Transactional analysis, commonly known as TA to its adherents, is an integrative approach to the theory of psychology and psychotherapy. It is described as integrative because it has elements of psychoanalytic, humanist and cognitive approaches. TA was first developed by Canadian-born US psychiatrist, Eric Berne, starting in the late 1950s.
According to the International Transactional Analysis Association, TA ‘is a theory of personality and a systematic psychotherapy for personal growth and personal change’.
- As a theory of personality, TA describes how people are structured psychologically. It uses what is perhaps its best known model, the ego-state (Parent-Adult-Child) model, to do this. The same model helps explain how people function and express their personality in their behavior.
- It is a theory of communication that can be extended to the analysis of systems and organisations.
- It offers a theory for child development by explaining how our adult patterns of life originated in childhood. This explanation is based on the idea of a “Life (or Childhood) Script”: the assumption that we continue to re-play childhood strategies, even when this results in pain or defeat. Thus it claims to offer a theory of psychopathology.
- In practical application, it can be used in the diagnosis and treatment of many types of psychological disorders and provides a method of therapy for individuals, couples, families and groups.
- Outside the therapeutic field, it has been used in education to help teachers remain in clear communication at an appropriate level, in counselling and consultancy, in management and communications training and by other bodies.
- People are OK; thus each person has validity, importance, equality of respect.
- Everyone (with only few exceptions, such as the severely brain-damaged) has the capacity to think.
- People decide their story and destiny, therefore these decisions can be changed.
Freedom from historical maladaptations embedded in the childhood script is required in order to become free of inappropriate, inauthentic and displaced emotions which are not a fair and honest reflection of here-and-now life (such as echoes of childhood suffering, pity-me and other mind games, compulsive behavior and repetitive dysfunctional life patterns).
The aim of change under TA is to move toward autonomy (freedom from childhood script), spontaneity, intimacy, problem solving as opposed to avoidance or passivity, cure as an ideal rather than merely making progress and learning new choices.
Lifted from Wikipedia