What is Transactional Analysis (TA)?
Transactional analysis is now a widely used and well recognised form of psychotherapy. Originally conceived by Eric Berne in the 1950s it involves a range of conceptual and practical processes and tools to encourage growth and change.
TA is used to facilitate a better understanding of individuals, relationships and communication. TA as a theory of personality, communication and child development is applied as a tool in working with psychological issues, ranging from everyday living problems to severe mental health difficulties.
In recent years many new trends in transactional analysis therapy have emerged producing exciting and effective approaches. Some of our Transactional Analysis Psychotherapists have trained at Metanoia Institute, where many of the recent developments in this field originated from. One of the most significant developments has been termed Relational Transactional Analysis.
Benefits of Relational Transactional Analysis Therapy
- The importance that is placed on relationship, in all its forms – with the self, with the other and with what happens in the room with the therapist.
- The belief that the most profound change happens through experience, as opposed to insight alone.
- The central focus of bringing to light the relational and interpersonal patterns that shape all of our experiences of ourselves and of ourselves with others.
- The belief that the practitioner is an active participant in the work, and not simply a neutral observer.
- The work is collaborative, meaning the client is not a passive recipient, nor the therapist an expert or provider of solutions; both parties are actively involved in the process of finding new and more authentic ways of relating with each other.
- That central importance that is placed on the way that the practitioner uses their unique experience of the client to inform when and what intervention will best enhance the client’s knowledge of self and of the other.
- An appreciation for the fact that certainty is neither possible nor necessarily desirable, both in the therapy room or in life. Part of the therapeutic work consists in increasing the individual’s threshold for tolerating uncertainty and discomfort, instead of avoiding it.
- Client and therapist engage in an adult-to-adult reciprocal relationship.
What Happens During Transactional Analysis?
Taking on the journey of transactional analysis therapy can be daunting. But during your sessions, we explore patterns of communication and behaviour to improve relationships and focus on understanding ego states and their impact.
Your First Session
Your first session provides an opportunity for you and your therapist to get to know each other and determine if it’s the right fit. You may experience a mix of relief and anxiety as you enter into this journey, but this is normal.
Your role during the first meeting is to gauge whether you feel comfortable enough to share your personal inner world with the therapist and ask as many questions as you feel necessary to make your decision. It’s important to remember that there is no rush for making your decision, and you should take time to understand how you feel following the meeting.
Confidentiality in Transactional Analysis Therapy
Confidentiality is crucial in therapy as it ensures everything that is discussed in your sessions stays between you and your therapist. However, there are rare instances where confidentiality may be broken if you are deemed to be a risk to yourself or others.
The frame in therapy refers to the physical and contractual boundaries that create a conductive therapeutic environment. Each clinician may have their own unique approach to the frame, but its purpose remains consistent – to safeguard both you and the therapeutic process.
The frame may include various aspects including the time and location of sessions, confidentiality, fees, and the consistent manner in which your therapist interacts with you.
Most people who come to transactional analysis therapy either come for an agreed number of sessions or will enter into an open-ended contract with their therapist. However, once people get into a rhythm with therapy and start to see the benefits that translate into your everyday life, it’s not uncommon for them to want to continue with their therapy.
If you are unsure of the type of therapy you need, you can search for a therapist here.
For more information on Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy, click here to take a look at our PDF guide.