• Transactional Analysis is a personality theory
which gives us a picture of how people are
• Transactional Analysis is underpinned by the
philosophy that people can change and we all
have a right to be in the world and be accepted.
• Transactional Analysis (TA) was greatly
influenced by one of the foremost theories in
Personality, the Psychoanalysis by Sigmund
3. • But Freud’s greatest contribution to Eric
Berne’s theory was the fact that the
human personality is multi-faceted
• Another contributory to Eric Berne’s
theory would be Dr. Wilder Penfield who
did experiments on the application of
electrical currents to specific regions of
• Berne mapped interpersonal
relationships to three ego-states of the
individuals involved: the Parent,
Adult, and Child state.
4. • He then investigated communications
between individuals based on the current
state of each. He called these
interactions transactions and used the
label games to refer to certain patterns of
transactions which popped up repeatedly
in everyday life.
5. The Theorist • Eric Berne was born on
May 10, 1910 in Montreal
Quebec, Canada, as
Leonard Eric Bernstein.
• ErIc Berne came to the
United States in 1935.
• In 1936, he began his
psychiatric residency at the
Psychiatric Clinic of Yale
University School of
Medicine, where he worked
for two years.
6. • Around 1938-1939,
Berne became an
and shortened his
name Eric Leonard
Bernstein to Eric
• He also went into
the Army Medical
7. • Eric Berne married
thrice and was
divorced twice in
his whole life.
• In 1947 he began
to work with Erik
for two years.
8. • Berne's work
began to diverge
• In 1949 when he
was rejected for
membership in the
10. • Eric died on July 15,
1970. Eric Berne is
buried at the El
Carmelo Cemetery in
11. The Theory
• A transaction – the fundamental unit of social
• A transactional stimulus. If two or more people
encounter each other…sooner or later one of
them will speak, or give some other indication of
acknowledging the presence of the others.
• A transactional response. Another person will
then say or do something which is in some way
related to the stimulus.
12. • The Agent. The person sending the stimulus.
• Respondent. The person who responds.
13. Berne’s Three Ego States
• The human brain works like a camcorder it
records all our thoughts, feelings and
emotions since childhood which we tend to
replay in our adult life.
• Ego state - a consistent pattern of feeling and
experience directly related to a
corresponding consistent pattern of
• This is a set of
and behavior that
we have copied
from our parents
• Examples of
recordings in the
• “Never talk to
• “Always chew with
• “Look both ways
before you cross
• ego state is about direct responses to the here
and now. We deal with things that are going on
today in ways that are not unhealthily influenced
by our past.
• “Wow. It really is true that pot handles
should always be turned into the stove”
said Sally as she saw her brother burn
himself when he grabbed a pot handle
sticking out from the stove.”
• – is a set of behaviors, thoughts and feelings
which are replayed from our own childhood.
• - Child are the emotions or feelings which
accompanied external events.
• “When I saw the monster’s face, I felt really
• “The clown at the birthday party was really
19. Analyzing Transactions
• Structural analysis - the process of analysing
personality in terms of ego states.
• Straight transactions (or complementary
transactions) - the response must go back from the
receiving ego state to the sending ego state.
• simplest transactions are between Adult - Adult ego states.
• Parent – Child transactions are almost as simple as Adult-
20. • Crossed Transaction.
Not all transactions between humans are healthy or normal.
In those cases, the transaction is classified as
a crossed transaction.
• In a crossed transaction, an ego state different than the
ego state which received the stimuli is the one that
• Agent’s Adult: “Do you know where my cuff links are?”
(note that this stimuli is directed at the Respondents
• Respondent’s Child: “You always blame me for
21. • When we learn to recognize and differentiate
between straight and crossed transactions we
increase our ability to communicate clearly
with others. Conversations made up of straight
transactions are more emotionally satisfying
and productive than conversations that have
frequent crossed transactions.
