Harmoniser Emotions Fostering Please Others
Promoter Acting Prescriptive Be Strong (You)
Rebel Reactions (I like/ I don’t like) Emotional Try Hard
Imaginer Reflections Prescriptive Be Strong (Me)

In his clinical research, Taibi Kahler distinguished 6 types of personality which are determined by preferred perception, strengths, communication channels, psychological needs and a predicted sequence of stress and failure pattern (Kahler, 2008, p. 17). The article uses current names for personality types: Thinker, Persister, Harmoniser, Imaginer, Promoter, Rebel. The PCM® assumes that every person has a personality structure consisting of all the aforesaid types but energetic access to each of them is different, depending on their location in the personality structure. It means that, for example, a highly empathic person may also have broad access to the spontaneous and jocular Rebel’s way of being, at the same time finding it not so easy to communicate with the Persister type of person that strongly engages in actions combining with their values and expects the highest standards from others.

The PCM® presents the personality structure in the form of a 6-floor “condominium” in which the order of the floors shows which resources are most accessible to a given person, and which ones are not so well developed (Collignon, Legrand, Parr, 2010, p. 33). We are born with one dominant personality type (or we develop it very early in the first months of our lives) which constitutes our “base” for the rest of our lives. The order of other floors in the structure is determined by contact of this “natural temperament” with one’s surroundings within the first seven years of one’s life (Kahler, 2008, p.37). At the same time, the model assumes that apart  from the basic personality type, which  during one’s life, determines their preferred channel and perception, we can also change the most accessible personality type at a given time by phasing (Kahler, 2008, p. 108). A phase can change during our life, and together with it, the most current psychological needs, as a result of an individual’s confrontation with their developmental area, unique for each personality type. What is essential is the fact that the model’s assumption is not phasing itself but development through increasing access to all energies regardless of their location in the personality structure. We can achieve it by better understanding of ourselves, knowledge of our preferences and needs and recognizing those characteristic of other personality types. Thanks to this we can develop genuine communication, respecting our personal boundaries and individuality of another person. Such understanding based on comprehending individual differences makes it possible to stay in the OK-OK position and to create real, inclusive environment both at school, at work and at home.

The figure below shows a graphic representation of an example personality structure (the “condominium”) in the light of the PCM® with the marked order and energetic availability of particular personality types in the structure of a given person. As the figure shows, this is a person whose base is the Thinker, perceiving the world with the help of analytical thinking and facts, who also has good access to the perception of the Harmoniser (personality type placed on the next floor in the structure), thanks to which during 90% of their time they can easily communicate with people for whom this is the dominant perception type. Meanwhile, this structure has got the Imaginer type on the last floor with little access to it (20%), which might translate into difficulties in communication and developing relationships with people who are more withdrawn and reflexive.

Figure 1: Personality structure (Collignon, G., Legrand, P., Parr, J., 2010, p. 35)

PCM® – personalised understanding

“We traditionally think that the content is most important. It is not true. If the content and process are coherent, both factors are equally important. Otherwise, the process is more important” (Juul, 1995, p.188). This is how Jesper Juul wrote about human interactions on the basis of his experience in family therapy and counseling functions he occupied in educational establishments. His research led Kahler to conclusions that confirm it in the following way: “HOW we say something is more important than WHAT we say.” It means that putting the process over the content is essential for reaching agreement (Kahler, 2008, p.46).

Kahler formulated his opinion on the basis of his numerous clinical researches, which served him as a basis for developing the Process Therapy Model, the Process Communication Model and its later adaptation, i.e. the Process Education Model (PEM). The PEM® is a variant of the PCM adapted for educational needs and determines how people perceive the world, give and obtain information (Gilbert, 2019, p. 313). Faced with this knowledge and taking into account the educational mission of school, before the teacher starts to transfer their knowledge to their students, they should know HOW to address them, to give them a chance to get and understand the content appropriately.

Educators trained in the PEM® can precisely recognise strengths of a given personality, preferred communication channels, psychological needs and signs of growing distress experienced by students. The model also offers tools for individual interventions with the help of words, gestures, tone of voice, posture, facial expression, to invite students to come back to the OK-OK position and full contact with their resources. The use of the PCM in the classroom makes it possible to build a better relationship by appropriate communication, minimizing distress and limiting distraction in teaching and learning. What is more, better communication skills translate into better understanding of one’s needs and preferred communication style, which allows teachers to take greater care of themselves in the teaching process (Pauley, Bradley, Pauley, 2002, p. xi).

Good results of relationship in education

An experiment of the PEM implementation in school environment, using an example of Apache Junction (Arizona) School District, shows that within the period of 3 years remarkable results were achieved, expressed not only in scientific achievements but also in students’ and teachers’ wellbeing and developing their mutual relations (Donlan R. 2012, p. 51).

