1 TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS
Why use transactional analysis (TA)? Definition of TA The Development of TA Areas of Application Ego States The three ego states Diagnosis of Ego States Transactional Analysis Strokes Life Positions The four life positions Psychological Games Individuals can change References and further reading 1 1 2 3 3 3 5 8 12 14 15 17 19 19
WHY USE TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS (TA)?
We can: n n n n Stand back and see what is going on. See what we really communicate. Understand feelings and emotions. Gain greater control of the communications process.
DEFINITION OF TA
Transactional analysis is described by the ITAA (International Transactional Analysis Association) as "a theory of personality and a systematic psychotherapy for personal growth and personal change." It is probably more accurate to say that TA is a set of interlocking theories, with accompanying techniques, and which rests on a number of philosophical assumptions.
Much of the material in this session was written by Julie Hay 1
The theories will be described in the rest of this session, as will some of the techniques that help us to understand ourselves and make changes. The philosophical bases for TA include: n all people are OK as human beings, even though their behaviour may be unacceptable n people have an urge to grow and develop themselves, even though they may have learned to repress this n we make decisions and are therefore responsible for our behaviour. We can influence others and invite certain responses but they decide how to react (although it is unfair to condemn them for this if they have not been exposed to TA philosophy!) The principle that arises from this is: n that TA is practised as part of a contractual arrangement — in other words clients are expected to use the theory to understand themselves better, and to work in partnership with the transactional analyst towards a mutually agreed outcome.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF TA
The originator of TA was Eric Berne (1910–1970). A Canadian who became a US citizen, Dr Berne trained as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. However, he was not accepted for membership of the professional psychoanalytic institute and went on to develop his own theories and methods. His first theories emerged in 1949 and by 1958 he had produced most of the basic TA concepts. In 1958 he began regular Tuesday evening meetings that were known as the San Francisco Social Psychiatry Seminars — and these continue to run. Much of the TA theory was developed at these seminars, which were attended by many people who went on to become well–known TA exponents. The broad timetable for development of TA concepts was: 19551962 19621966 19661970 ego states transactions and games script analysis
From 1971 Eric Berne Memorial Scientific Awards (EBMSA) were introduced. in 1962 they started a quarterly TA Bulletin (TAB); in 1963 the first TA conference was held; in 1964 the ITAA was formed. In 1971 the TAB became the TAJ (Transactional Analysis Journal) and this is still the official journal of the ITAA.
AREAS OF APPLICATION
As you will have seen from the ITAA definition, the main focus of TA has been in psychotherapy. This is referred to as the clinical field of TA. Within the UK, Certified Transactional Analysts (Clinical) are now recognised as psychotherapists by the UK Council for Psychotherapy. There are three other fields of TA application : organisational, educational and counselling. These fields are growing constantly.
Berne wrote that ego states were systems of ...