What Is Transactional Analysis?

Transactional Analysis Philosophical Assumptions

Transactional analysis is a “theory of personality”. It’s a way to understand yourself, others and the relationship you have with others.

As you get to understand the different parts of the theory then you will find you have more “oh I get why I do that” moments. As your awareness about yourself grows, so does the opportunity to do things differently if you want to.

What Transactional Analysis is not is the truth. It’s a theory. “All theories are lies in search of the truth*.”

The basic philosophical assumptions of Transactional Analysis.

TA is based on three core assumptions. It’s from here that the theory grows. Each part of the theory is connected to these assumptions.

People are OK

All human beings are intrinsically valuable and have worth. We all have a basic core which is loveable and we have a potential and desire for growth.

Let’s just examine this for a minute. What we are saying here is you are worth it. No matter how fed up, unhappy, confused, angry or anxious you feel, you are precious.

You have the ability to grow into the best you you can be. TA can give you a framework for understanding how you got where you are and how to get where you want to go.

Everyone has the capacity to think

Apart from severely brain-damaged people we all have the capacity to think and so we are responsible for our own lives. We all live with the consequences of our behavior.

Just notice if you blame others for what’s going on for you. As you have a brain in your head then ultimately what happens to you is up to you. This assumption appies in the therapy room too. Your therapist is not the expert on you, you are.

People decide their own destiny and those decisions can be changed

TA is a decisional model. As we grow up we learn behaviours and set ourselves a life plan (script). This life plan may be heavily influenced by parental figures but it’s us that decide on what we do.

Whatever decision we make we can change later. This gives us the potential to make deep, profound, lasting changes in the way we live our lives.

Contractual method

As in TA we believe that everyone is OK then it follows that whatever the relationship, both parties enter as equal partners.

TA practitioners then operate contractually; there is a statement of the responsibility of each party.

And boy do TA practitioners love contracts! For example, if you come and work with me in my counselling centre in Cheadle, Cheshire I will talk you through the business contract on our first meeting.  

This makes it really clear where we both stand on confidentiality, time keeping, appointments, payment and behaviour.

Later on in our work together we will have a therapeutic contract. This is an agreement between us as to what we are doing in the therapy.

It gives us both direction to the work and gives me permission to bring you back to the work if you get side tracked.

In each session we will have a loose contract around what we are doing in this session so we can both stay focused. Rules control the fun!

Working together

I would also like to emphasise the part that says we are equal partners. Much as I’d like to I can’t magic you better. You’re not ill.

If you aren’t up for doing some work then we’re not going to get very far.

We work together to move you towards the rich fulfilling life that you deserve. It’s a side-by-side thing.

Come work with me

If you like what you’ve read and think this approach could help you to work through your stuff then why not contact me.  

You can do that by phoning me on 07966 390857 or by using this contact form.  I work in Cheadle, Cheshire which is easy to get to from Didsdury, Stockport, Altrincham, Poynton, Hazel Grove and South Manchester.

*I’m unsure of where this quote comes from and I love it.  If you know who said this please comment below and tell me!

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