In this school, implementing the PEM resulted in, among all, such parameters:

– noticeably better learning performance in each class,

– the percentage of students not moving up to the next class among the 7th and 8th graders decreased from the level of 20% to 2%,

– discipline issues were limited below the level of 2%,

– the percentage of students expelled from school decreased from the level of 20% to less than 9%,

– the percentage of graduates grew,

– the percentage of students continuing their education at the next education level increased from the level of below 19% to the level above 43%,

– school staff rotation dropped from 43% to only 3%,

– school staff morale and parents’ satisfaction grew (Donlan R. 2012, p. 48)


As for “side effects” of using the PEM in order to develop better relationships with others, one can only mention bigger self-awareness, bigger awareness of one’s preferences and needs. Each person is unique and special, but experiences common behavioural patterns, which are reflected in their personality structure (Kahler, 2009). The PEM helps to understand these patterns, learn to recognise them and offers practical strategies of responding to them.

”Difficult” students

In the research conducted by Michael Gilbert, “difficult” students were those who were more active in their school environment, more jocular and active when examined at the beginning of the lesson, and definitely more energetic kinesthetically and tactually in their learning preferences, choosing playful contact (Gilbert, 2019, p. 313). Knowing more about different personality types, regardless of differences, teachers find it easier to reach for resources of students with different personality types. As the table below shows, it is the easiest for the Thinker and the Persister student types to function with their resources in traditional school environment. It is not difficult to notice that the Promoter and Rebel student types might face the biggest difficulties in using their resources in classroom conditions, where they are expected to sit still at their desks and listen attentively to the teacher’s message. Similarly, the Imaginer student type might have frequent difficulties in following pre-planned lesson flow, where there is no place for using one’s imagination and illustrating content with reflections they would need.

Base Perception Strengths
Harmoniser Emotions Compassionate, sensitive, warm
Thinker Thoughts Logical, responsible, organised
Persister Opinions Conscientious, dedicated, observant
Imaginer Reflections Imaginative, reflexive, calm
Rebel Reactions Spontaneous, creative, playful
Promoter Actions Adaptable, persuasive, charming

Table 2. Source (Gilbert, 2019, p. 313)

As the research proves, teachers who develop good relationships with their students are more likely to achieve good results in teaching (Gilbert, 2019, p. 319). On the other hand, students who are in conflict with their teacher do not perform well in the classroom and have poorer learning performance. Having appropriate knowledge, everyone can adjust their behaviour and communication to the recipient’s needs in order to communicate effectively. Failure in that area will lead to misunderstanding, lack of suitable learning conditions and the occurrence of distress affecting both the teacher and the student.

Developing good and genuine relationships is an essential and integral step to effective contact with students. Meanwhile, students cannot take responsibility for that as they are not mature enough, and they need the leadership of an adult defining a safe framework for their activities and their proper development. Responsibility for relationships stays with adults. “In a relationship of two adults both sides bear equal responsibility for the quality of their relations. But it is solely an adult who bears responsibility for the quality of relationship with a child. It refers to parents and children at home and adults and children at kindergarten, school and in society in general” (Juul, 1995, p. 189). To take over that responsibility for the quality of communication in the classroom, the teacher needs verified and intuitive tools offering clear and practical solutions for an individualized way of passing knowledge, avoiding misunderstanding, getting out of distress and referring to individual intrinsic motivation of each student.

Conditions necessary for learning

Various aspects of personality, such as perception, motivation and communication channels have an influence on students’ school performance (Gilbert, 2018, p. 311). Thus, teachers that mastered the individualized way of communication with their students can achieve better teaching results. In fact, it is students who are usually expected to adjust to their teacher’s communication style and behaviour that they are supposed to demonstrate.

Individual differences between students and teachers often lead to labelling students as difficult, especially when their perception and motivation are external and they need active surroundings and a more energetic way of passing knowledge (Gilbert, 2019, p. 312). Due to differences in the personality structure of teachers and students and differences in communication resulting from it, many teachers find it difficult to teach students whose personality type is different from theirs and to which they have very limited access in their structure. The American research of the 1990s shows that students with the base personality type of the Imaginer, Rebel and Promoter constituted the biggest group among students who were expelled from school, diagnosed with ADHD deficits, sent to special care classes and posed problems to teachers and peers (Pauley, Bradley, Pauley, 2002, p.29). Considering the aforesaid individual differences, all these difficulties were often caused by students’ distress, communication issues and unmet psychological needs. They were also caused by lack of ability to make genuine contact with the students, which would let them feel comfortable with themselves and in the school environment and obtain access to their resources. Only in this situation is learning possible. Unfortunately, many students bear personal consequences for the flaws of the whole education system, never getting an opportunity of suitable learning conditions.

