Introduction Transactional Analysis
Transactional Analysis originated from the need to develop a method to discover the mysteries
of human behavior, and then to help people solve their psychological problems relatively quickly,
that is, without years of psychotherapeutic treatment.
The language has purposely been kept simple and easily understandable so that people could see
simple, helpful principles that they could use in their everyday experiences.
Transactional Analysis starts with the assumption that every person is made up of personalities,
called ego states, and communication is oriented with these three ego states.
TA has to do with transactions that corresponds to that which two or more exchange with
one another and that makes it suited to explain and to improve communication.
TA was founded by the Canadian psychiatrist, Eric Berne, (1910-1970) who interpreted behavior
and experience from changing "ego states".
TA attempts to understand interpersonal relationships based on certain patterns in order to
influence them during therapy and, at the same time, to encourage the acceptance
of one's own personality.
Eric Berne set down the most important thoughts in 1961 in Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy.
His most-read book was “Games People Play” (1964), and his last, and most extensive book
was “What Do You Say after You Say Hello” was published in 1972.
Transactional Analysis is a social psychology and a method to improve communication.
The theory outlines how we have developed and how we treat ourselves, how we relate and
communicate with others, and offers suggestions and interventions which will enable us
to change and grow.
Transactional Analysis is underpinned by the philosophy that:
People can change
We all have a right to be in the world and to be accepted
Initially criticized by some as a simplistic model, Transactional Analysis has capture
It originally suffered much from the popularized writings in the 1960s.
Also, summarized explanations, such as this, which can only touch on some of the concepts
in Transactional Analysis, led their readers to believe that there was very little to it.
Many did not appreciate the duration and complexity of the training.
Today, there is greater understanding of Transactional Analysis.
More and more people are taking the four to five year part-time training courses to qualify,
and increasingly universities are accrediting these courses for masters degrees.
Those taking training include psychiatrists, organizational and management consultants,
teachers, social workers, designers, engineers and the clergy.
Today Transactional Analysis is used in psychotherapy, organizations, educational
and religious settings.
Books have been written for all ages, from children through to adults, by people
all over the world.
Transactional Analysis is truly an international theory relating to a diverse range of cultures.
The goals of Transactional Analysis can be defined as follows:
Courage, decisiveness and ability to win self-responsibility, that is, not only the acceptance
of responsibility for my needs, feelings, opinions, decisions and deeds,
but also renunciation of dependent and restricted security.
Berne calls this the development to autonomy.
Reality, that is, to see reality as it is, not as I would like to have it, but impartially,
Fair interaction with fellow humans, to which impartiality in encounters belongs as well as
not using others nor letting others use me; that I make my wishes and intentions
known explicitly, although without the demand that they be met, for only when
each person expresses their ideas and wishes can a constructive discussion take place.
Transactional analysis concerns four kinds of analysis:
1. Structural analysis which is the analysis of individual personality.
2. Transactional analysis is the analysis of what people do and say to one another.
3. Game analysis is the analysis of ulterior transactions leading to a payoff.
4: Script analysis is the analysis of specific flight dramas that people compulsively play out.
Introduction To Structural Analysis
Structural analysis is one way of answering the questions: Who am I? Why do I act the way I do?
How did I get this way?
It is a method of analyzing a person's thoughts, feelings, and behavior, based on the phenomena
of ego states.
The implications are that a person's experiences are recorded in the brain and nervous tissue.
This includes everything a person experienced in childhood and incorporated from parent figures,
perceptions of events and feelings associated with these events, and the distortions brought
These recordings are stored as though on videotape.
They can be replayed, and the event recalled and even re-experienced.
Each person has three ego states which are separate and distinct sources of behavior:
the Parent ego state, the Adult ego state, and the Child ego state.
These are not abstract concepts, but are realities.
The Parent, Adult, and Child represent real people who exist or who wants to existed.
When these three ego states are referred to, they are not actual parents, adults, or children.
When capitalized in this web site they refer to ego states.
The Parent ego state contains the attitudes and behavior incorporated from external sources,
Outwardly, it is often expressed toward others in prejudicial, critical, and nurturing behavior.
Inwardly, it is experienced as old Parental messages which continue to influence the inner Child.
The Adult ego state is not related to a person's age.
It is oriented to current reality and the objective gathering of information.
It is organized, adaptable, intelligent, and functions by testing reality, estimating probabilities,
and computing dispassionately.
The Child ego state contains all the impulses that come naturally to an infant.
It also contains the recordings of the child's early experiences, responses, and the "positions"
taken about self and others.
It is expressed as "old" (archaic) behavior from childhood.
When you are acting, thinking, feeling as you observed your parents to be doing,
you are in your Parent ego state.
When you are dealing with current reality, gathering facts, and computing objectively,
you are in your Adult ego state.
When you are feeling and acting as you did when you were a child,
you are in your Child ego state.
To learn more about the three ego states, click Ego States on left Menu.
Click on left menu to learn the Benefits of TA.