Transactional Analysis (TA)

TA is based on a simple philosophy that was formulated by Dr. Eric Berne, the founder of TA. The three core principles are:

1. I'm OK - You're OK

We recognise every human being as worthy of respect. I respect myself and my right to be seen and heard and having others take appropriate account of my thoughts and feelings. I respect you by seeing you and hearing you and taking appropriate account of your thoughts and feelings. Being OK also means being accountable for my words and actions and having my responsibilites respected. I respect you by respecting your proper responsibility for your words and actions and holding you accountable too.

2. Everyone has the capacity to think

We make our own decisions and take responsibility for the consequences. We recognise the capacity of others to do their own thinking and deciding. We seek understanding through dialogue, not a false agreement through domination.

3. People decide their own destiny, and these decisions can be changed.

We need to decide the meaning of our experience, and these decisions shape our reality. We have the capacity to reflect on our atttitudes and judgements and their consequences and to think and feel differently about how we want to live.

TA practitioners believe in the importance of mutual contract or agreement with the people they work with. A genuinely mutual process of contracting honours the 3 core principles of TA. This may challenge learned patterns of relating and evoke psychological 'games'. TA offers insight into these patterns and their potential for difficulty and bad feelings, and offers the prospect of making better decisions in order to facilitate living in a more satisfying way.

TA offers a wide range of psychological theories or models which we will be happy to share with you in working together. TA offers a Theory of Personality based on the concept of the Ego States - popularly referred to as 'Parent' 'Adult' and 'Child'. TA offers a Theory of Communication through its analysis of Transactions or units of communication, helping to understand better what is happening in our communications with others.  TA also offers a Theory of Personal Development explaining how human beings develop psychologically through the stages of childhood, into adulthood. The TA concept of Life Script explains how our present patterns and 'ways of being ' in the world have been chosen.

These are the basic tools of TA and there is much more in terms of theory and methods that has been developed over the past 50 years. TA was designed to be accessible to most people, and yet it is neither simplistic nor superficial. The concepts of TA are profound. 

TA counselling and psychotherapy has been shown to be effective in addressing a wide range of issues such as depression, anxiety, anger management, relationship problems, bereavement counselling, sexual abuse, eating disorders and weight management. 

With acknowledgement to Alistair Moodie, Chair of the ITA Council 2009.