The PCM® offers a practical tool to initiate communication in the form of the communication channels concept, which is a key to understanding students with different personality types. The table below presents communication channels with examples of dialogues that might take place at school. Communication happens when a given channel matches the needs of a given personality type. Misunderstanding happens when the speaker uses a different channel than their recipient  (Kahler, 2008, p.69).

Table Communication channels and lack of communication
Channel Dialogue Communication Misunderstanding*
Prescriptive Tell me where you’re going. I’m going to the lockroom. Am I to tell you where I’m going?
Interrogative Where are you going? To the lockroom. Am I to tell you where I’m going?
Fostering What a nice sweater. You always look so beautiful. Thank you. It’s the same one I’ve been wearing for a week.
Emotional Hi there! What a great T-shirt! Yeah! Great, ain’t it! Everything is fine with my T-shirt!

*Misunderstanding takes place when we use an inappropriate communication channel for the needs of a given personality type.

Table 3. Source (Pauley, Bradley, Pauley, p.26)

When the interlocutors’ perceptions do not match and they communicate via channels that are not adjusted to their preferences, a misunderstanding might happen. Paying attention to the interlocutor’s answer, we can make sure if we really communicate via the right channel. If we do not adjust the channel and perception to the interlocutor’s need, it might result in a lot of wasted energy and time due to an inappropriate way of communication. It should be emphasized that so far in school conditions students have been expected to completely adjust to the communication style presented by a given teacher. Meanwhile, as a professionally trained adult, it is a teacher that should be responsible for finding a key to efficient communication with their students.

School of understanding

The PEM® has been used for many years in American schools as a communication tool and for developing relationships with students. A private school, MUSE (Santa Monica, California, the USA), whose one of five main pillars is the use of the PCM® in the process of education, can be a good example. In the report concerning the methodology used at school, one teacher gave an example of using communication channels with children from lower grades of primary school  ( While tidying up the classroom after the lesson, children were supposed to put teaching aids in their places. The teacher, being familiar with communication channels typical of children with certain personality types, gave the same instruction in many different ways. In the prescriptive channel, the instruction was, “Please, put the toys on the shelf.” In the interrogative one it read, “Could you help me with arranging these books?”  The fostering channel sounded in this way: “I’ll be very grateful if you help me with these crayons.” The emotional channel read as follows: “Hey, let’s see if we can pick up all these Lego blocks!” And coming back to the prescriptive channel, the teacher said, “Collect all these papers, throw them into the bin and come back to me.” Thanks to this, students learn responsibility for their common space from the very first day and thanks to modelling by teachers they learn how to communicate taking into account the needs of every interlocutor. The experience of this school shows that children benefit from such an individual approach showing willingness to cooperate and respect for other people.

The aforesaid teacher of first graders concludes: “My aim as a teacher is making children feel safe. There is no better way than showing them that they are heard by using their channels. It offers them a safe space to work and play. It creates a really nice atmosphere of respect for children, who are new at school.”

Teachers’ psychological needs

During the day, everyone experiences drivers, gets into first degree distress (doorway of distress), which is a result of misunderstanding. People who changed a phase present a base driver in case of misunderstanding. When their psychological needs are not satisfied they can demonstrate a phase driver (Kahler, 2008, p. 117). If we are in good shape and we mind our needs, we can intuitively get out of distress. If there is no suitable reaction in response to a driver, the situation escalates and one might experience next, predictable levels of distress – basement (second level of distress), and finally cellar (third level of distress) (Kahler, 2008, p. 159).

In school reality, teachers also experience their drivers many times during the day and demonstrate their typical behaviour. Thanks to actions directed towards their needs, they can satisfy their needs in a positive way. The table below shows a combination of possible behaviours in distress, depending on a personality type present in a phase, which influences both distress and motivation (Pauley, Bradley, Pauley, 2002, p.173). Knowledge of first distress symptoms and ability to recognize them can translate into teachers’ more effective response to their own needs in the classroom environment and avoiding frustration, which makes them more accessible for students.

