WHAT IS… TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS?
Transactional analysis (TA) is a type of therapy that was developed by Eric Berne in the 1950s that is a model of psychology to understand our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It’s main focus is to help us analyse our interpersonal transactions (what we communicate to others and what others communicate to us) and our intrapsychic processes (what goes on inside ourselves.)
TA is effective not only in individual psychotherapy but it is often used in organisational settings, group therapy and educational learning. It promotes equality, growth and a fundamental belief that we all have the capacity to live connected, meaningful lives.
One of the most recognisable and accessible theories in TA is the PAC model. This model refers to an individual’s personality being made up of three ego-states:
- Parent – Created from past experiences; thoughts, feelings and behaviours learnt from our parents and influential figures whilst growing up. This part of our personality can be nurturing or critical.
- Adult – Rooted in the present; relates directly to the ‘here and now’ are not contaminated by our past. This part of us is autonomous, spontaneous and has the capacity for intimacy.
- Child – A set of thoughts, feelings and behaviours formed from our childhood experiences. Like the Parent, these parts are historic in nature and interfere with our present-day functioning.
By bringing these into our conscious awareness and by understand which ego-state we are transacting from, allows us to determine how we express ourselves, interact with others and form relationships. Successful therapy would be to support a client in predominantly living life in their Adult ego-state.
Our life scripts contain conscious, non-conscious and unconscious beliefs about ourselves and patterns of relating that are formed in childhood and influence how we live our lives at any given moment. They can often hinder or restrict our lives meaning that we get stuck in maladaptive and repetitive patterns.
A TA therapist will help to bring these scripts into awareness and to identify what impact they are having. TA’s philosophy maintains that these scripts are not set in stone and supports a belief that we all have the power to change or make consenting decisions about how we want to live our lives.
How can TA be useful?
As TA’s methodology focuses on both the internal and external experience, it is highly useful for depression, anxiety or other issues of the self, but also in the facilitation of couple, family and group therapy.
We have members in our team who are trained transactional analysts and if you would like to find out more about TA or book in for an initial consultation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.