So what is this Transactional Analysis?

So what is this whole Transactional Analysis thing that I keep hearing about and would it be of any use to me?

Would Transactional Analysis be of use to me? I think this very much depends on you.  Are you someone who has contact with other people in the world?  Yes? Then I would say the answer is most definitely yes!

Studies have shown that increased personal awareness can help us with a whole range of things in our life: Self-esteem, managing stress, better relationships with others (personal and professional), improved parenting and long term psychological health.

Transactional Analysis (TA) is a set of ideas that were initially developed by Eric Berne in the late 1950s and 1960s and have continued to evolve over the past sixty years. TA is used throughout the world in a range of settings. The joy of TA is that the models can be learned, understood and applied at a very basic level but also have a depth of theory behind them. The ideas can be used by children, adults, academics and everybody in between.

TA gives us a language to understand ourselves and others.  It helps us to understand communication- how it goes wrong and how we can improve it. It gives us a way to understand personality types and how best to get on with others. TA gives us a simple, yet profound way, of understanding human development, defence mechanisms and how we unconsciously create repetitive patterns because of our past experience. These ideas are backed up by recent research in neuroscience and how our brains develop. It gives us a range of really useful tools that can be used in coaching, management, educational settings, parenting, personal development, counselling, psychotherapy and many other areas

An example is the concept of Psychological Games which is a central piece of theory from TA. Games are something we all play.  They are unconscious and can be short or long term. They always involve a moment of surprise when we, or the other person, do something unexpected which results in a bad feeling. At the end of the Game, both parties walk away feeling ‘not ok’ in some way and reinforce a negative view of themselves, others or the world.  For example – you see that people always let you down or you see life is always hard.

We all do this and we do it to keep our world familiar – it may not be pleasant to believe that people always let us down but there is some comfort in the familiarity of it. If we can understand our own and others processes around Games, if we can empower ourselves by knowing what’s going on and how to get out of playing Games, then our lives will be easier, healthier and less stressful. This is just one of a wide range of ideas in TA.

At The Link Centre we run a 2 day weekend course giving participants an internationally recognised certificate. We aim to keep the costs low to make it affordable to as many people as possible and the course is open to anyone who is interested in learning. The two days are packed full of useful ideas and models that you can use in all areas of your life. The course itself is lively and vibrant and is in a relaxed and comfortable environment. People who attend this course love it, we have never had a bad review in ten years of offering them – here are some recent comments from our participants:-

I will be reaping the benefits of this course for months and years to come and I think it would benefit everyone – whether exploring a career in counselling or for their own personal development.

The concepts and theories were very well explained – Leilani was fantastic at communicating these in clear and simple terms so that I now have a solid understanding of them.

I particularly liked the exercises amongst course participants and the opportunity to get to know everybody better and to learn about myself and others as part of the learning process.

What can I say?  Everything about the course was brilliant from beginning to end!  I particularly enjoyed the balance of theory, group, pairs and individual work.  Leilani gave personal examples and insights that bought the theory to life.  I am not an academic but was able to understand and relate to how TA can be used to help me understand “me” and “others”.  The way the group was managed was perfect – allowing us to quickly develop rapport, trust and confidence with each other. Everyone on the course was so supportive.

If you are interested in booking on this course you can find details of the next one here. For those wishing to apply TA in counselling and psychotherapy, we offer part-time follow on courses that can lead to national and international recognition.

Good luck with your journey and if I can help let me know.

Leilani Mitchell Dip Couns, CTA (P)  TSTA (P) Sen Acc. Supervisor BACP. She is co founder of The Link Centre, a centre for counselling and psychotherapy training based at Plumpton College .

These are my random ramblings of today, tomorrow I may change my mind

February 2017

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