Table Distress sequence
Harmoniser Phase

First degree

Second degree

Third degree


Adjusts too much to their students or colleagues

Makes mistakes, lacks assertiveness

Feels rejected “I feel I’m not liked”

Thinker Phase

First degree

Second degree

Third degree


Thinks for their students

Excessively controls and criticises their way of thinking

Feels rejected “They can’t even think”

Persister Phase

First degree

Second degree


Third degree


Focuses on mistakes instead of on what is done well

Forces through their opinions, conducts crusades and preaches in the classroom

Leaves their students “They are not engaged in learning at all”

Imaginer Phase

First degree

Second degree

Third degree


Does not respond to students’ needs

Waits passively, avoids their students

Stays away from acting “Nobody told me what to do”

Rebel Phase

First degree

Second degree

Third degree


Tries hard to keep the pace, but cannot manage

Blames things, situations, colleagues or students

Becomes vindictive “I’ll show them”

Promoter Phase

First degree

Second degree

Third degree


Expects that students will take care of themselves

Manipulates, drama king/ queen in the classroom or at school

Abandons their students “You won’t manage”

Table 4. Source: Pauley, Bradley, Pauley, 2002, p.173

The key to limit non-constructive behaviours is supporting people in distress and letting them satisfy their psychological needs in a positive way (Kahler, 2008, p.117). It is important to pay attention to satisfying basic psychological needs every day, and if it is not possible, to take care of a positive weekly and monthly balance. For particular personality types, for example, in the Persister and Thinker Phase, it will be appreciation of their work, in the Harmoniser Phase of their loving and warm presence, in the Promoter Phase it will be taking care of space for activity and challenges, in the Rebel Phase it will be an opportunity of positive and playful contact, in the Imaginer Phase it will be an opportunity to recuperate in silence and solitude a few times a day (even for a few minutes) (Kahler, 2008, p.283).

The PEM® offers teachers practical guidelines how to recognize their psychological needs and examples how to take care of them. Understanding which behaviours demonstrate getting into first degree distress, the teacher can independently and effectively take care of their needs, avoiding the other levels of distress. Thus, the ability to read burnout signs can save time and energy that would be used for conflicts in the classroom and spare both the teacher’s and students’ frustration. Thanks to it, teachers can fully use their potential to support their students in the learning process.

The table below presents in a simplified way (for the sake of clarity) the concept of psychological needs in the light of the PCM® and guidelines how to meet them.

Phase Psychological need Actions for oneself Actions for the environment
Harmoniser Diagnosing a person and their senses Talking to a friendly person, nice accents in the work environment Being appreciated for loving and warm presence
Thinker Diagnosing work and time structure Making plans and appreciating timely actions Being appreciated for one’s work and timing
Persister Diagnosing work and one’s convictions Setting priorities worth engaging in and praising oneself for reaching the goals Being appreciated for one’s engagement and acting in accordance with one’s values
Imaginer Solitude A few minutes alone at the beginning and the end of the day, a solitary meal Space for recuperation in peace and quiet
Rebel Positive contact Caring about variety and unpredictability of one’s day Space for positive contact, joking and play
Promoter Excitement Active engagement in exciting tasks rendering quick results Space for activity and new challenges

Table 5. Own sources based on Kahler 2008, p. 114

The table is to illustrate differences in psychological needs, and what follows, people’s internal motivation at particular phases. It shows that, e.g., if a teacher in the Harmoniser Phase is appreciated only for the quality of their work and good results, no matter how hard their environment tries, their needs to be appreciated for being a warm person and unconditional recognition of their presence in the team shall never be satisfied. Similarly, in case of e.g. the Promoter or the Thinker, appreciating them for a nice atmosphere and friendliness will not make them feel appropriately appreciated and their work satisfaction shall decrease with time, pushing them towards distress.


The PCM® works well as an effective and intuitive tool supporting teachers by creating good relationships with their students, based on respect for each person’s individuality. The ability to define a given student’s base personality type and, what follows, their perceptual framework of perceiving the world and their preferred communication channel might save a lot of time and energy usually used to manage misunderstanding and conflict. At the same time, knowing one’s own psychological needs and the first, typical signs of distress-drivers does not only allow the teacher to quickly come back to the OK-OK position, fully use their resources and notice their student’s resources, but also makes it possible to avoid the further sequence of distress (Kahler, 2008, p.45). In this way, the teacher might be more accessible for their students, at the same time protecting themselves against frustration and professional burnout (Pauley, J., Bradley, D., Pauley J., 2002, p.31). As examples of using the PCM® in education show, one can obtain good teaching results, taking care of wellbeing of all subjects taking part in the education process by developing a genuine relationship based on respecting each individual’s uniqueness. This is an educational model that does not concentrate only on passing the knowledge and results, but develops abilities essential for autonomous functioning in the modern world. What is more, by respecting each individual’s uniqueness and recognizing their unique resources, the PCM® constitutes an opportunity for reversing the current trend in education, summarised in the words of a British author, promoting changes in the education system, Sir Ken Robinson: “All children have talents, but adults waste them.”


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Article appeared in the Educational Transactional Analysis Journal which is a scientific journal aimed at educators, teachers, psychologists and people dealing with transactional analysis in theory and in practice. 

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