TA Research & Practice

TA Research & Practice

Connecting The Transactional Analysis Community Worldwide

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Volume 14 Issue 2 December 2023

Outcome Measures in Transactional Analysis Clinical Practice

Carol Remfrey Foote



This article presents a review of the literature on the use of Outcome Measures (OMs) in counselling and psychotherapy, done by the author as part of her research (to be reported later) into how transactional analysis practitioners use OMs in TA contracting, diagnosis and treatment planning. A wide range of non-TA literature is presented, various OMs are described, practitioners’ positive and negative perceptions of them are described as well what they tend to do instead of using OMs. It is reported how few counsellors and psychotherapists utilise OMs as part of their clinical practice. This article explores the issues and give more depth and detail into the ‘pros and cons’ of OM use within TA practice and is intended to initiate discussions of the topic alongside the research study.

The Ego State Timeline Model

Zbigniew Wieczorek



The author presents another way to think about personality adaptations and the communication process based on a framework drawn from neurolinguistic programming about how we characterise chronological time in the space around us. It presents a model in which ego states might be diagnosed and worked with in terms of whether they are considered as in the past, the current or the future.

Rethinking the Parent: A Valuing-Based Ego State Model

Lena Kornyeyeva



The two integrative components of the Parent ego state in the original functional model are reconsidered in the context of psychotherapeutic work and its effectiveness. An alternative interpretation of the functional model is presented and argued, based both on theoretical considerations widely accepted in the profession and on a practical implementation of the reconsidered functional model. The present elaboration is based on the value principle, i.e. the premise that the need for self-worth is a core social need and that the experience of being devalued by a significant parental figure causes psychological trauma and correlated deficits and compensations. The importance of self-esteem in the context of attachment, “narcissistic wounding” and vulnerability, and empirical findings and therapeutic responses in psychotherapeutic practice are discussed. A case study of couple therapy is presented to illustrate the application of the model.

Leadership Development: Supporting And Developing Colleagues

Szabolcs Lovas



A description is given of an leadership development programme designed and run within an organisation, including how the multi-party contracting was conducted, and how the psychological, professional and administrative levels were addressed. In addition to an overview of the programme, details are given of the content and process of the third session, as well as the reactions of the participants who shared what they had learned.

States of Consciousness and Ego States

Stephen Lankton



A theory of consciousness is presented and linked to ego states. Different levels of consciousness are described and how states of consciousness (SoCs) contain within them different collections of experiential resources, leading to limitations on how individuals can access different resources when they are in specific states. Examples are given related to everyday life, followed by ideas on how practitioners can use empathy with clients so that the clients become able to change the contents of problematic SoCs.


Volume 14 Issue 1 June 2023

Script Cure with Transactional Analysis and Triology: A Description of Triology Counselling

© 2023 G Jayakumar and M D Ajithabai



The authors present the details of the concept of ‘triology’ which is a ‘science of three’ developed by Fr. George Kandathil and a method of counselling developed out of it by S.Siddharthan. They describe a triangle known as the GK Frame and illustrate how it can be regarded as a mode to understand how humankind can be analysed. They show how it can be seen as more encompassing than several other psychological approaches to personality, including highlighting the lack of attention to relationship within all but more recent developments of transactional analysis. They go on to present a detailed guide of how to apply triology counselling and provide two case studies. They label the unhelpful process as ‘enhaviour’, which is the way in which sensations experienced within the body lead to unhelpful behaviours that can be observed by others. Teaching clients how to observe and disrupt this process through meditation is how this form of counselling requires only one session with a client because the client is then equipped to continue with the process on their own until the healthy outcome has been achieved.

The Evolving World of Coaching

© 2023 Keri Phillips



This article is about the evolving world of coaching and mixes personal experiences and recollections with an extensive review of material by a range of authors. The author provides his own models; the Overview Model to illustrate the depth and width of the world of coaching; the Positions Model to illustrate the issue, client, coach and supervisor; and the Coaching Community which shows overlapping individual and collective boundaries and how these lead to challenges.

Trauma, memory and the impact of redecision therapy

© 2023 Tony White



It is concluded that redecision therapy is a form of exposure therapy. Whilst redecision therapy has much wider goals than exposure therapy, the Gouldings created a potent form of exposure therapy that forms part of the process of redecision. There is a very large body of research evidence verifying the efficacy of exposure therapy as a treatment for trauma and PTSD especially. This article shows how redecision therapy is an exposure therapy and then how exposure therapy can assist in reintegrating the split off fragments of the personality that are formed in the schizoid process.

 Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy with Clients who are Neurodivergent: Experiences and Practice Recommendations

© 2023 Claire Bowers and Mark Widdowson



This qualitative research study uses Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) (Smith, Flowers & Larkin, 2009; Smith & Nizza, 2022) to explore how Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy can be used effectively with clients who are neurodivergent.  It aimed to explore the lived experiences of participants, all of whom were neurodivergent and received psychotherapy as adults but who were undiagnosed in childhood.

Participants all reported a sense of frustration, sadness, and shame regarding how others have responded to their neurodivergence and neurodivergent behaviours historically.  This study aimed to look beyond the outward presenting behaviours to the underlying need and consider what neurodivergent clients may need, both from their psychotherapist and from their psychotherapy.

This study suggests four main psychotherapeutic needs, identifies three main traps that psychotherapists may fall into when working with neurodivergent clients, and describes eight relational affirmations which are important to consider when working with neurodivergent clients.

Research Proposal: Exploring Phenomenological Change and Improving Attunement Through the Use of Dance/Rhythmic Movements

© 2023 Zara Irani



A description of a proposed research study is provided and feedback is welcomed. The research aim is described as an exploration of whether dance, defined here as movement of the body in a rhythmic way, can become a tool for a practitioner to use with clients within a model of the sub-symbolic communication. A literature review beginning with psychoanalysis and coming up-to-date with trained dancers working with dementia includes references to a range of TA materials. The author emphasises the need for self-reflection, ethical considerations and cultural implications. The article also includes an initial draft of the research methodology to be used, initially by the author, and how it might then be used by colleagues.

Keri Phillips – An Obituary – June 2023

© 2023Julie Hay


Obituary- Keri Phillips

Volume 13 Issue 2 December June 2022

Applied Transactional Analysis in Music Education: Naturally Occurring Teacher Ego State Behaviours and Their Effect on Student Motivation

© 2022 Kianush Habibi



The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of teacher behaviour on student motivation during teacher-pupil interaction in music education. Observations of communication between music teachers and their students were made by the author from the perspective of Transactional Analysis. The students who participated were between 7 and 12 years old, and there were 7 adult teacher participants. Naturally occurring ego-state behaviour in these teachers during interactions with their students was observed and recorded with the intention of assessing the impact on student motivation. The hypothesis was that the effects of teacher behaviour that manifests as Adult, Nurturing Parent, and Free Child ego states significantly increases student motivation. The results of the study suggest that this hypothesis is valid.

Imagine That: Postmodern Redecision Methods that use Imagination

© 2022 Aruna Gopakumar and Nikita Bandale



This article presents two stories of redecision therapy that use the client’s imagination and imagery as resources for change. It presents a rationale for using imagery and imagination with greater awareness as therapeutic interventions, for both uncovering unconscious script patterns and inviting change. Techniques of redecision therapy that use imagery have been looked at through a constructivist lens, with the hope that the use of these techniques can gain prominence in contemporary practice.

Hard contracts, soft contracts and the unconscious

© 2022 Tony White



This article is an examination of what hard and soft contracts are, how they impact the psychotherapy process differently, and especially how they impact the unconscious and the type of unconscious material each type of contract will tend to elicit. This in turn has considerable effects on what happens in the therapy room.  The two types of contracts create a different ambience and climate in which the psychotherapy can occur. This article explains what the two different approaches are and how they can be dealt with by the therapist.

The Client System: The Importance of the Client Support Group in the Area of Health Sciences

© 2022 Tânia Caetano Alves



The author proposes in this phenomenological study the presentation of the Client System concept in the area of Health Sciences of Transactional Analysis, through a Narrative Study anchored in a literature review. It provides a basis for understanding the importance of knowledge and interaction of health professionals with client support groups – the Client System – when involved at some point in the health-disease continuum. It reflects on the impact that the loss of physical well-being can cause not only on the sick individual, but also on the groups to which they belong, including the health team involved in their search for recovery. It also proposes a more holistic and integrative view of health.

Measuring the TA Concept of Autonomy and its Correlation with Employee Self-Performance Evaluation Scores Compared to their Manager’s Evaluation

© 2022 Buket Kılıç and Olca Sürgevil



Description is given of a study that set out to measure the effect of the transactional analysis concept of autonomy and how it related to the consistency between the self-performance evaluation scores of employees and their manager’s performance scores. A questionnaire was used that had previously been developed and researched with people studying to become transactional analysis practitioners. In addition to finding that there did appear to be a correlation between high scores on the questionnaire and agreement by the employee with their manager’s evaluation, it was realised that there were shortcomings with the questionnaire and these raised questions about the concept of autonomy as it is typically described within transactional analysis. A revised questionnaire is included containing only 11 from the original 19 questions, and it is shown how the original four and then two components may be two different factors.

