8 May 2007

Counselling Approaches 4

Yep more homework already! well its just me catching up with my notes.
On the last piece i talked about Gestalt Therapy, now i am moving onto Transactional Analysis. Transactional Analysis was developed by Eric Berne in the 1950's.
He focuses on the importance of face to face verbal communication and how this is at the centre of human social relationships.

Berne said that each person is made up of three alter ego states:

* Parent, this is the part of yourself where the values you have been taught as child come out. You have been influenced by lots of people as you grow not just your parents. The parental voice of authority instills the don't steal, cheat ,lie etc and the nurturing voice of your parental voice saying aren't you a good girl/boy for doing well in school/sports etc. I will love you if you do this etc.The best way to think of the parental state is to think of it as the things you have been taught as you grow up.
* Adult, this is the part of yourself that forms thoughts and ideas of your own, based on the information you have. Think of Adult state as what you think now.
* Child, this is the part of yourself that is the feeling state, when extremes of emotion take over the Child in you takes control, this doesn't mean you are being childish but childlike. So think of the child state as the feeling state.

What are the key ideas in Transactional Analysis?

* I'm OK - You're OK is probably the best known expression of the purpose of TA.

1. I'm Not OK, You're OK
2. I'm Not OK, You're Not OK
3. I'm OK, You're Not OK
4. I'm OK, You're OK

These life expressions are 4 ways of expressing how you feel and how you communicate with others. Transactional analysts work on the premise that all people are basically OK and capable of change, growth and healthy interactions.

* Strokes : Berne observed that everyone needs 'strokes', or units of interpersonal recognition. This basically means attention, to survive and thrive. Understanding how people give and receive positive and negative strokes is very important in TA. This helps the counselor help you to change unhealthy patterns of stroking. It may seem like a silly term but it is a very affective form of therapy.

* Transactions: These refer to the communication exchange between people. The TA counsellor is trained to recognise what ego state the person is coming from and to. For example when you have had an argument with somebody how did you feel in that argument, the Parent, Adult or Child? Once this is recognised, you may talk more about why you felt like this.

* Games People Play: Berne defines dysfunctional patterns of behaviour as 'Games'. These are ways of communicating that you may use to obtain 'strokes' (attention), this could be positive or negative 'strokes'.

* Life Script: Is the way that you have grown up and how that has affected the way you communicate with others, In TA the counsellor will help you change this, if of course you want to.

This ends a very basic introduction into Transactional Analysis,click here if you would like to read more on this
Transactional Analysis
There will be a some review homework next time for me.


  1. Golly Claire; this all sounds very complicated. How do you remember it all? BTW is there an "I'm OK IF you're OK"

  2. yes, but is their an analysis you believe in yet?

  3. Hey Ruth, it sounds complicated but isn't really, they like to use big words to explain simple things! I think just to make it harder for me.

    I think that would fit into I'm not Ok, You're not ok meaning if that persons not ok, then you don't feel ok. Thats a lot of OK's!

    Hey Sparky Duck, thats a hard question at the moment, because i am at the beginning of my studies. Bits of quite a few therapies appeal to me and that would be called an Integrative Approach. Meaning you would work with what works best with that particular client.

  4. Excellent analysis, Claire. The only thing I would add is the importance of level transactions.