22. • Transactional Analysts will pay attention to all of
the cues including non-verbal cues when
analyzing a transaction and identifying which
ego states are involved.
• Dr. Mehrabian
▫ Actual Words – 7%
▫ The Way words are delivered (tone, accents on
certain words, etc.) – 38%
▫ Facial expressions – 55%
• Physical - angry or
• Verbal - always,
never, for once and
for all, judgmental
• Physical -
behind hand, raising
hand to speak,
• Verbal - baby talk, I
wish, I dunno, I
want, I'm gonna, I
don't care, oh no,
not again, things
never go right for
me, worst day of my
life, bigger, biggest,
26. Ulterior Transactions
• Berne says that we can communicate on
two levels. There is the social message –
what we say, and the psychological
message – what we mean.
• Sarcasm is a great example of this. When
we are sarcastic what we say is the
opposite of what we mean.
• Berne defined a stroke as the “fundamental
unit of social action.”
• Berne introduced the idea of strokes into
Transactional Analysis based upon the work
of Rene Spitz, a researcher who did
pioneering work in the area of child
• Berne postulated that adults need physical
contact just like infants, but have learned to
substitute other types of recognition instead
of physical stimulation
28. • Berne defined the term recognition-
hunger as this requirement of adults to
• Positive or Negative, is better than no
strokes at all. Or, as summarized in TA
Today, “any stroke is better than no
stroke at all.”
29. Life Scripts and Early Decisions
• A life script is an unconscious life plan
based on decisions made in early
childhood about ourselves, others, and
• The early decision (or sets of early
decisions) is the most important part of
our life script
• It is what we do with these messages that
are so important.
32. • First Degree games are played in social
circles generally lead to mild upsets not
• Second Degree games occur when the
stakes may be higher. This usually occurs
in more intimate circles, and ends up with
an even greater negative payoff.
• Third Degree games involve tissue
damage and may end up in the jail,
hospital or morgue.
33. People play games for these reasons:
• to structure time
• to acquire strokes
• to maintain the substitute feeling and the system
of thinking, beliefs and actions that go with it
• to confirm parental injunctions and further the
• to maintain the person's life position by "proving"
that self/others are not OK
• to provide a high level of stroke exchange while
blocking intimacy and maintaining distance
• to make people predictable
34. Examples of games players are:
• The Persecutor: "if it weren't for you",
"see what you made me do", "yes, but".
• The Rescuer: "I'm only trying to help",
"what would you do without me?"
• The Victim: "this always happens to me",
"poor old me", "go on, kick me".
Similarities to Other Theories
•Transactional Analysis (TA) first and foremost is
similar to that of Sigmund Freud’s three
components of the personality.
•Humanistic perspective particularly Carl Roger’s
humanistic psychology. Both theorists believe that
people can change and grow.
Differences from Other Theories
• Eric Berne focused on the treatment of the
observable transactions known as "games"
rather than on the unconscious drives for sex
and hunger of that of Freud.
41. Critical Analysis
•Transactional Analysis is indeed a fresh
method in our approach to understanding
ourselves. I find it very simple and quite
easy to understand, since it uses terms that
are of our age which many people could
easily relate to it.
•I also agree to TA ‘s philosophy that indeed
we as human being have the right to be here
and we have the capacity to change and
43. • Dr. Eric Berne tried to play games with
Frank Sinatra and nearly go his teeth
kicked in. Their playground was The
Daisy, a private discotheque in Beverly
44. • At The Daisy, Dr. Berne’s Child had tried to
engage Mr. Sinatra’s Child, but instead reached
the singer’s puritanical Parent. Deeply offended,
this Parent decided to punish this obstreperous
Child and called on two men retained for that
purpose. Within the doctor’s framework, only
this duo behaved as Adults. If part of their job
was to threaten other people’s teeth, and if they
fulfilled their contract, then their actions were
rational, and neither their Child nor their Parent