Transactional Analysis is one way of understanding human personality. It was the brainchild of Eric Berne who trained as a psychoanalyst but became disillusioned with the methods he was expected to follow and wanted a more equal approach to the therapist/client relationship.
There are three basic philosophical assumptions in Transactional Analysis:
1) People are OK. This roles off the Tongue easily but I think it’s important to examine what this means. This is the fundamental acceptance that regardless of what you do, no matter what you think, or despite your feelings you are a worthwhile, valuable person in your own right. You are special. Everyone is special. We are all as important as each other. How amazing is that as a first principle?! This principle carries itself directly into the theraputic relationship between therapist and client. We are both equal. We share the responsibility of cure. To make sure that both therapist and client are sure of what their goal is, TA therapists work with contracts – a clear written down agreement between both parties stating the goal of the therapy taking place.
2) We can all think. If we have all got the capacity to think then we have all got the capacity to work out what we want and work out how to get there. The therapists job is to support and guide you in this task but you do not need anyone else to decide for you. You know what’s best for you. For many clients entering therapy it may not feel this way when they start. Some feel confused and unsure and are looking for the therapist to tell them what to do. The therapist will work with the client on clearing this confusion. It’s a bit like wiping condensation off a mirror so we can see ourselves once more.
3) People decide their own destiny and have the power to change these decisions at any time. If we got to where we are today because of the decisions that we made then it’s within our power to change these decisions. We can be who we want to be and achieve our goals if that’s what we choose to do. I’m not suggesting that this is always easy. Small changes may start the process and build up to larger changes when it feels safe. It’s about getting around the barriers to change together. Sometimes they need kicking down, sometimes we go round them and sometimes we realise that although they look like they are there, when we examine them up close, they are not there at all!
If you would like to have transactional analysis therapy in Manchester with me, use my contact form above or ring me on 07966 390857.