Volume 13 Issue 1 2021       

Development of a New Ego States Inventory – Report on a Brazilian Sample with a Portuguese Version

© 2022 Renata Cristina Brandão Rossini, Ederaldo José Lopes, Joaquim Carlos Rossini



This study was conducted in Brazil and presents a new inventory built for the evaluation of ego states, an important concept within transactional analysis theory. The study involved the participation of 295 volunteers of both sexes, aged between 18 and 70 years. Exploratory factor analyses indicated an instrument in Portuguese consisting of 37 items adequately characterised in six factors: Critical Parent (CP), Nurturing Parent (NP), Adult (A), Free Child (FC), Adapted Child – Submissive (ACS), and Adapted Child – Rebellious (ACR). The result is a useful measure for investigation and mapping of ego states for application with individuals, and as the basis for future research in a range of languages..

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Therapists’ Experience of Working Through the COVID-19 Global Emergency using Transactional Analysis

© 2022 Claire Daplyn



This is a qualitative research study using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) (Smith, 1995) into the experiences of UK-based Transactional Analysis therapists working with clients prior to and during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Aimed at identifying what it is like to transition from working therapeutically in established, predeominantly in-person, relationships with clients to abruptly having to manage major adjustments both personally and professionally in parallel with clients navigating analogous challenges in their own lives, findings suggest that the participants experienced traumatic stress reactions. Participants initially felt unprepared to manage the multiple challenges of moving from in-person to online therapy with clients. In addition to technological and ethical issues, they experienced changes to the quality and nature of the therapeutic relationship. However, they also found positive aspects of online working as time progressed and experienced a sense of professional empowerment. They perceived the role of professional bodies and training establishments as significant. The diversity of online training available across countries and communities was appreciated although the quality of the learning experiences varied.

Cross-cultural Study of Teacher Passivity through the Lens of Educational Transactional Analysis

© 2022 Anna Pierzchała, Edyta Widawska, Piotr Jusik



Purpose: The purpose of the article is to present the research results based on the concept of passivity in accordance with the assumptions of transactional analysis – one of the psychotherapeutic modalities in the humanistic school of thought. Passivity is defined as behaviors that block constructive and solution-oriented actions.

Design/Methodology/Approach: The main research methods included diagnostic surveys and questionnaire techniques. The study used the “Reality of an Educator” questionnaire by Anna Pierzchała (2013). 441 respondents provided their answers from Guatemala, Poland, the UK and Ukraine. The differences were identified using the Kruskal–Wallis test, the equivalent of a one-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) that is commonly used for independent samples.

Findings: The comparative cross-cultural research on teacher passive behaviours indicated significant educational differences between countries. The lowest levels of passivity were reported in Guatemala [1] and the highest in Ukraine. The Hofstede Model of Cultural Dimensions enabled the authors to outline some generic tendencies concerning passive behaviours in the countries studied. Individually reported levels of passivity were bridged with cultural determinants resulting from teachers’ social functioning.

Practical Implications: The study offers some guidelines for tackling teacher passivity and identifies strategies of enhancing problem-solving skills. The most common passive behaviour across all countries was overadaptation, which underlined the importance of developing teachers’ awareness of interpersonal phenomena from the point of view of transactional analysis.

Originality/Value: The research presented has not been carried out before and at this stage has an exploratory character, indicating certain inter-culturally declared patterns and at the same time determining areas for further investigation. Transactional analysis appears to be a useful theoretical construct in the design of cross-cultural comparative studies.

The Life Script Heptagon

© 2022 Tony White



The life script heptagon, developed by the author, is described to show how seven elements, all seven aspects of human personality – behaviour, feelings, thoughts, body holding patterns, habits, beliefs and attitudes, and early decisions – fit together geometrically so that they reinforce and support each other and make it hard for people to change their life scripts. These elements are then related to the ways in which different psychotherapies tend to work with them, and explanations are given of why the geometric nature of the model means that several aspects need to change because otherwise the remaining elements are reinforcing the unhelpful patterns.

Self-Empathy as a Necessary Element for Regulation of Emotions

© 2022 Jane Maria Pancinha Costa, Ronel Alberti da Rosa



The need to care about each other, identifying ourselves with what we have in common, as living beings, human beings on this planet, is currently becoming a focus in studies and reflections among researchers in neuroscience, behaviour, emotions and social relationships, to name a few. In the area of health promotion and psychotherapy, it is no different. Particularly in the last two decades, the expansion of knowledge about the brain and nervous system in neuroscience research has provided information to relate these areas to understanding of the individual and their relationships, contributing to reflections, understanding and proposals for action and possible release from human suffering. Thus, the purpose of this qualitative article is to reflect, based on a Narrative Review of recent literature, on the possibility of understanding empathy as originating from primary or natural emotion. In conclusion, the importance of regulating emotions becomes evident, considering self-empathy so that its function of regulating our instincts with the purpose of survival, well-being and evolution, can happen, in the individual and social fields.

The Potency of Transactional Analysis within an Individual after Relational Integrative Mentoring

© 2022 Maria Imaculada Gonçalves de Almeida, Rita Varela, Rubens Correia Filho



The authors demonstrate through narrative analysis how potent lessons from TA are learned, applied and retained by those receiving relational integrative mentoring. A full account is provided of how transactional analysis is incorporated into such mentoring, including details of specific transactional analysis concepts and how they are used. Research results indicate how mentees particularly value transactional analysis as a language, as well as the usefulness of concepts including ego states, transactions, emotions, psychological games and contracts. The learning by the mentees is demonstrated as applicable to families as well as within the organisational context in which they mentoring was provided. They conclude that the research has demonstrated relational integrative mentoring as a sustainable and significant development programme.

Alzheimer’s Disease: Considerations in the Light of Transactional Analysis

© 2022 Ede Lanir Ferreira Paiva



This article is the result of a Narrative Review of literature about Alzheimer’s Disease, alongside a review of transactional analysis theory with particular reference to how the injunction or injunctive message of Don’t Think, and a mindless script, may be connected to the development of the disease. A plea is made that we study relationships beyond the realm of natural science.

Volume 12 Issue 2 2021                     

Structural Transactional Analysis: Ego Selves and Ego States – Cause-Effect and Interventions

© 2021 Jorge Alberto Close



This article identifies the physiological, neurological, and psychological determinants that arise from constraints imposed by both genetic and environmental factors, originating human behaviours. The determinants, called Ego Selves, that organise the phenomena that Eric Berne classified, structured, conceptualised, and defined to mould transactional analysis and design instruments to assist professionals and patients to adjust behaviours, are analysed. A different form of presenting the adapted Child, differentiating it from Berne’s model where the adapted Child is shown as a part of the natural Child, is presented. Parent-Adapted Child, and the Adult ego states, adjusting their manifestation and organization to the physiological development of their corresponding ego self, are identified, proposing that the Adapted Child is a part of the Parent ego state. Contamination is reviewed and adjusted for consistency between cause and effect, identifying that the contaminated ego state is the Parent ego state, creating a delusion based on injunctions that generate an illusion in the adapted Child portion of it which in turn causes the natural child’s emotional reaction, considerably limiting the Adult ego state’s capabilities to intervene. Script analysis is reviewed and organised indicating that the script is a life plan initiated at conception and ending at death, and that it is indispensable for survival, having adequate and inadequate segments that may limit lifespan and quality of life. Occurrences, neurophysiological factors, and memories involved in their development and implementation are also identified. Suggestions and examples for the integrated development of intervention strategies and tactics to adjust behaviours and fulfil contracts are presented in the corresponding section.

Deconfusion of the Child ego state – An examination of the main contributions and how redecision adds to the literature

© 2021 Tony White



This paper examines some of the main writings about deconfusion of the Child in the transactional analysis literature. It seeks to show how each approach defines the goals of deconfusion and the methods by which deconfusion is obtained. In doing this it clarifies the three methods which Berne proposed could be used for such deconfusion. It also attempts to show how redecision therapy adds to the literature on the topic, which to the writer’s knowledge has not been done before.        

Development of a Psychological Game Questionnaire

© 2021 Iming Huang



A research study is described, conducted in Taiwan with 615 subjects across different ages, educational levels and occupations, to develop a questionnaire that will measure three components of psychological games: hidden messages or ulterior transactions, role switches on the drama triangle, and repressed emotions. A literature review is included and the development of the questionnaire through a pre-test option with 226 subjects is described. The results of statistical analyses are described and the final questionnaire, in English and in Chinese, is included as appendices.

Cultural Parent and Learning in the Knowledge Society: A Survey with Students of Primary Education

© 2021 Cesare Fregola



This article describes a research study involving 132 students on a Primary Education Sciences degree course at Roma Tre University. A complexity paradigm was employed for the research, which used group activities to design a questionnaire that was subsequently analysed to provide 8 different perspectives. The underlying theoretical perspective involved investigation of the applicability of the transactional analysis concept of Cultural Parent (and the associated concepts of Frame of Reference, Script and Ego States) as a way of understanding how changes are needed in educational processes to reflect how family, school and societal cultures have changed, with particular reference to Generation App and the increasing impact of technology on virtual spaces, and the need to reflect cultural diversity.    

