Skip to content

Transactional Analysis

“The achievement of autonomy is manifested by the discovery or recovery of three capacities: awareness, spontaneity and intimacy.”

Eric Berne

Transactional Analysis (TA) was developed by Eric Berne during the 1950s. Transactions refer to the communication exchanges between people. Berne recognized that the human personality is made up of three “ego states,” or systems of thought, feeling, and behaviour. The interaction between Parent, Adult and Child ego states form the foundation of transactions and he investigated communications between individuals based on the current state of each. TA is a comprehensive and versatile system of psychotherapy recognised world-wide for its success in facilitating personal change. TA is a theory of personality, communication, and child development which provides a model to help us understand how people interact and develop patterns of behaviour and relationships. It helps us to understand how people form habitual patterns and can be used in the treatment of a wide range of problems. One of the benefits of TA is that the concepts can be understood and used on many levels from simple pointers to complex analysis. The core beliefs of TA are that respect, and empathy are a core feature of relationships, people are OK, everyone has the capacity to think, people can make changes, they can decide their own destiny, and these decisions can be changed. These beliefs are reflected in the therapeutic relationship client and therapist work together, taking equal responsibility for achieving agreed goals. Open communication is important in all aspects of the therapy process. The aim of TA is personal growth and change.