The suggested definition for “Transactional Analysis” is that it is a “theory of personality and a systematic psychotherapy for personal growth and personal change”.
These days TA is this and so much more.
A Theory of Personality
If we look at Transactional Analysis as a theory of personality it helps us to understand how we are each structured psychologically. TA has a straight-forward and easily accessible model known as the ego-state model, also known as the PAC model, that helps us to do this. Using the ego-state model we can also understand how people function, how we use our personality to express ourselves in terms of behaviour and also how we communicate and interact with others.
Transactional Analysis is primarily used in a counselling and psychotherapy setting but it’s also used in settings such as education and organisational consultancy. Basically you can use it in any situation that involves people that is; understanding people, making sense of people and in particular communicating with people.
A Theory of Communication
When looking at the ego-state model to understand how we communicate with others we are using it as a theory of communication. This helps us to understand how and why people come together in the ways that they do and we can use it to understand systems and organisations of people too.
TA provides both therapist and client with focused, understandable and tangible ways of understanding ourselves better and tools for us to be able to make changes in our lives.
Accessible and Versatile
Transactional Analysis is most often used in counselling and psychotherapy, but in being so accessible and widely applicable, it is also used in organisational settings and education settings.
There are many different approaches within Transactional Analysis that mean it is a tool that can be used to better understand a range of psychological issues. From everyday issues to deeper psychological disturbances, the richness of TA psychotherapy is that these approaches can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual.
To read more information download a pdf on Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy here.