Volume 12 Issue 1 2021                                  

The Game Grid

© 2021 Stephen R. Lankton



The author presents his own design of a Game Grid which can be overlaid on the original version of the circumplex attributed to Leary (1957). The original Interpersonal Check List (ICL) and associated axes and domains (sections) are retained as the purpose is to prompt individuals to explore their own behaviours and how these link to their life positions and the psychological games they may play. A short history of the ICL used is followed by the introduction of a modified OK Corral which recognises that there are some ‘good’ games, and a selection of psychological games is allocated to line up with the four major life positions.  Appendices contain the materials, with links to other languages, and detailed instructions which will allow practitioners to apply the approach described. The author concludes with examples of how results may be interpreted and used to help individual clients and partners.

Suicide contagion, the suicide pact and the effects of suicidal behaviour in therapeutic and family relationships.

© 2021 Tony White



This article is about suicide and relationships. How suicidal thoughts and behaviours can impact relationships for the suicidal person and those around them. This includes relationships between the suicidal person and other suicidal people as well as the suicidal person and others who are non-suicidal. How the suicidal can impact the other and how the other in turn then impacts the suicidal person back. What effects they have on each other in terms of how they think and feel and then how that effects their transactions with each other. More specifically it examines suicide clusters, suicide pacts, suicidality in the therapeutic relationship and suicidality in family relationships.

Passivity in Education

© 2021 Piotr Jusik



The author addresses the occurrence and implications of passivity within the educational environment. After reviewing the theoretical background within the TA literature, he reports several research studies before identifying helpful approaches to tackling such passivity. He includes three case studies, complete with suggestions and diagrams of ways in which overadaptation may be resolved.

Injunctions and Motivation in Human Growth from the Perspective of Triology

© 2021 Ranjith MR



The author combines Kandathil’s (1978) approach of Triology that combines I, You and Goal, and how these are connected in terms of Identity, Rationality and Relationship, with transactional analysis theories about injunctions and permissions. The result is illustrated as an extended GK Frame to provide a model for analysing how childhood decisions are preventing the current growth of clients. Injunctions and injunctive messages are both considered, and permissions are described in terms of love, hope and trust. A significant link is also made with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and this in turn prompts some initial considerations about the nature of spiritual growth. A brief case study is included to demonstrate how the resulting framework can assist with analysis that can be shared with clients.

The TAMED Game, Bystanders and Professional Associations

© 2021 Julie Hay



The author introduces a psychological game named TAMED – the TA Myth of Explanatory Depth, which she suggests provides an explanation of unhealthy dynamics occurring within transactional analysis membership and professional associations. She illustrates this with four case examples based on personal experiences. She also provides an overview of TA theory about psychological games, the bystander role, the various roles within the drama triangle and extensions of it, and the potency pyramid. She provides a selection of materials by TA and non-TA authors to support the premise that such games are more to do with organisational and group processes than the script of the individual who is seen as the cause of the conflict. The article concludes with some initial thoughts about how TA organisational diagrams need amending to reflect the structure and dynamics of professional associations.

Volume 11 Issue 2 2020                  

Examining the Scientist – Practitioner Divide in Psychology: A Transactional Analysis Typology of Scientists

© 2020 Patrick Whitehead



Using transactional analysis models of ego states (Berne 1961, 1964), the author proposes a typology of scientists, and diagrams 14 types based on integrated ego states, contaminated Adult, and single ego state with dual exclusion. The typology is presented as the latest in what could be called the psychology of science, whose exemplars include Thomas Kuhn (1962/2012) and Abraham Maslow (1969). Psychology of science is differentiated from philosophy and theory of science, and existing research into the personality of scientists is explored. Of major importance is the apparent divide between scientist and practitioner in clinical and counselling psychologies.

Based on Feyerabend’s (1970) infamous quip about science that “anything goes”, the author shows how using a proposed  transactional analysis of scientist types, Feyerabend’s comment can be understood three ways: Parent: “Scientists shouldn’t be so serious”; Adult: “It seems that anything goes”; and Child: “No rules!” It is only in their integration (PAC) that Feyerabend’s meaning can be understood. So, too, for the psychological practitioner, whose practice cannot be divorced from its scientific foundations. The author concludes by using the proposed typology to suggest how the same categories applied to practitioners may explain their responses to research

Evaluation and Measurement of Ego States: The Psychometric Properties of the Italian Translation of the Revised version of the Ego State Questionnaire (ESQ-R)

© 2020 Fiorenzo Laghi, Giuseppe Crea, Claudia Filipponi, and Giorgio Cavallero



As a response to the need for more objectivity, Loffredo, Harrington, Munoz & Knowles (2004) developed a 40-item version of the Ego State Questionnaire-Revised (ESQ-R), which was the readjustment of the original 60-items version (Loffredo & Omizo, 1997). The present study evaluates an Italian version of the ESQ-R scale, completed by a sample of 483 subjects (204 males, and 279 females) and demonstrates acceptable construct validity and reliability in its five subscales of Critical Parent, Nurturing Parent, Adult, Free Child, and Adapted Child. Exploratory factor analyses suggested five factors as referred to in the original ESQ-R scale; items loaded at .30 or below were excluded and additional study showed an Italian version ESQ-R-I with 33-items to have a good construct validity as an objective measure of the five ego states entities according to transactional analysis theory. Implications for future research are included.

Transactional Analysis And Education – Living with Current Complexity

© 2020 Cesare Fregola



A brief presentation of the OECD (2018) 21st Century Skills framework indicates that there are many possibilities for those involved in training, education, teaching and learning. A three-party contract model is reinterpreted in the light of the current complexities of social, economic, cultural and technological changes, and the way in which these are highlighting attention to borders and ethical aspects, allows us to hypothesise new synergies between various fields of TA application of psychotherapy, counselling, educational and organisational. Although this contribution focuses on research within the educational context, it demonstrates the possible implications for personal learning relationships within the complexity of our time.

Transactional Analysis and Multiple Intelligences – A Proposed Diagnosis and Intervention

© 2020 Regina Berard



The diagnosis of ego states in action is the first step taken by a transactional analyst in order to develop an intervention plan. Multiple Intelligences theory can help with this by enabling recognition of the abilities and competencies that the client has already, and how the Adult ego state may then become decontaminated and energised. The present study discusses the relationships between the concepts of ego states and multiple intelligences and how this can help with facilitating diagnosis and clinical intervention.

Using the Metaphor of the Sailship Success within a Functional Analysis of a Fintech Company: An Organisational Case Study in Bulgaria

© 2020 Vladislav Yordanov



The author describes the application of the transactional analysis model of Sailship Success (Hay, 2017) within a functional analysis case study in a Fintech company based in Bulgaria but with locations in several other countries. Details are given of the way in which the consultancy project was established, its objectives and the methods that were used. Although the design and results of a questionnaire are also described, the focus is on how the Sailship Success was introduced as a metaphor during interviews with managers, leading to identification of significantly different perspectives about whether the organisation was more like a peaceful ship or one going into battle. Other issues highlighted included there being no clear idea of the intended destination of the ship, a lack of awareness of potential threats such as competitors, and lack of any consciousness of being a part of a fleet of companies. 

Volume 11 Issue 1 2020                                   

A Research Study into the impact on Emotional Stability of a Transactional Analysis Training Programme intended to develop increased levels of Adult Ego State in Adolescents in Syria

© 2020 Alaa MHD Taysir Morad



A research study is described into the impact on Adult ego state and emotional stability of 36 adolescent students (with 36 in a control group) of a training programme based on transactional analysis concepts run in a school in Damascus. An experimental battery of instruments comprised existing and new instruments including an Ego-State Wheel, an Ego State Problem-Solving Scale, an Ego State Measure, the Emotional Stability Brief Measure, and the Geneva Emotion Wheel. Results showed differences in Adult and Free Child ego states and emotional stability, and some differences between boys and girls on Nurturing Parent and Adapted Child ego states.

Development of a Transactional Analysis Diagnostic Tool for Burnout with a Case Study Application in Switzerland

© 2020 Gianpaolo Benedetti, Enrico Benelli and Mariavittoria Zanchetta



Referring to the addition of burnout into the ICD-11, the authors review the literature and propose a combination of transactional analysis concepts with systemic-psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural and logotherapy perspectives to generate a three-dimensional heptagon in which each summit represents a dimension of the burnout condition: cognitive, behavioural, motivational, emotional, somatic, relational and existential. They indicate how here-and-now symptoms are representations of there-and-then experiences and demonstrate how these elements may be represented within the script system developed by O’Reilly-Knapp and Erskine (2010). They go on to combine this with Freudenberger and North’s (1992) 12 steps model into a simplified five phase model of Honeymoon, Suppression, Denial, Dehumanisation and Burnout. Based on this material, they have developed a proxy-rated Burnout Assessment Chart (BAC) and a semi-structured Burnout Assessment Interview (BAI). A case study is then included of this material being applied with a 56-year-old male client in Switzerland. Whilst the limitations of this single case are recognised, the authors propose that the material can be used in developing a manual for working with burnout, with the different phases making it applicable to the various fields of TA application.

