TA101 – it’s relevant to everyone

TA101 – It’s relevant for everyone. Here is a bit of information about my experience of the course

By Karen Rollason

Pulling up outside the Link Centre last weekend I felt nervous and a bit of a fraud. What was I doing attending the TA101 course? What could Transactional Analysis do for me?  I’m a writer not a psychotherapist and nor did I want to be one. How would I fit in amongst the rest of the students who I imagined were all embarking on that very goal?

These questions and more followed me into the centre, and into a large, bright room where I was welcomed by our tutor Leilani Mitchell, who over the course of the weekend, would dispel my fears and show me just how relevant the course was to me and my fellow students.

So – Transactional Analysis. I didn’t even know what it meant – what it was. And yet it’s self-explanatory – the analysis of transactions. Our transactions – the ones we have with family, friends, colleagues, husband, wife and bank manager. So, I thought – this might have some relevance to me. I settled a little deeper into my chair and got comfy.

There was a lot of theory to learn – scripts, ego states, drama triangle etc but this was all reinforced with small group exercises.  This really worked for me – hearing how these theories played out in real situations, helped me to understand them and see how applicable they were to me. I was able to offer (without pressure) valuable instances to demonstrate these theories. Now, far from feeling a fraud, I felt that, what I and the other students brought to the course, was intrinsic for its success.

The bonus for me as a writer was realising just how much the theory could inform my writing. In my novel my characters are torn apart by internal and external conflict. Understanding what might be behind these conflicts – the character scripts – will now help me to write an emotionally engaging novel. One in which my readers can identify with real characters and like them.

Whilst I was on the course I met some very interesting people and there was a real camaraderie within the group. My favourite exercise was one on strokes – units of recognition.
This involved us writing anonymous and positive comments to each of the participants. What a lovely exercise. There was a real sense of warmth in the room and I went home feeling confident and valued – quite a contrast from the beginning of the course. As I write this I realise that feeling undervalued is part of my script. No wonder I liked this exercise – it was speaking to something unacknowledged within me.

Speaking about being valued – Our tutor, Leilani, made everyone in the room feel valued. Her knowledge of her subject made it real and relevant to each of us. She is a confident and understanding tutor and her delivery of the course was outstanding.

I am so pleased I attended TA101. Actually, to be more exact, I am so pleased I was part of it. I realise that being part of it was the real strength of the course. Anyone can attend a course – sit behind a desk and take notes. TA101 however encourages participants to be part of the fabric that binds it together – and it was this that brought about real understanding – understanding of ourselves and others.

By Karen Rollason

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