Using the models of Transactional Analysis can assist both client and therapist to understand (and change) unwanted behavioural patterns and interpersonal dynamics.
You may have heard of some of the TA concepts
- game playing,
Sometimes these concepts and models can be discussed between client and therapist in the therapy session, if it is appropriate and helpful.
The aim of TA therapy is to bring about autonomy. Autonomy, in this sense, is made up of the following three components
Read on for a fuller explanation of these three terms.
- Awareness: Unwanted behaviours and responses are driven by material in our subconscious that is not available to us in our conscious mind. In TA we bring things into awareness. When we are aware there is much less of our processes that are out of our conscious awareness. Once we are aware of it, then we have choice – We can choose to behave and respond in the way that is best for us. (and we can find out what those ‘better’ ways are).
- Spontaneity: This is the ability to be free of Script-Bound responses. They are called ‘Script’ because those responses are predetermined, sequenced, patterned and often repetitive responses, and are not a truly fresh response to the actual moment. (You get the feeling of “Here we go again!”, or “Why did it happen that way, again!”. When we operate out of our own life-script then, as a person we are rigid and often limited in range of experience. Having worked through our own script issues enables us to live in the moment and be truly free.
- Intimacy: As you will learn during your TA therapy, there are many (unique to you) rules and norms about emotional, psychological and physical connection with others (and with yourself!) that you abide by, out of awareness. Assessing and modifying those rules allows you to live in a way that you choose, rather than what you have been unconsciously programmed to do. Learning about yourself, and understanding other people means relationships with yourself, and with others are better.
I’m OK, You’re OK
Transactional Analysts believe in using open communication.
The therapist is seen, not as the ‘expert’ but as a person in an equal relationship where both parties have worth and are able to think for themselves.
Although people are responsible for their own change, a TA therapist will work contractually with you.
This doesn’t mean that a formal contract is drawn up, not at all. ‘working contractually’ in this sense, means that only issues that are mutually agreed are resolved.
The therapist doesn’t decide what the client needs. It is something we choose together to pursue. The way that this is done by a skilled transactional analyst is that is conversationally and effortless.
For example, Client or Therapist might say, “I notice that has been said a few times. Do you think you’d be interested in us finding out more about what that might mean?”
There are quite a few schools of TA.
The type of TA that I use in my therapeutic work with clients is based mainly on the following schools of TA (although i do draw from others too):
- Classical TA
- Constructivist TA
- Relational TA