Ego States. Berne defined three principal ego states, each with a specific origin and characteristics: Child (archaeopsyche), Parent (exteropsyche), and Adult (neopsyche). Further elaboration of ego state theory led to the recognition of two functional Parent ego states (Critical and Nurturing) and two functional Child ego states (Free and Adapted). CP stands for Critical Parent, with criticizing and regulating characteristics. NP stands for Nurturing Parent, with permitting and encouraging characteristics. A stands for Adult, focusing on gathering facts and considering alternatives and being objective. FC stands for Free Child, with self-orientation and optimistic characteristics. AC stands for Adapted Child, focusing on restraining one's emotions and with social characteristics.