Transactional Analysis (T/A) is a psychoanalytic theory and method of therapy wherein social transactions are analysed to determine the ego state of the patient (whether parent-like, child-like, or adult-like) as a basis for understanding behaviour. In transactional analysis, the patient is taught to alter the ego state as a way to solve emotional problems. Eric Berne developed the concept of transactional analysis in the late 1950s, but it remains a valuable and effective psychological tool. TA is a widely recognised form of modern psychology that involves a set of practical conceptual tools designed to promote personal growth and change. It is considered a fundamental therapy for well-being and for helping individuals to reach their full potential in all aspects of life. In counselling TA therapy is very versatile, for it can be used in a wide range of areas and incorporates key themes from humanistic, integrative, psychoanalytical, psychodynamic therapies.
Though it is commonly recognised as a brief and solution-focused approach, transactional analysis can also be applied as an effective long-term, in-depth therapy. TA therapy is based on the theory that each person has three ego states: parent, adult and child. These are used along with other key transactional analysis concepts, tools and models to analyse how individuals communicate and identify what interaction is needed for a better outcome. Throughout therapy, the TA therapist will work directly on here and now problem solving behaviours, whilst helping clients to develop day-to-day tools for finding constructive creative solutions. The ultimate goal is to ensure clients regain absolute autonomy over their lives.
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