What is transactional analysis?
Transactional analysis is defined as a psychotherapy that can help solve various problems related to relationships with oneself and others to achieve a balance defined by three criteria of good mental health: conscience, spontaneity and intimacy.
Transactional analysis provides explanations, which we can use to change our way of life, on the way in which we sometimes continue to use the strategies of our childhood into adult life, even when they lead to non-existent or painful results.
For this, TA uses a three-part ego model, the Ego States (Parent, Adult, Child), and focuses on intrapsychic and interrelational phenomena, transactions. This technique specifically analyzes communication disorders.
In summary, transactional analysis provides a scheme (egogram) for the observation and analysis of human behavior, which in turn offers some useful elements to get to know each other and communicate better. TA can therefore appear as a kind of passe-partout: this method is in fact often seen as a vulgarization of psychoanalysis.
Transactional analysis has 4 fields of application:
- psychotherapy: TA deals with the development of people and the treatment of dysfunctions through individual or group psychotherapy.
- the dynamics of people within organizations. It is very successful in companies.
- education: TA concerns people related to education and training activities (teachers, tutors, parents, educators ...).
- assistance: TA helps people linked to accompanying activities, such as nurses, teachers and those who work in the social sector.
However, the analyst associations make no mention of the specific problems that this therapy should address. In fact, there is no good scientific research that demonstrates the effectiveness of transactional analysis methods.
How are the sessions held?
TA psychotherapy is carried out as part of a contract stipulated between the therapist and the patient. Through a concrete relationship, an attempt is made to diagnose which state of the ego (Child, Adult, Parent) intervenes and which is the unconscious "script" that manages our life. After that, you set yourself a goal for change and learn to analyze your ways of communicating.
The therapist is considered as a person and not as a mirror of himself. TA also integrates some tools borrowed from other methods such as Gestalt therapy
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The work is done alone or in a group and lasts between six months and three years. If the session is individual, calculate between 15 and 75 euros for each 50-minute session (one per week); in a group, it will cost you between 30 and 60 euros for each three-hour session.
Beware of drifts. Some people arbitrarily describe themselves as "TA therapists". Verify their membership in the TA therapist order by contacting the Italian Association of Transactional Analysis, http://www.aiat.it/.
The basic concepts of transactional analysis
- The states of the ego
An ego state is the behavior that corresponds to a given functioning of thought and feelings. There are three states: the Parent, the Adult and the Child.
The Child State is active when the person thinks and acts as he did when he was a child. The Parent State is activated when one thinks and acts like one's parents. The Adult State manifests itself every time we think, feel and act in a manner consistent with the context of the moment.
- Transactions An exchange between two ego states is called a transaction, in response to a stimulus.
In addition to these basic concepts, transactional analysis is organized on the study of various aspects of the formation of the ego, from childhood to adulthood, and on the unconscious techniques that each of us uses to address the problems that arise and to manage relationships with the people around him and the outside world in general. That is: strokes (Stroke Economy), parasitic emotions, existential positions, psychodramatic game and triangle, devaluation matrix, Problem Solving, Here-and-now, Regenitorialization, Script / script, spontaneity and structuring of time (for an in-depth explanation of these concepts we refer to the various sites and books on the market that deal with transactional analysis).