Development and Case Study Application of a Proxy-Generated Outcome Measure of Suffering for use with Clients with Illusory Mental Health

© 2020 Giulia Guglielmetti and Enrico Benelli



The concept of illusory mental health is described as the rationale for needing an approach for working with individuals who are unaware of their suffering and are therefore unable to describe their problems through self-report instruments. The use of a nomothetic approach using self-report or clinician-generated standardised instruments is compared with an idiographic approach for working with such individuals. A case study is used to illustrate the development and first application of a Proxy-Generated Outcome Measure (PGOM) that allows clinicians, observers and researchers to trace an individualised understanding of a client’s core sufferings and changes occurring during the process of psychotherapy. A comparison with a nomothetic outcome measure is also presented.

I feel, therefore I am: A study on the meaning of emotions and their functions

© 2020 Adriana Montheiro



Emotion is not a concept that can be accurately defined, even if in ordinary language it refers to affective states. The theory of transactional analysis, created by Berne and developed by his followers, is impregnated with the concept of emotion. In order to bring more light to these questions, the present article discusses the biopsychology of emotions, considering their objectives and functions, considering the influence of neuroscience. We also refer to authors who did a theoretical review of transactional analysis from the perspective of biology and the mind, such as Allen and Hine. We have also included authors with a body approach such as Reich and Levine for their significant contributions both to understanding how the scripting system is embedded in the body, and to consider the possibility of developing a systematic body approach within Adult decontamination methodology. We conclude that there are no destructive emotions. Destructive is the way one learns to deal with feelings, with sensations and emotions. And working on emotions is working on lifescript.

Formal and Informal Use of TA Counselling in Education

© 2020 Piotr Jusik



This article applies role theory and thus clarifies the differences between educators and counsellors who use transactional analysis as a method of conceptualising their work to support growth and development of learners. Educators are seen as facilitators of growth that results from acquiring knowledge, skills and understanding, whereas counsellors emphasise growth resulting from introspection based on relational experiences with the practitioner. Furthermore, counselling interventions can be differentiated into formal and informal work that show considerable differences in terms of contract, roles, levels of containment and confidentiality. Several transactional analysis models have been described in the context of formal and informal interventions. Relevant case studies have been presented to show how the concepts are applied in an educational environment. The author suggests that transactional analysis counsellors need to bring awareness into the roles that they hold and their ability to account for role differences will make their interventions more robust.

Strokes, games and learning in groups

© 2020 Piotr Jusik



Student’s Hunger for strokes plays a key role in improving learning outcomes and emotional literacy in groups. Teachers and facilitators can consciously respond to their learner’s need for recognition by paying attention to the group culture and creating a responsive environment through modelling. When learners’ hunger for strokes is unmet, they start inviting psychological games. Teachers can respond adequately by stressing options in relation to the drama triangle. Additionally, TA concepts are more effective when applied in a relationship context, as otherwise the interventions become a fruitless, simplistic and formulaic endeavour. Some group settings give rise to the role lock phenomenon, when an individual represents an issue that is collectively avoided by other members. When this is brought into awareness, the group can move forward. On the whole, learners thrive when they receive appropriate strokes and permissions that support their growth and development.

Transactional Analysis and Spirituality: Insights from Indian Philosophy

© 2020 Indranil Mitra



In the Indian philosophical system Vedanta, the composite human being is described in terms of five concentric sheaths surrounding an inner core-the Pancha Kosha (Five Sheaths) model. This model has implications for the discipline of Transactional Analysis insofar as it sheds light on the working of the Adult Ego State and also suggests the process by which autonomy can be achieved. Other concepts of Vedanta relevant to TA are discussed and elaborated, and a Vedantic Ego States Model presented incorporating them into the Classical TA model. The natural longing for intimacy and the growth force of physis are represented in terms of insights from Vedanta. The practice implications of the model are discussed, and also how it can help for personal growth and eventually spiritual progress.

Volume 10 Issue 2 2019                   

TA Treatment of Depression. A Simplified Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study-Giovanni

© 2019 Mariavittoria Zanchetta, Laura Farina, Stefano Morena & Enrico Benelli



This study is inspired by previous case series replications of Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design which aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a manualised transactional analysis treatment for depressive disorders and depressive personality. We address problems and difficulties that emerged in previous case series, such as: spending time in training a group of people to conduct the hermeneutic analysis, organising the involvement of external judges to give the final adjudication, and dealing with inconsistencies between quantitative and qualitative data. This study suggests a simplified method to conduct the hermeneutic analysis that requires one person only, maintaining its validity. We integrated hermeneutic design with the pragmatic case evaluation methodology in order to follow predefined criteria in analysing qualitative material. Furthermore, we present a way to use the Script System to detect changes in depressive symptomatology and depressive personality. We tested this approach to HSCED in the case of ‘Giovanni, a 17-year old white Italian malewho attended 16sessionsof transactional analysis psychotherapy with a white Italian womanspecialsing in psychotherapy with 2 years of clinical experience. The client satisfied DSM-5 criteria for moderate major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. This is the second investigation which has evaluated the effectiveness of transactional analysis psychotherapy for depressed adolescents.

TA Treatment of Depression. A Simplified Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study – Margherita

© 2019 Mariavittoria Zanchetta, Alessia Picco, Barbara Revello, Cristina Piccirillo and Enrico Benelli



This study is the seventh of a series of seven and belongs to the second Italian systematic replication of findings from previous series that investigated the effectiveness of a manualised transactional analysis treatment for depression through Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design. We address problems and difficulties that emerged in previous case series, such as: spending time in training a group of people to conduct the hermeneutic analysis, organising the involvement of external judges to give the final adjudication, and dealing with inconsistencies between quantitative and qualitative data. This study suggests a simplified method to conduct the hermeneutic analysis that require one person only, maintaining its validity. We integrated hermeneutic design with the pragmatic case evaluation methodology in order to follow predefined criteria in analysing qualitative material. Furthermore, we present a way to use the Script System to detect changes in depressive symptomatology and depressive personality. We tested this approach to HSCED in the case of ‘Margherita’, a 56-years old white Italian woman who attended 16 sessions of transactional analysis psychotherapy with a white Italian woman therapist with 5 years of clinical experience. The client satisfied DSM-5 criteria for moderately severe major depressive disorder with anxious distress, and SWAP 200 criteria for traits of depressive, dependent, avoidant and hostile personality types with a high level of functioning.

Research into the Relationship between Ego States and Neuroticism among Indian Males and Females

©2019 Vijay Gopal Sreenivasan & C.Suriyaprakash



Results are shown of a research project exploring the relationship between the transactional analysis concepts of ego states and Neuroticism in the Big Five Factor model of personality, A sample of 192 Indian adults (37% male, 63% female) were administered the Ego State Questionnaire-Revised (ESQ-R) and the Big Five Inventory (BFI). Pearson Product-Moment Correlation indicated a small but positive correlation between Neuroticism and the ego states of Critical Parent and Adapted Child, and a small negative correlation between Neuroticism and Nurturing Parent, Adult and FreeChild. (All correlations significant at 0.05 level using a two-tailed test.) There were differences between males and females and between different age groups. Though there are limitations to this research, the findings are in line with TA theory and may have implications for how TA therapy is applied.

The Little Professor: Reflection on the Structure, Development and Evolution of the Adult in the Child

©2019 Tânia Elizabeth Caetano Alves



According to the concept of the Life Script, developed by Eric Berne, the fate of each individual is sketched in the early years of life. The subdivision of Child Ego State, known as Adult in the Child or Little Professor, is responsible for decoding the world throughout intuition and analogical thought and, thus, in one way or another, having physical and emotional survival guaranteed. The purpose of this article is to qualify and recognise the Adult in the Child and its relevance in the construction of personality trait, by studying the anatomical, physiological and emotional scenario in which the Adult in the Child develops itself. The author suggests that the peculiar stamina and wisdom held in the Adult in the Child may be present in adult life in a positive manner, even if the events that structured it were dramatic.

TA Contributions from India

© 2019 Julie Hay



Produced originally as the content for an opening speech and associated workshop at the ITAA/SAATA Conference in Kochi, India in August 2018, the following contains a review of theoretical contributions from authors based in India between 1993 and 2018. In particular, the wide-ranging contributions of Os Summerton and Pearl Drego are described, along with a review of the activities of Father George Kandathil and of others on the subjects of the guru, ethics, universal consciousness and conflict strategies. Two themes are extracted: practical ideas and models, and the cultural and spiritual nature of Indian society, with an expansion of Berne’s concept of autonomy into five components that are linked to Indian philosophy.

Volume 10 Issue 1 2019

Discount of Person, Meaning, and Motive

© 2019 Stephen B Karpman, MD



There are three types of Social Level discounting that can interfere with bonding and intimacy during relationship building -the Discount of Person, Meaning, and Motive. These can be a block in any friendship, family, romantic or business partnerships. They discount in others the OK potential of who they are, of what they say, and why they say it -and what they could be. The same discounts of personal worth, potential and hope will also apply internally in the transactional relationship with oneself at the psychological level.

“Don’t Say Anything You Can’t Diagram.” The Creative Brainstorming System of Eric Berne

© 2019 Stephen B Karpman, MD



This is a paper about the invention of ideas -and the protection of those ideas, including examples of Berne’s original five rules of invention, and how they were successfully utilised by his followers, and the international organisation he set up to protect these ideas.

