Transactional Analysis

Transactional analysis, developped from 1945 on by Eric Berne (1910–1970) involving insights of psychoanalytic research, instructional theory and parts of humanistic psychology, has in the meantime become an independent method with a clear diagnostic system, a concrete therapy plan and revisable therapy goals.

By a speech and thinking model TA describes human behaviour and experience, as a communication theory it describes what happens between people, and as a development theory it deals with the genesis of personality structures and of cause and function of psychosomatic troubles. It is characterised by a plain language.

TA’s goal is to discover, see through and put across the transactions and behavioural patterns that define a person’s behaviour.

The transaction, that is, the words that are exchanged after one person has said "good morning 
" to another, can lead to pleasant or unpleasant feelings and results. During his research on these pleasant/unpleasant experiences of human encounters, Berne recognised that people are in clearly defined states at fixed moments and in different situations, and that they will think, feel and act in a foreseeable way depending of the current state.

  • The Parent ego contains attitudes and behaviour patterns that the person has experienced from parents and authorities mainly during the first six years of their life.
  • The Adult ego is a neutral, objective, self-liable state taking clear decisions.
  • The Child ego contains many feelings, spontaneity, vitality, fears, aggressive and adapted behaviours—everything that appears usually in children.

These three states of the ego can be more or less pronounced in every single person. Sometimes one state is oppressed and the other two are in conflict with each other. An adult, balanced person should possess all thee states and act conformingly to the situation.

The TA intends to strengthen the Adult ego of the patient so that they become able to take and practise new realistic decisions for their life.