TA gives us tools, ideas and ways of understanding ourselves and others, beginning with what we observe. From there we can begin to explore the belief-systems we have learned, and become aware of all our resources, as well as the blocks we may put on ourselves. We can then choose to use this knowledge for growth and development.
Transactional Analysis does this by offering:
- A theory of personality development and a systematic model of psychotherapy for personal growth and personal change. It is represented via the Ego State Model
- It is a theory of communication that can be used very effectively as a model for analysing systems and organisations.
- TA also offers a theory of child development. The concept of Life-script explains how our present life patterns originated in childhood. Within the framework of life-script, TA explains how we may continue to re-play childhood strategies in life, even when these are self-defeating or painful. (Stewart, I and Joines, V TA Today. 2012).
The philosophical principles of TA
- People are OK
- Everyone has the capacity to think
- People decide their own destiny and these decisions can be changed
TA theory gives us a way of understanding and thinking about how we have developed from birth, and the beliefs we have developed about ourselves, others and the world at large. TA brings into awareness how we have come to treat ourselves and how we relate to and communicate with others. It also offers us alternative ways of relating and communicating that will enable us to positively change and grow, leading to autonomy.
Eric Berne, the founder of TA, defined autonomy as a state of being that is reached through the release or recovery of three capacities, or energies:
- Awareness – the capacity to experience in a pure and non-interpreted or filtered way
- Spontaneity – the capacity to meet self, others and the world freely using any ego state, and with direct responses that account for and use the full range of options in thinking, feeling and behaving.
- Intimacy – The capacity to be open and authentic, share feelings and wants in a real, non-script bound way.