Script Drama Analysis II

© 2019 Stephen B Karpman, MD



This paper completes the original Script Drama Analysis article (Karpman, 1968) that first introduced the Drama Triangle, Role Diagram, and Location Diagram into TA script literature. As did the previous article, this script theory paper also creates ‘as many new ideas as possible’ to continue Berne’s legacy of invention by brainstorming as he taught his followers in his weekly Tuesday night seminars ‘Think Tank’ in San Francisco in the 1960s.(Karpman, 2014). New game and script theory are woven into novel combinations, to open doors and inspire additional new script theory. Included are: a) 15 new scripting drama triangles including the Palimpsest, Redecision, Transference, Freudian,Existential, Miniscript, Biodynamic, and Darwinian Drama Triangles; b) A family games analysis including the child’s Redecision Triangle, the Script Game, Script Scene, Script Scene Imago and Dysfunctional Family Analysis; c) Two new script formulae for the Script Game Payoff; d) Three new internal and external Script Energy Drive Systems; e) Three new script reinforcement systems: Script Formula G, Script Formula P3. and a Miniscript Drama Triangle; f) A new three-cornered Darwinian instinct; g) Six new Existential Continuums; and h) Four combination three level script teaching diagrams.

Volume 9 Issue 2 2018

TA Treatment of Depression: A Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study–Giorgio

© 2018 Enrico Benelli, Mario Augusto Procacci, Antonella Fornaro, Vincenzo Calvo, Stefania Mannarini, Arianna Palmieri & Mariavittoria Zanchetta



This study is the fourth of a series of seven and belongs to the second Italian systematic replication of findings from previous series that investigated the effectiveness of a manualized transactional analysis treatment for depression through Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design. The therapist was a white Italian man with 17 years of clinical experience and the client, Giorgio, was a 23-year-old white Italian man who attended sixteen sessions of transactional analysis psychotherapy. Giorgio satisfied DSM-5 criteria for Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder,Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia and Dependent Personality Disorder. The treatment focused on both symptoms remission and conflicts at the core of dependent personality. The judges evaluated the case as a good outcome, mediated by the work on core conflicts of personality, that enhanced the treatment outcome and the remission of depressive symptoms. This case study suggests that the classical treatment for depression may be enhanced by considering the conflicts at the base of personality traits or disorders.

TA Treatment of Depression: A Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study–Sergio

© 2018 Enrico Benelli, Giulia Gentilesca, Désirée Boschetti, Cristina Piccirillo,Vincenzo Calvo, Stefania Mannarini, Arianna Palmieri& Mariavittoria Zanchetta



This study is the fifth of a series of seven and belongs to the second Italian systematic replication of findings from previous series that investigated the effectiveness of a manualized transactional analysis treatment for depression through Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design. The therapist was a white Italian woman with 5years of clinical experience and the client, Sergio, was a 39-year old white Italian man who attended sixteen sessions of transactional analysis psychotherapy. Sergio satisfied DSM5 criteria for Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia) with melancholic features, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with Obsessive Personality traits. The treatment focused on the permission to enjoy and on self-protection. The focus on both depressive symptoms and obsessive traits allowed a remission of his dysthymia within the end of therapy. The judges evaluated the case as a good outcome: the depressive and anxious symptomatology clinically and reliably improved over the course of the therapy and these improvements were maintained at the follow-ups. Furthermore, the client reported significant change in his post-treatment interview and these changes were directly attributed to the therapy.

Supervision in Psychotherapy from the Perspective of Transactional Analysis

© 2018 Maria Regina Ferreira Da Silva



This article deals with supervision in clinical psychology that is distinct from pedagogical practice in psychology. The objective is to expand the reflection about supervision, the role of the supervisor and the training of psychotherapists from the perspective of supervision in the methodology of transactional analysis. Supervision is about a process of professional development that must qualify the skills of the trainee, develop those that are lacking and expand their potential to achieve professional success, since the construction of psychotherapeutic knowledge is not limited to theoretical content and must include training practical skills, professional posture and ethics.

Rituals as Promoters of Autonomy

© 2018 Joana Henneman



For Eric Berne, the psychiatrist who developed transactional analysis, Ritual is a form of time structuring that provides less recognition in relationships. This article aims to re-signify the concept by bringing the understanding that ritualization can be understood not as submission to patterns programmed by tradition and social customs, but as an action that provides an environment that stimulates the development of autonomy. The reflections of authors in the fields of anthropology, psychology and sociology, including van Gennep, Terrin, Bell, Zoja, Tambiah and Turner are used to illustrate and explain the study of rituals as practices replete with symbolism and meanings. Through Eliade and Bateson the notions of the sacred and consecration are considered. Autonomy is referred to as Berne perceived it, implying capacity for awareness, intimacy and spontaneity.

Autonomy or Dependence: Working with Therapeutic Symbiosis in the Non-Psychotic Therapist-Client Relationship

© 2018 Vitor A Merhy



Symbiosis is a concept developed by Schiff and others in her work with clients with severe psychoses such as schizophrenia. It is our intention with this article to propose a reflection on its applicability with our non-psychotic clients, within the practice of consultation. By reviewing the theory of development, by authors with a theoretical framework of transactional analysis, we seek to establish the possibilities of what can happen within the primary symbiosis through its non-resolution, within each period of development of the human being from conception to the adult phase. In this primary symbiosis, when unresolved, the establishment of script and the matrix of the various relationships of dependence in life will be developed. Resolution of this through therapeutic symbiosis in the therapist-client relationship lead to attainment of Berne’s autonomy with its components of awareness, spontaneity and intimacy.

Death and the Grieving Process: Transactional Analysis Contributions

© 2018 Maria Clara Ramos Grochot



Loss, death, and grieving are situations involving people at various points in their lives. The purpose of this article is to present an approach on the psychic reaction determined by experience with death or loss, analysing the process of grieving, correlating the description of the five stages of Kübler-Ross with the discounting levels of Schiff. Considering that loss and death occur in the lives of people, and is generally a factor of great stress, we explain the stages through which mourners pass to elaborate the process of grieving. We conclude that working with the process of grieving through interventions on discounting and correlating them with the phases experienced in this period, proved useful in overcoming problems in the therapeutic process.

Volume 9 Issue 1 2018

About Sensations, Emotions and Feelings: A Contribution to the Theoretical Basis of Transactional Analysis

© 2018 Jane Maria Pancinha Costa



This article is intended to present new thinking and expansion of the knowledge of emotions and feelings within transactional analysis, through a dialogue between Eric Berne, Antonio Damasio and Humberto Maturana. From Berne comes the guiding framework of transactional analysis and the core concept of ego states. From Damasio comes the distinction between feeling, emotion and mood as well as an understanding of the organisation of the brain. From Maturana comes an understanding of the importance of emotions, particularly the emotion of love, in the process of human evolution. From this dialogue can be seen the foundation for the five primary emotions referred to within transactional analysis: anger, fear, sadness, joy and love. Finally, there is a proposal to update the concept of ego states in line with that dialogue.

Psychological Boundaries and Psychological Bridges: A Categorisation and the Application of Transactional Analysis Concepts

© 2018 Julie Hay



Prompted by preparation of a presentation at a TA learning event, Part 1 of this paper provides a largely TA-based literature review of references to psychological boundaries, related to a proposed new framework for categorising such boundaries at the levels of person (intrapersonal, personal), people (interpersonal, family, neighbourhood), place (region, country, area, continent) and planet (environment, Earth, Universe). TA concepts seen as relevant for each boundary are described. Comments on practitioner boundaries lead into Part 2, which addresses psychological bridges across boundaries such as created through supervision and frameworks for increasing awareness of unconscious processes. A critique of the current TA field of application boundaries is included and Part 2 concludes with a model that represents a general bridge to contact.

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Experiences of Four Individuals Reporting Exposure to Workplace Bullying in the UK

© 2018 Mary O’Neill & Denise Borland



Suggesting that bullying is a toxic dynamic that is widespread in the modern workplace, the authors review general, research and transactional analysis literature on the topic and conclude that there is little documented about the adverse interaction on the individual. They go on to describe their conduct of an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of the experiences of four individuals who self-identified and were also operationally identified using an amended version of the Negative Acts Questionnaire (NAQ-R) as being bullied by a manager within their organ-isation. A general questionnaire about experiences of bullying was also used, followed by interviews. Transcripts were analysed, and three themes and seven sub-themes were identified. Findings suggest that the participants experienced feelings of anger and worthlessness, but these feelings were muted and diminished as evidenced by participants’ language and narrative styles. This is interpreted as them discounting their experience and the resulting impact on their health. Participants were found to be perceiving their manager as critical and blaming, and to have lost trust in them because of alleged breaches of boundaries. The participants also perceived the organisation negatively if they failed to support the participant; this was regarded as an endorsement of the negative behaviours. The resulting themes are analysed using several TA concepts, including discounting, life positions, psychological games, drivers, miniscript and script.

