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Transactional Analysis, TA

We are born princes and the civilizing process makes us frogs. [Dr Eric Berne (1910-1970), originator of TA]

No man is a hero to his wife's psychiatrist. [Eric Berne]

Compliment yourself unconditionally just for being yourself, and conditionally for your very real achievement. . . . No matter how painful, it must be dealt with. [Dr Muriel James]

With brutal parents many children feel frightened and angry, but often try to hide their feelings out of fear. [Muriel James, 1974:32]

With overindulgent parents, many children feel powerful when having a rebellious temper tantrum to get what they want. [Muriel James, 1974:32]

With inconsistent parents, many children discover that if they whine and beg they stand a 50-50 chance of either being spanked or getting what they want. [Muriel James, 1974:32]

Transactional Analysis (TA) brings a theory of social intercourse, and contained in it is a specific [Neo-Freudian] theory of personality that revolves around what is called ego states. These personality instances resemble the Freudian id (TA Child), ego (TA Adult); and superego (TA Parent) much; they closely resemble key Freudian concepts.

TA, which was originally created as a psychiatric theory and practice, and evolved into a psychotherapy of analysed transactions between people, has proved valuable in different settings in several countries, and may be fine for underlings.

TA can be used for understanding and improving communication, and has proved to help a lot as a tool in management and communications. One of its elements is mutual contracting for growth and change as defined or understood. It shows (hidden) respect for a common humanity of people.

One may seldom find a better tendentious "definition" than this one:

"Whatever deals with ego states is transactional analysis, and whatever overlooks them is not." - Eric Berne, in Sex in Human Loving.


Dr Claude Steiner on TA

The following is an abstract from a part of an article on TA by Claude Steiner. - TK


Transactional analysis can serve as a sophisticated, elegant and effective system on which to base the practical activities of professionals in psychotherapy, counseling, education and organizational consultation.

Transactional Analysis has become a world-wide movement with upward of 10 000 adherents. It is a sophisticated theory of personality, motivation and problem solving which can be of great use to psychotherapists, counselors, educators and business consultants.

Transactional Analysis can be divided into five theoretical and practical conceptual clusters:

  1. The OK Cluster which finds correlates in existing theories of "positive psychology", "flow," "human potential," "resiliency," "excellence," "optimism," "subjective well being," "positive self-concept," as well as "spontaneous healing," "nature's helping hand," "vis medicatrix naturae," "the healing power of the mind."
  2. The Strokes Cluster which finds correlates in existing theories of "attachment," "intimacy," "warmth," "tender loving care," "need to belong," "contact," "closeness," "relationships," "social support" and yes, love.
  3. The Script and Games Cluster which finds correlates in existing theories of "narratives," "maladaptive schemas," "self-narratives," "story schemas," "story grammars," "personal myths," "personal event memories," "self-defining memories," "nuclear scenes," "gendered narratives," "narrative coherence," "narrative complexity," "core self-beliefs," "self-concept."
  4. The Ego States and Transactions Cluster. The three egos states and the transactional interactions between them are the most distinctive feature of transactional analysis and yet have the least amount of resonance in the literature. However, the utility of this concept is the principal reason why people become interested and maintain their interest in transactional analysis.
  5. The Transactional Theory of Change Cluster. Transactional Analysis is essentially a cognitive behavioral theory of personality and change, which nevertheless retains an interest in the psychodynamic aspect of the personality.

Echoes of every one of these clusters of concepts can be found in writings in the fields of psychology, social psychology and psychotherapy . . . Transactional Analysis includes all five in a sophisticated, interconnected theory of personality and change.

Transactional Analysis for Parents

Introducing Transactional Analysis

Transactional Analysis for Moms and Dads by Muriel James, TA for parents, Literature  

Berne, Eric. Games People Play. Reissue ed. London: Penguin, 2010.

Berne, Eric. Principles of Group Treatment. New York: Grove, 1966.

Berne, Eric. Sex in Human Loving. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973.

Berne, Eric. The Structure and Dynamics of Organizations and Groups. New York: Grove, 1966.

Berne, Eric. Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy. New York: Grove, 1971.

Berne, Eric. What Do You Say After You Say Hello? The Psychology of Human Destiny. New York: Bantam, 1973.

Clarkson, Petruska. Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy: An Integral Approach. London: Routledge, 1992.

Ernst, Franklin H. 2008. Handbook of Listening. Transactional Analysis of the Listening Activity. 2nd ed. Vallejo, CA: Addresso'Set Publications.

Faber, Adele, and Elaine Mazlish. 1982. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. New York: Avon Press.

Faber, Adele, and Elaine Mazlish with Lisa Nyberg. 1995. What Every Parent and Teacher Needs to Know: How to Talk So Kids Can Learn at Home and in School. New York: Rawson.

Ginott, Haim G. 2003. Between Parent and Child. Rev. and updated by Alice Ginott and H. Wallace Goddard. New York: Three Rivers.

Ginott, Haim G. 1971.Between Parent and Teenager. New York: Avon.

Ginott, Haim G. 1975. Teacher and Child: A Book for Parents and Teachers. New York: Avon.

Harris, Thomas A. 2012. I'm OK, You're OK. Paperback ed. London: Arrow Books.

Harris, Amy and Thomas. 1985. Staying OK. London: Jonathan Cape.

Hart , Sura, and Victoria Kindle Hodson. 2006. Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids: 7 Keys to Turn Family Conflict into Co-operation. Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press.

James, Muriel, and Dorothy Jongeward. Born to Win: Transactional Analysis with Gestalt Experiments. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley, 1971.

James, Muriel. The OK Boss. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley, 1975.

James, Muriel. Transactional Analysis for Moms and Dads. Reading: Addison-Wesley, 1974.

Jongeward, Dorothy, and Philip Seyer. Choosing Success: Transactional Analysis on the Job. New York: Wiley, 1978.

Jongeward, Dorothy, et al. Everybody Wins: Transactional Analysis in Management. Rev. ed. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley, 1976.

Morrison, James, and John O'Hearne. Practical Transactional Analysis in Manangement. Reading: Addison-Wesley, 1977.

Steiner, Claude. Transactional Analysis: An elegant theory and practice. The International Transactional Analysis Association. Nd. Online.

Stewart, Ian, and Vann Joines. TA Today: A New Introduction to Transactional Analysis. Nottingham: Lifespace Publishing, 1987.

Stewart, Ian. Transactional Analysis Counselling in Action. 3rd ed. London: Sage, 2007.

Tilney, Tony. Dictionary of Transactional Analysis. London: Whurr Publishers, 1998.

Tudor, Keith, ed. Transactional Analysis Approaches to Brief Therapy: Or What Do You Say between Saying Hello and Goodbye? Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2002.

White, Tony. New Ways in Transactional Analysis: Proceedings of the Loftus Street Seminar. Volume 1. 2nd ed. North Perth WA: TA Books, 2000.

Widdowson, Mark. Transactional Analysis: 100 Key Points and Techniques. Hove, East Sussex: Routledge, 2010.

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