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What is transactional analysis?

Transactional Analysis is a widely recognised and highly-regarded model of counselling and psychotherapy with a strong ethical code and a marked emphasis on acceptance, personal responsibility and the belief that everyone is capable of making positive changes in their lives.

Pioneered by Eric Berne in the 1960s, transactional analysis, or TA for short, has grown to be a flexible, yet rigorous approach and has been demonstrated to be an effective and, often, enjoyable method of treating a wide range of psychological problems. TA is also a useful tool for personal growth and and self-development in business and educational contexts.

Though grounded in a democratic and accessible re-writing of classical psychoanalysis (Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung), TA incorporates later concepts which are familiar in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic approaches- as well as various influences from gestalt (Fritz Perls), person-centred (Carl Rogers) and existential (Irvin Yallom) therapies.

Fundamentally, TA is an approach firmly grounded in the principles of equality, mutual respect and the belief that everyone has intrinsic value as a human being and, therefore, have the potential to make a valid contribution to both their life and the lives of others.

Crucially, TA is also a very collaborative form of treatment in which client and practitioner agree what it is that the client wishes to change (the 'contract') and then work together to achieve their chosen goals.

Further Reading:

Eric Berne (1972), What Do You Say After You Say Hello?

Ian Stewart & Vann Joines (1987), TA Today

Tony Tilney (1998), Dictionary of Transactional Analysis

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