Soldiers on the battlefields are those individuals who are most exposed to “stress at work”. Therefore, they psychologically must be utterly balanced as they are faced with the most primary form of instinct: to protect their own life and survive. All primary functions of human nature act together with all internal psychological patterns of a soldier (some patterns are never activated in everyday live). When a soldier is concerned for his safety, all his senses are at the higest level of alertness. Due to his higher sensitivity, patterns from his childhood can be triggered such as unresolved traumas with parents or surroundings. Those are recorded deeply in the subconscious of an individual, usually in the early childhood, and only slowly resurface in the late thirties. If the soldier has not experienced an exceptionally stressful life situation, those patterns remain in the subconscious and emerge as an “uncontrolled” outbreak on the battlefield in the form of various ego-states. Thus, the purpose of the model is to identify the ego-states of professional soldiers regarding their reactions to stress / crisis situations.
The explanatory-descriptive method is used, coupled with the analysis of the contents of the primary and secondary written sources.
A soldier under heavy stress on the battlefield, or heavily stressed for a longer time, will demonstrate a particular ego-state, either Parent, Child or Adult according to the Transactional Analysis. When the soldier is in the ego-state of a Parent, he will operate as learned during the primary socialization. In the ego-state of a Child, his decisions will be affected by images of internal events or his sensual perception of life. Only in the ego-state of an Adult, the soldier will be able to act in accordance with a thought-out concept based on collected and processed data.
The theoretical model presented in this paper has already been used in practice in commercial enterprises and public administration. For the armed forces, considering the high stress levels of professional soldiers, the methodology is further applied to create profiles of ego-states of soldiers. Depending on the ego-state of a soldier, the receptiveness to excessive stress can be identified. As a result, we can reduce the number of soldiers suffering from the post-traumatic stress syndrome. A detailed identification of the ego-states through targeted training can better prepare soldiers for the battlefield.
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