Transactional Model of Communication

Child ego state

transactional analysis examples

By the 1970s, because of TA’s non-technical and non-threatening jargon and model of the human psyche, many of its terms and concepts were adopted by eclectic therapists as part of their individual approaches to psychotherapy. It also served well as a therapy model for groups of patients, or marital/family counselees, where interpersonal (rather than intrapersonal) disturbances were the focus of treatment. Berne considered how individuals interact with one another, and how the ego states affect each set of transactions. Unproductive or counterproductive transactions were considered to be signs of ego state problems.

What is the ego state?

Life Scripts in Transactional Analysis. 46) is an unconscious pathway created in childhood, reinforced by our parents, and strengthened with evidence sought throughout life ensuring our beliefs are justified.

  • In the saga of Paul and Sari, if Paul had responded from his adult state to Sari’s adult state the communication would be confused and ineffective.
  • As functioning adults we have the ability to change the messages, but it does require awareness and effort.

Analyzing these transactions according to the person’s individual developmental history would enable the person to “get better”. Berne thought that virtually everyone has something problematic about their ego states and that negative behaviour would not be addressed by “treating” only the problematic individual. Unhealthy childhood experiences can lead to these being pathologically fixated in the Child and Parent ego states, bringing discomfort to an individual and/or others in a variety of forms, including many types of mental illness. TA is not only post-Freudian, but, according to its founder’s wishes, consciously extra-Freudian.


transactional analysis examples

Crossed transactions occur for many reasons ranging from misinterpretations (the receiver does not understand the transaction) to misdirection (the receiver want to avoid the conversation). Crossed transactions can escalate into anger unless one retained earnings (or both) parties disengage or redirects the conversation back to complementary patterns. Singer-songwriter Joe South’s 1968 song, “Games People Play”, was based directly on transactional-analytic concepts and Berne’s book of the same name.

What are strokes in transactional analysis?

Transactional leaders are willing to work within existing systems and negotiate to attain goals of the organization. They tend to think inside the box when solving problems. On the other hand, transformational leaders are pragmatic and think outside the box when solving problems.

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