State of Self as Agents of Self-Killing: An Egogram-based Suicide Note Analysis Study in Russia

© 2018 Dmitri I. Shustov, Olga D. Tuchina, Tatiana V. Agibalova, Nadezhda L. Zuykova



The article presents findings of the egogram-based suicide note analysis, which was undertaken by three experts (MDs, PhDs, certified in TA) in a sample of 26 people (36 suicide notes) in Ryazan, Russia, in 2000 and 2017. The results of the study imply that the presuicidal intrapersonal activity is quite diverse and evolving, and may vary between those who complete suicide lethally and those who survive their suicide attempt. Lethal suicides were characterised by elevated levels of Adult and Adapted Child whereas non-lethal suicide attempts showed an apparent increase in Adapted Child and negative Controlling Parent levels. The authors inferred that suicidal individuals with serious lethal intent mightmaintain moderate levels of Adapted Child (suffering) soas to enable Adult to accumulate energy needed to perform a fatal suicide attempt. In attempted suicides, high levels of negative Controlling Parent targeting relevant others may diffuse the energy necessary for completion of suicide. Attempted suicide egograms were illustrative of the manipulative nature of the non-lethal suicide attempts, whereas completed suicides did not. Egograms of non-lethal suicide attempts and intoxicated completed suicides had similar distribution of ego state levels, which may reflect the effect of alcohol interfering with the activity of protective Parental substructures and strengthening the role of the negative Controlling Parent targeting either one’s inner self or relevant others.

TA Treatment of Depression: A Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study – Beatrice

© 2018 Enrico Benelli, Francesca Vulpiani, Giorgio Cristiano Cavallero, Vincenzo Calvo, Stefania Mannarini, Arianna Palmieri and Mariavittoria Zanchetta



This study is the sixth of a series of seven and belongs to the second Italian systematic replication of findings from previous series that investigated the effectiveness of a manualized transactional analysis treatment for depression through Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design. The therapist was a white Italian woman with 10 years of clinical experience and the client, Beatrice, was a 45-year old white Italian woman who attended sixteen sessions of transactional analysis psychotherapy. Beatrice satisfied DSM 5 criteria for Major Depressive Disorder, Anxious Distress, with Dependent and Histrionic Personality Traits. The judges evaluated the case as a good outcome: the depressive and anxious symptomatology clinically and reliably improved over the course of the therapy and these improvements were maintained throughout the duration of the follow up intervals. Furthermore, the client reported significant change in her post-treatment interview and these changes were directly attributed to the therapy.

Volume 8 Issue 2 2017

The development by the German Transactional Analysis Association of a scientifically-based evaluation system of Transactional Analysis training

© 2017 Norbert Nagel, Joachim König, Sebastian Ottmann and Annika Hahnle



The authors present the development and statistical analysis, conducted under the auspices of the German Transactional Analysis Association (DGTA), of an online evaluation system of transactional analysis training.  The understanding of evaluation research is clarified, and the data-entry form and its grounding in the theory of transactional analysis are presented. Emphasis is placed on the development of the competence concept, the definition of competence categories, and the representation of the foundations of a transactional-analytic educational theory.  The scientific examination of the validity and reliability of the scales, the research process with pre-test and re-test, and the evaluation of the data in the system of online evaluation are extensively documented.  In conclusion, it is claimed that this online-based DGTA evaluation is one of the few result-oriented teaching evaluation instruments in the German-speaking countries which meets scientific control criteria and is published.

A therapist’s review of process: Rupture & Repair cycles in relational Transactional Analysis psychotherapy for a client with a dismissive attachment style: ‘Martha

© 2017 Silvia Baba Neal



This article is a therapist review of the process that occurred during a systematic case study of psychotherapy with ‘Martha’, a female client who presented with depression, anxiety, alexithymia and dismissive/avoidant attachment style.  Assessment, diagnosis of the client and treatment direction is described, followed by a detailed account of the therapeutic process through 12 sessions and 2 post-therapy interviews. Analysis team results are summarised, indicating support for the therapist’s identification of issues during the process of the therapy. Particular attention is paid by the analysis team two points of rupture and repair, with pragmatic evaluation confirming that the relational struggles between therapist and client seemed pivotal in generating positive change.

The ‘taming’ of Julie and her avoidant attachment style

© 2017 Valérie Perret



In this case study, I present the application of the model developed by Richard Erskine of ‘Self in Relationship’ to a client who I will call Julie. I describe the open and closed domains of contact that I observed at the beginning of the work. Then I explain how I bring this client to a state of awakening of the anaesthetised domains through an implied accompaniment and full contact, whilst respecting her avoidant attachment style.

Shame, the scourge of supervision

© 2017 Valérie Perret



– How do we construct shame?

– How does it impact in supervision?

– How can the supervisor deal with it?

My motivation in writing this article is born from my personal experience with shame. It inhibited my thinking, my spontaneity, my creativity, and therefore limited my personal and professional development. Freeing myself allowed me to recover liberty, energy and legitimacy. I gained in professional competence and assertiveness within my practice as supervisor.

My purpose in writing this article is that we, as supervisors, reflect together on how we look at the process of shame in our supervision sessions.

Volume 8 Issue 1 2017

TA Treatment of Depression: A Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study – ‘Anna’

© 2017 Enrico Benelli, Emanuela Moretti, Giorgio Cristiano Cavallero, Giovanni Greco, Vincenzo Calvo, Stefania Mannarini, Arianna Palmieri & Mark Widdowson



​This study is the first of a series of seven, and belongs to the second Italian systematic replication of findings from two previous series (Widdowson 2012a, 2012b, 2012c, 2013; Benelli, 2016a, 2016b, 2016c) that investigated the effectiveness of a manualised transactional analysis treatment for depression through Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design (HSCED). The therapist was a white Italian woman with 8 years of clinical experience and the client, Anna, was a 33-year old white Italian woman who attended 16 sessions of transactional analysis psychotherapy. Anna satisfied DSM-5 criteria for mild persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) with anxious distress. The conclusion of the judges was that this was a good-outcome case: the dysthymic symptoms improved over the course of the therapy and were maintained in the ‘healthy’ range at the 6-month follow-up, the client reported a positive experience of the therapy and described important changes in intrapsychic and interpersonal patterns. In this case study, transactional analysis treatment for depression has proven its efficacy in treating persistent depressive disorder.

TA Treatment of Depression: A Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study – ‘Caterina’

© 2017 Enrico Benelli, Sara Filanti, Roberta Musso, Vincenzo Calvo, Stefania Mannarini, Arianna Palmieri & Mark Widdowson



This study is the second of a series of seven, and belongs to the second Italian systematic replication of findings from two previous series (Widdowson 2012a, 2012b, 2012c, 2013; Benelli, 2016a, 2016b, 2016c) that investigated the effectiveness of a manualised transactional analysis treatment for depression through Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design. The therapist was a white Italian woman with 10 years of clinical experience and the client, Caterina, was a 28-year old white Italian woman who attended 16 sessions of transactional analysis psychotherapy. Caterina satisfied DSM-5 criteria for major depressive disorder with generalized anxiety disorder. The conclusion of the judges was that this was an outstanding good-outcome case: the depressive symptoms showed an early clinical and reliable improvement, maintained till the 6 months follow-up, accompanied by reductions in anxiety symptoms, global distress and severity of personal problems. Adherence to the manualised treatment for depression appears good to excellent. In this case study, transactional analysis treatment for depression has proven its efficacy in treating major depressive disorder in comorbidity with anxiety disorder.

TA Treatment of Depression: A Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study – ‘Deborah’

© 2017 Enrico Benelli, Maddalena Bergamaschi, Cristina Capoferri, Stefano Morena, Vincenzo Calvo, Stefania Mannarini, Arianna Palmieri, Mariavittoria Zanchetta & Mark Widdowson



This study is the third of a series of seven, and belongs to the second Italian systematic replication of findings from two previous series (Widdowson 2012a, 2012b, 2012c, 2013; Benelli, 2016a, 2016b, 2016c) that investigated the effectiveness of a manualised transactional analysis treatment for depression through Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design (HSCED). Major Depression and Subthreshold Depression are often in comorbidity with Anxiety disorders in childhood and adolescence and represent a risk factor for ongoing mental health problems in adulthood. The therapist was a white Italian woman with 15 years of clinical experience and the client, Deborah, was a 15-year old white Italian female adolescent who attended sixteen sessions of transactional analysis psychotherapy. The conclusion of the judges was that this was a good-outcome case: the depressive and anxious symptomatology clinically and reliably improved over the course of the therapy and these improvements were maintained throughout the duration of the follow-up intervals. Furthermore, the client reported significant change in her post-treatment interview and these changes were directly attributed to the therapy. In this case study, the transactional analysis manualised treatment for depression in adulthood has demonstrated its effectiveness also in treating depressive and anxiety symptoms in adolescence

Volume 7 Issue 2 2016

Impact of the Application of Redecision Methods in Executive Coaching Workshops on Psychological Wellbeing: A Quantitative Evaluation of Effectiveness

© 2016 Mark Widdowson, Peter Theuns, Mil Rosseau & Rik Rosseau



​Previous research has found that participants in redecision marathons experience increased personal growth and improvements in psychological well-being (McNeel, 1982; Noriega-Gayol, 1997; Widdowson & Rosseau, 2014). In this article, the authors conducted a quantitative analysis based on the use of the Ryff Scales of Psychological Wellbeing to determine whether participants (n=49) at an executive coaching redecision marathon would experience an increase in psychological well-being. The findings show statistically significant improvements in psychological well-being overall, and specifically within the sub-scales of autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth and self-acceptance, suggesting that redecision-based workshops are effective for improving subjective psychological well-being.

