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Transactional Analysis: The Basics

St Andrews Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice
What is Transactional Analysis (TA)?
Transactional Analysis(TA) is both a theory of personality and a system for the improvement of personal and social functioning.
TA is based on a contract between the client and therapist in which they take equal responsibility towards common goals.
TA is a system of analysis which can be applied to the structure of the personality,interpersonal communication, life plans
 or scripts and the “games people play”.
TA therapists believe that decisions we make about ourselves, others and the world, are made early in childhood and
continue to have a significant influence on how we live our lives in the present. By analysing the transactions, games and
unique life scripts, boththerapist and client gain an understanding of the client’s unconscious life plan.
Together the therapist and client work to bring the script decisions into awareness where they can then be changed
and new decisions made improving life,love and happiness.
Structural Analysis identifies 3 ego states: the Parent, Adult and Child. This model helps us to clarify our
life experiences, thoughts,feelings and behaviours as well as beliefs and values and how being indifferent ego states can
influence how we are in relationship with ourselves and others.
Analysis of Transactions looks at how we communicate with other people at a social and psychological level and
understand our need for“strokes” (attention and acknowledgement) which may be positive, good strokes or negative, bad strokes.
Script Analysis “How do we get to be the person we are?” A lifescript develops without being aware of it, to survive and live
within our families and culture, but becomes outdated as we live and grow. By analysing our scripts we can change the decisions
 we made as children, when we were too little, to realise all the options we might have had. We can then make new decisions from
 our Adult ego state.
Analysis of Games People learn to play psychological games in childhood to fit into their family dynamics and continue these
games into adulthood to provide security, structure, strokes and stimulation. These games are in our subconscious, out of our
conscious awareness. The games follow predictable patterns and leave us feeling bad and reinforce the negative view we have 
of ourselves and others. The client and therapist can identify together the games people play, bring them into Adult awareness
 and learn how to recognise and avoid the games.
TA Therapists have completed 4 years training and go on to do advanced work under clinical supervision, personal therapy
 and examination preparation to qualify as a Certified Transactional Analyst. TATherapists training prepare them to work with
individuals, groups and couples.

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