Transactional Analysis (TA)

Transactional analysis (TA) is a therapy technique which analyzes the patient’s ego state which may be child-like, parent-like or adult-like. The child-like state is characterized by internal events such as feelings as evidenced by statements such as “I feel happy when I eat ice-cream”. The parent-like state is authoritative and is focused on external events like “Do not talk when your mouth is full”.

The adult-like state is the final ego state which incorporates all the three states, for instance, “I choked while talking with a full mouth, I should obey mother”. To help the client, he is taught to change his unhealthy ego state by enhancing his adult state. Hence, he can be more accountable for his behavior and keep track of his growth in an environment of acceptance, safety, and respect.

This was developed by Eric Berne, a Canadian-born psychiatrist, in the 1950s. Berne combined Freud’s theory with his own observations regarding human interaction. He defined “transaction” as the basic unit of social interaction. Our ego states are reflected by how we communicate with others.

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