Combinations of Injunctions and Personality Types Determining Forms of Self-Destructive Behaviour in Alcohol-Dependent Clients: Findings of a Russian Observational Study

© 2016 Dmitri I. Shustov, Olga D. Tuchina, Sergei A. Novikov & Ilya A. Fedotov



​This observational study, conducted 2009-2012 with 190 male out-patient clients diagnosed with alcohol dependence and receiving psychotherapeutic treatment in Ryazan, Russia, investigated whether the patterns of self-destructive behaviours exhibited by the subjects were linked to their Personality Types and which combinations of injunctions were reflected in their main personality traits.

Self-destructive behaviour was measured according to the 7 Alcoholic Self-Destructiveness Dimensions (ASD) (Shustov 2005); data on alcohol abuse and preferred ASD were gathered through semi-structured interview; personality patterns and psychosocial functioning were assessed by means of clinical observation, semi-structured interview, the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire: Version 4+ (Hyler, 1994) (Russian version) and ICD-10 criteria except for Narcissistic Disorder diagnosed according to DSM-IV; 12 injunctions were assessed with The Drego Injunction Scale (Drego, 1994) (Russian version).

When correlations were analysed, it was found that injunctions had a significant impact on the hamartic alcoholic script of the out-patient alcohol-dependent clients on the following continuum: Don’t Be, Don’t Think, Don’t Be a Child, Don’t Trust, Don’t Feel, Don’t Grow Up; client personality types had direct relationship with specific injunction patterns. Personality Types mediated the Alcoholic Self-Destructiveness Dimensions: the Classical Suicidal Dimension being associated with Borderline personality traits; Antisocial with the Antisocial personality; and Professional with the Narcissistic Personality.

An Investigation using a Case Study Approach into the Impact on a Counselling Team in the UK of an Organisational Restructuring within a Family Support Service

© 2016 Gillian Robinson



Following an organisational restructuring of a hospice in the UK, the author has used a case study approach to investigate the impact of this on a team of volunteer counsellors of which she was a member.  A small number of the volunteer counsellors completed a questionnaire and some managers and other professionals were interviewed, and summaries of responses through each method are presented.  The results are reviewed in terms of several transactional analysis concepts, and the author concludes by hypothesising that the impact of the restructuring on the counsellors appeared to parallel the sense of vulnerability felt by their clients.

The Many Faces of Transactional Analysis: A Survey Study of the Practice and Identity of Transactional Analysis Therapists in the UK

© 2016 Siobhan Gregory



An online survey method was used with a sample of 99 therapists who had completed at least 4 years of transactional analysis psychotherapy training to investigate factors including their views on the most and least practised TA psychotherapy approaches based on the ‘schools’ of Classical, Redecision, Cathexis, Integrative, Psychodynamic and Relational. Demographic information on gender, age, therapeutic activity and professional associations was also collected, and the survey explored subjects’ willingness to diversify their knowledge of therapies other than TA, how much they integrated across therapeutic modalities, and their commitment to a TA Identity.
Statistical analysis was conducted on the TA Identity and Integrative Identity scales within the survey, which were shown to have good reliability and internal consistency. Statistical analysis of results indicated that participants displayed significantly higher levels of Integrative Identity than TA Identity, although it was not clear whether that related to the TA Integrative approach or to the general integration of different approaches. Attainment of the international TA qualification as Certified Transactional Analyst (Psychotherapy) was shown to be related to commitment to TA and commitment in the TA community.

​Volume 7 Issue 1 2016

TA Treatment of Depression: A Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study – ‘Sara’

© 2016 Enrico Benelli, Barbara Revello, Cristina Piccirillo, Marco Mazzetti, Vincenzo Calvo, Arianna Palmieri, Marco Sambin & Mark Widdowson



This study is the first of a series of three, and represents an Italian systematic replication of previous UK findings (Widdowson 2012a, 2012b, 2012c, 2013) that investigated the effectiveness of a recently manualised transactional analysis treatment for depression with British clients, using Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design (HSCED). The various stages of HSCED as a systematic case study research method are described, as a quasi-judicial method to sift case evidence in which researchers construct opposing arguments around quantitative and qualitative multiple source evidences and judges evaluate these for and against propositions to conclude whether the client changed substantially over the course of therapy and that the outcome was attributable to the therapy. The therapist in this case was a white Italian woman with 10 years clinical experience and the client, Sara, was a 62-year old white Italian woman with moderate depression and three recent bereavements, who attended sixteen sessions of transactional analysis therapy. The diagnosis is based on the new DSM-5 criteria that allow differentiation between Depression and Bereavement. The conclusion of the judges was that this was a good-outcome case: the client improved early over the course of the therapy, reported positive experience of therapy and maintained the improvement at the end of the follow-up.

TA Treatment of Depression: A Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study – ‘Penelope’

© 2016 Enrico Benelli, Francesco Scottà, Serena Barreca, Arianna Palmieri, Vincenzo Calvo, Guido de Rénoche, Stefano Colussi, Marco Sambin & Mark Widdowson



This study is the second of a series of three, and represents an Italian replication of a previous UK -based case series (Widdowson 2012a, 2012b, 2012c, 2013) that investigated the effectiveness of a recently manualised transactional analysis treatment for depression with British clients, using Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design (HSCED). The various stages of HSCED as a systematic case study research method are described, as a quasi-judicial method to sift case evidence in which researchers construct opposing arguments around multiple sources of quantitative and qualitative evidence and judges evaluate these to conclude whether the client changed substantially over the course of therapy, and whether the outcome was attributable to the therapy. The therapist in this case was a white Italian man in the third year of training to become a psychotherapist, and the client, Penelope, was a 45-year old white Italian woman with mild depression and anxiety. The conclusion of the judges was that this was a mixed-outcome case: the client improved some aspects of her problems, without obtaining a complete and stable remission. Interestingly, this case presents a minimal correlation between empirical and proxy-rated indexes of depression and anxiety and answers to self reported questionnaires, raising the question of validity of self report measures with specific typology of client.

TA Treatment of Depression: A Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study – ‘Luisa’

© 2016 Enrico Benelli, Desiree Boschetti, Cristina Piccirillo, Laura Quagliotti, Vincenzo Calvo, Arianna Palmieri, Marco Sambin & Mark Widdowson



This study is the third of a series of three, and represents an Italian systematic replication of previous UK findings (Widdowson 2012a, 2012b, 2012c, 2013) that investigated the effectiveness of a recently manualised transactional analysis treatment for depression with British clients, using Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design (HSCED). The various stages of HSCED as a systematic case study research method are described, as a quasi-judicial method to sift case evidence in which researchers construct opposing arguments around quantitative and qualitative multiple source evidences and judges evaluate these for and against propositions to conclude whether the client changed substantially over the course of therapy and that the outcome was attributable to the therapy. The therapist in this case was a white Italian woman with 10 years clinical experience and the client, Luisa, was a 65-year old white Italian woman who attended sixteen sessions of TA therapy. Luisa satisfied DSM-5 criteria for severe adjustment disorder, with moderate depression and mixed deflected humour and anxiety, for which she had been taking medications and homeopathic treatments for over a year. The conclusion of the judges was that this was a good-outcome case: the client improved over the course of the therapy, reported a positive experience of therapy and maintained this improvement at the end of the follow-up.

Volume 6 Issue 2 2015

Research into professional outcomes for psychotherapists trained at a centre for psychotherapy and transactional analysis in Italy

© 2015 Ugo De Ambrogio and Carla Dessi



The authors developed a questionnaire and analysed professional outcomes for 98 former students who completed trainings in psychotherapy and transactional analysis, recognised by the Italian Ministry of University & Research, during the past 15 years at the Centre of Psychology and Transactional Analysis in Milan.  Statistical results were discussed with others and factors reviewed included how students managed in the world of work, and the positive results and critical elements of applying transactional analysis in psychotherapy.  Professional life facts emerge in terms of a recognisable identity, ethical attention and satisfaction with the application of tools learned.  Flexibility in coping with stimuli and issues met in professional practice, and the desire to have an exchange with colleagues and between different theoretical models, are also identified.

Two empirical research projects into the impact of teaching the concept of drivers to preschool children in Italy

© 2015 Cesare Fregola



Fourth-year student teachers on a degree course at Roma Tre University were supervised as they conducted empirical research to introduce transactional analysis to primary schoolchildren, with the aim of developing their own self-efficacy and autonomy whilst demonstrating that the teaching of drivers (Kahler 1975) to children led to progressive development for those children of the metacognitive capabilities and self-awareness needed to make their own decisions about behavioural choices.  The limitations of small sample groups are acknowledged as is the fact that the supervision came from authors whose previous work had provided the basis for the questionnaires designed and used by the students.

