What is Transactional Analysis?



Transactional Analysis is an approach to psychotherapy originally developed by Eric Berne.  Transactional Analysis (TA) offers a simple way of looking at how people behave and how they relate to each other.  It is both a a theory of personality and communication, plus it offers a theory of child development.   TA can be seen as providing practical tools to promote personal growth and development and change.


I see TA as an approach that focus on individual reaching a state of well being and their full potential. There are a number of key ideas that underline using TA as an approach to providing therapy. Some of the most important principles that underpin I my philosophy as a practitioner include:


·      People are OK

·      People can change

·      Autonomy and Independence: Everyone has the capacity to think and decide what they want from life

·      Open Communication

·      Mutual agreement and joint responsibility


All people are OK and are accepted as individuals with value and dignity. All people can decide to make changes in their life and in doing so can make real and lasting change to improve their life. 


Through autonomy and independence, everyone has the inner strength to think and decide what they want for themselves from their life: people decide on their own destiny.  I see my role as a therapist as helping others find that inner strength in order to make the changes they would like to.


As part of the process of becoming autonomous,  through our work together it is possible to develop more awareness of yourself, and developer a greater understanding of how you experience the world. It is possible to learn how to become more emotionally fluent and in becoming more fluent, learn to be more intimate in your relationships.


Open and honest communication is an important aspect of my therapeutic work.  I aspire to provide a therapeutic space which offers the opportunity to communicate openly and for you to be yourself – where you have permission to be more of the real you.  To talk openly about your thoughts, feelings and emotions.


Leading on from open communication,  working in this way, provides a way of taking joint responsibility for the work we do together in your therapy - an openness about what is important to you as goals and a focus as we work together and that we keep talking and reviewing your progress. Speaking openly and honestly about what you want, what is realistic and possible and expectations you may have.



The underlying principles of TA are widely accessible and are always expressed using simple language that is easy to understand.  Such language includes terms such as Ego States, Transactions, Parent, Adult, Child, Strokes, Games and Life Script.  Therapists that practice TA therapy, like myself may introduce clients to TA theory when it might be helpful to make sense of an experience or piece or situation.


I find TA a versatile approach to therapy and I use TA in working with clients on shorter term solution focused therapy as well as longer term in depth therapy.