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Eric Berne's Transactional Analysis - Ta Theory Development and Explanation

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Eric Berne's Transactional Analysis - TA theory development and explanation

Transactional Analysis is a theory developed by Dr. Eric Berne in the 1950s. (Transactional Analysis early history here.) Originally trained in psychoanalysis, Berne wanted a theory which could be understood and available to everyone and began to develop what came to be called Transactional Analysis (TA). Transactional Analysis is a social psychology and a method to improve communication. The theory outlines how we have developed and treat ourselves, how we relate and communicate with others, and offers suggestions and interventions which will enable us to change and grow. Transactional Analysis is underpinned by the philosophy that:

* people can change

* we all have a right to be in the world and be accepted

Initially criticised by some as a simplistic model, Transactional Analysis is now gathering worldwide attention. It originally suffered much from the popularised writings in the 1960s. Also, summarised explanations, such as this, which can only touch on some of the concepts in Transactional Analysis, led their readers to believe that there was very little to it. Many did not appreciate the duration and complexity of the training.

Today there is greater understanding of Transactional Analysis. More and more people are taking the four to five year part-time training courses to qualify, and increasingly universities are accrediting these courses for masters degrees. Those taking training include psychiatrists, organizational and management consultants, teachers, social workers, designers, engineers and the clergy.

Today Transactional Analysis is used in psychotherapy, organisations, educational and religious settings. Books have been written for all ages, from children through to adults, by people all over the world. Transactional Analysis is truly an international theory relating to a diverse range of cultures.

Theoretical concepts within the Transactional Analysis world are constantly being challenged and developed making it a rich dynamic process. Berne died in July 1970 at the age of 60. However, Transactional Analysis has not stood still and continues to develop and change, paralleling the processes we encourage in ourselves and others.

There are some key concepts in Transactional Analysis which are outlined here for your information.

transactional analysis - contracting

Transactional Analysis is a contractual approach. A contract is "an explicit bilateral commitment to a well-defined course of action" Berne E. (1966). Which means that all parties need to agree:

* why they want to do something

* with whom

...

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