What IS Transactional Analysis?
When I recently updated my LinkedIn page to reflect I was a TA Practitioner, I got a lot of congratulations….and usually the questions “What is TA, anyway??” I usually tell people:
“Transactional Analysis is an easy-to understand theory of personality, communication, and path to personal change. TA uses simple diagrams and plain language to make the abstract world of psychology understandable. It really works.”
TA principles work in many settings and situations. When asked ‘What is TA?” I tailor the answer to best address the person.
Parents and Teacher: I tell them TA diagrams and vocabulary helps children understand and express their feelings in a healthy way. It also helps young kids and teens learn the basics of good communication and making agreements.
Counselor or Therapist: I explain that TA is a theory of positive psychology created by Dr. Eric Berne. TA is educational and solution-focused. It uses simple diagrams to teach clients self-awareness and good communication techniques. TA is effective for individual, couples, or groups.
Organizational trainer: I tell them TA provides tools for conflict management; for improving communication skills between supervisors and employees; improving management skills in employee discipline and writing performance appraisals; and team-building in organizations.
Health Care professional: I tell them TA provides tools to use with people who are in physical and emotional pain. It helps them talk to patients about tough life/death decisions. It helps them understand the importance of self-care.
Why study TA? The principles of TA works in all relationships: Parents and kids; supervisors and employees, husbands and wives; brothers and sisters. TA provides a system for positive communication and change.