An in-depth exploration of the experience and sense-making of transactional analyst psychotherapists working with clients who present with Internet addiction

© 2015 Matthew Shorrock



Four internationally-accredited transactional analysis psychotherapists completed semi—structured one-to-one interviews that explored their experiences and sense-making of Internet addiction (IA).  Interpretive phenomenological analysis yielded four higher-order concepts: the complexity of IA; aetiological and predisposing factors; functions and features of IA; and treatment factors. Practical and theoretical implications for future research, clinical supervision, treatment, psycho-educational and political programmes are presented. Of the key emergent findings the Internet was understood by participants as a conduit or medium for addiction given a high prevalence of an underlying ‘disorder’.   It was also found that participants believed in the existence of childhood aetiological roots underpinning comorbidity with IA; that attachment difficulties in childhood often predispose individuals to develop issues around loneliness, low self-esteem, control, loss, instability and cognitive dissonance later in life; and that a relationship exists between depression, low self-esteem and escapism as contributing factors.   It is concluded that professionals would benefit from specific trainings concerning childhood attachment difficulties, whilst integrating a psychodynamic approach, or being aware of transference processes, could enhance treatment effectiveness and help safeguard both clients and therapists from counter-therapeutic interventions.

Volume 6 Issue 1 2015

An action research project aimed at raising social consciousness amongst women attending transactional analysis group psychotherapy in Brazil

© 2015 Jane Maria Pancinha Costa



Based on awareness of material by Gramsci (1978, 1982) on hegemony, Freire (1979a, 1979b) on cooperative contact, and Steiner (1975) on radical psychiatry, action research methodology was used by the researcher, who was also a psychotherapist, with 12 women attending two ongoing weekly psychotherapy groups in Brazil in order to raise their social consciousness of culturally-based oppression of women, particularly relating to work; to apply life script analysis as a therapeutic intervention within the groups; and to facilitate recognition by the women of the benefits of cooperative contact when seeking to liberate themselves from oppression.  Individual structured interviews were conducted and the data from these was discussed within the groups, leading to the development of a model containing 6 levels of consciousness of oppression.  Examples of oppression identified by the women are provided, with only 17% relating directly to sexual discrimination at work.  Although the research was conducted many years ago (1987-1989), it is shown that problems still exist and the research methodology could usefully be applied elsewhere.

Integration of Psychodrama and Transactional Analysis Methods in psychoeducational work with school-age children in Russia

© 2015 Marina Solomonovna Sokovnina and Viktor Nikolayevich Aleshin



Beginning with a comparison of the concepts and methods of psychodrama and transactional analysis, the authors identify similarities and present their experiences of combining these approaches in order to conduct workshops for 5th grade (11-12 years) students within the Russian educational system.  They provide their rationale for this work, details of the content of the training and an example of the work of the students in the form of an agreement on cooperation between students and teachers.  They provide an analysis of the reported emotions during lessons for 78 students compared to 38 within control groups, showing increased positive emotions and decreased negative emotions for those in the transactional analysis/psychodrama lessons.  They conclude that the role-play method used was more effective than traditional educational methods within Russia for the development of autonomy, motivation and involvement of students.

An investigation into the factors that influence the perceived experiences and outcomes for students training in Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy in the UK and USA

© 2015 Cathy McQuaid



Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) (Smith, 1995) was applied to data from 21 out of 50 participants who had shared their training experiences during semi-structured interviews.  Subjects were chosen from trainees and trainers in the USA and UK, to include ‘generations’ from those trained by transactional analysis originator Dr Eric Berne through to recently qualified transactional analysis psychotherapists, and including some who had ceased training before qualifying.
Results suggest that TA psychotherapy training is experienced by some as a transformational, life enhancing and reparative experience that culminates in a satisfying and rewarding career, whilst for others it is perceived as an abusive, punitive and punishing experience, bringing disillusionment, disappointment and dissatisfaction.  The main contributing factors were the students’ personal belief systems, motivations for undertaking the training, and relationships with the trainer, peers and the profession as a whole.
Analysis of the themes suggested that subsequent anxieties raised by participants concerned lack of information, inconsistencies in training offered by different establishments, reasons for trainees entering training and trainers’ reasons for accepting them, and the significant time and resource requirements of the training.  The paper includes recommendations aimed at making the training experience one that upholds the basic philosophical principles and values of TA, and promotes, develops and enhances TA psychotherapy training.

A pilot study to investigate and analyse script components of hospitalised individuals in Ukraine diagnosed with schizophrenia paranoid sub-type

© 2015 Ganna Golovan



Based on World Health Organisation (2014a) identification a lack of psychosocial interventions for the c. 24 million people worldwide suffering from schizophrenia, and a corresponding paucity of relevant transactional analysis literature, the author went on to conduct a pilot study of 27 participants in Ukraine, who were hospitalised and diagnosed by psychiatrists as schizophrenia paranoid sub-type.  Four questionnaires were used in Russian: Internal Ego States Questionnaire (Hay, 1996), Driver Questionnaire (Cox, 2001), Critical Points of Development Questionnaire (Gusakovski, 2000 based on Bradshaw, 1991) and Brief Script Questionnaire (Stewart, 1999), the latter accompanied by a clinical interview during which diagnoses of other TA elements were made. Limitations in terms of un-validated questionnaires and statistical validity are noted but the study is presented, and copies of the questionnaires in English are published with the permission of the authors, in order to encourage further research into this hitherto neglected area.

Reducing teacher stress and burnout in high-risk secondary schools in South Africa using transactional analysis

© 2015 Sharon Mary Johnson



One of a number of articles arising from PhD research, this paper focuses on the results of applying transactional analysis as one of three approaches to reducing stress and burnout for teachers in high-risk secondary schools in the gangland areas of the Cape Flats, Western Cape, South Africa. The other approaches were Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) and Transpersonal Psychology (TP), and related articles on these and on the quantitative statistical analysis elements of this research are being disseminated elsewhere.
A total of 43 teachers in three different schools took part in one intervention held weekly over 10 weeks for one and a half hours (15 hours in total) at their school as part of staff development, with a control group of 20 teachers at a fourth school. Qualitative TA intervention questionnaire coding analysis and focus group post-intervention thematic analysis of the mixed-methods study are presented. Coding analysis focused on the intra- and inter-individual tools that impacted teachers, and it was found that TA generated self-awareness, self-help tools and a strong group connection. Thematic analysis gave insights into the physical, emotional and cognitive responses to stress and burnout interventions on the individual, interpersonal and organisational levels and revealed new perspectives on classroom competency, with teachers taking more responsibility for discipline in the classroom.
The study gave insights into the well-being and coping of educators who survive in these challenging contexts, and it is proposed that TRE, TP and TA approaches can be incorporated, and possibly combined, into integrative and eclectic ways of dealing with complex psychological challenges of stress and burnout reduction in traumatic environments.

Volume 5 Number 2 2014

Systemic Transactional Analysis Coaching: A study of effective conditions, consequences and effects on organisational culture

© 2014 Günther Mohr



The paper describes content and process of an ongoing in-house ‘individual coached within a group’ coaching programme run over many years in Germany, utilising various concepts including classical, systemic and systemic organisational transactional analysis and three sequential research studies covering the perceived usefulness of the coaching programme to individuals and their organisation, the correlations between attendance at the programme and professional advancement within the organisation, and the factors identified by participants as contributing to the effectiveness of the programme.
The initial survey-based study identified the primary factor as the extent to which participants had been able to deal with their personally-identified most important individual issue or problem. The second study applied QCA (Qualitative Comparative Analysis) (Ragin 1987, 2000, 2008) and showed a correlation between the autonomous variables of participation in the group and the interdependent variable of ‘additional empowerment’ by the company.  The third study used frequency and valence analysis of responses to a questionnaire completed by 38 managers to identify the key elements that they believed contributed to the effectiveness of the coaching programme.
The author concludes that such programmes are effective but complex so require the coach to have psychological, pedagogical, leadership and manage-ment expertise and that this be applied within an organisational learning culture.

An investigation into the support needs of male partners of female alcoholics in Switzerland©

© 2014 Bea Schild



This exploratory study presents analysis of narrative interviews with three subjects conducted in Switzerland in 2009 to explore the support needs of male partners of female alcoholics. Different concepts on coping styles are introduced and interpreted in the light of several transactional analysis and other concepts. The content of the interviews was categorised according to structuring and typifying analysis.  The results indicate that the main needs for support relate to issues of partnership and parenthood, to the image of addiction in society, and to financial and administrative issues, and hence are different to stressors identified by other researchers for female partners of male alcoholics and from support needs of close-one’s of the mentally ill.

Challenges to Developing Routine Outcomes Evaluation in Different Practice Settings and Cultures: A Naturalistic Enquiry in Spain and the UK

© 2014 Biljana van Rijn, Ciara Wild, Adina Dumitru



A naturalistic sessionl evaluation of routine outcomes of psychotherapy from a range of theoretical orientations including transactional analysis, using standardised measures for depression, anxiety, general distress and working alliance, was conducted across completed therapy interventions by 113 therapists with 263 clients within an academic institution in the UK and across stages of therapy by 10 therapists with 26 clients in three independent clinics in Spain.  Outcomes in both countries demonstrated clinical gains but it was found that such evaluation methodology was more easily applied within a training institute than in private practice; it also appeared to better fit the UK professional climate of evaluation.  Suggestions are made concerning the introduction of such research in future.

Quantitative and Qualitative Outcomes of Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy with