What is Transactional Analysis?
T.A. is a set of practical conceptual tools for personal growth and
change, a social psychology developed by Eric Berne MD. (Find
out more about Eric Berne) According to
Eric Berne, T.A. is a powerful tool for human well being that utilizes
the “Adult”, in both the client and the counsellor to sort out thoughts
and behaviours that result in personal difficulties.
work directly on here and now problem-solving behaviours while
establishing an equal working relationship to provide clients with
day-to-day tools for finding constructive creative solutions.
TA concepts are used by people who want to:
Think clearly and raise their emotionally
Develop new options and outcomes
Analyze difficult situations and change those that
happen over and over
Key Concepts of Transactional Analysis
Eric Berne made complex interpersonal transactions understandable when he recognized that the human personality is made up of 3 “ego states”, each of which is an entire system of thought, feeling, and behavior from which we interact with each other. The Parent,
Adult, and Child ego states and the interaction between them form the foundation of transactional analysis theory.
Transactions refer to the communication exchanges between people.
Transactional analysts are trained to recognize which ego states people are transacting from and to intervene in the interactions so that they can improve the quality and effectiveness of communication.
A large part of your life story unfolds like the script of a drama
or play. When Shakespeare said "All the world's a stage and all the men
and women merely players" he alluded to the repetitive predictable
aspects of life scripts. You are "in script" when your life follows
family influences and childhood decisions. The nature of your script,
whether positive or negative, depends on the kinds of permissions and
prohibitions you received as a child, and the resulting early decisions
The Philosophy of Transactional Analysis
Transactional Analysis is a humanistic social psychology. The underlying
philosophical assumptions that form TA's foundational principles are:
People can be responsible for their choices and
People are OK, worthwhile, and deserve to be treated
People make decisions about their lives
People can change
The general Goal of Transactional Analysis is
Autonomy which Eric Berne defined as the recovery of three human
capacities: Spontaneity, Awareness and Intimacy.
For more Transactional Analysis information check out
or contact the BCTAA Library (604-878-8044).