Relationships and Transactional Analysis

December 6, 2015

If you don’t already know, Transactional Analysis (TA) is a theory of personality and human interaction within different types of relationships. It enables us to have greater insight and understanding in the way in which we interact with one another and why our responses within our relationships shift and change. TA provides us alternative options to the ways we can interact which can act to enhance and improve our relationships in life. The application of TA in therapy can lead to personal growth and change. Due to the understanding it provides on communication, it is often used in management and education settings. The philosophy of TA states that people are OK, meaning they have worth, value and dignity. It says that we can accept ourselves and others even though we may not always agree with others or what they do. This theory also believes we are all on the same level even though we may have gained different skills and experienced different successes so far. TA believes we all have the capacity to think and are all responsible for what we do and what we get out of life. It says that in childhood we decide our own destiny, yet are not necessarily conscious of it as an adult, but we can also change our destined future. TA believes that people can change and adopt new strategies as they progress through life, aside from relying only on the strategies learnt in childhood. By establishing the theory of continual use of strategies established in childhood later in life, TA explains to us why we often continue using a set of behaviours that is no longer serving us any positive purpose. These may be negatively affecting the relationships we have in our adult life. By understanding where unhelpful behaviour originates, we can be empowered and able to change actions and behaviours in the present in life. In TA the therapist and the client meet on equal terms and they both take a shared responsibility in the desired therapeutic outcome. A contract may be used to clearly state the role and responsibilities of the therapist and client. TA encourages open communication and clear explanations by the therapist and client. The client is encouraged to learn the theory of TA in a way that makes sense to them. The client needs to be able to make information provided in TA applicable to their life and useful in the fulfilment of their desired change. Often TA therapists make client notes available to them, should they wish to see them due to the equal terms on which the client and therapist meet. The key theories in TA cover Ego states, Transactions, Scripts, Games and Life-scripts. If you have any questions about using this theory to develop and enhance the relationships in your life and communication skills, please feel free to confidentially contact me.

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