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Artwork by Helen Frankenthaler

Transactional Analysis

Transactional Analysis (TA) is a philosophy, a theory of personality, a theory of communication and a theory of human development within the humanistic tradition. It's approach to the theory of psychology and psychotherapy combines elements of psychoanalytic, humanist and cognitive psychotherapy. TA was developed by Canadian-born psychiatrist, Eric Berne during the late 1950s.

The main philosophical beliefs in TA are :

  1. People are fundamentally O.K. Each of us, regardless of our behaviour, has a basic core which is worthy of love, respect and acceptance.
  2. Everyone has the capacity to think (unless severely brain damaged).
  3. People have the potential for change and growth. Each of us decides our own destiny (out of awareness) and our decisions can be changed (in awareness).

TA, as a theory of, and framework for, psychotherapy, integrates our internal experiences (feelings, thoughts and beliefs) with our external experiences of the world (interpersonal relationships and behaviour ) in a way that is easily understood and accessible. It emphasises the importance of communication, and offers a framework for understanding child development, personality, relationships and personal life patterns.

For more information and an explanation of the key concepts in TA go to the ITAA website: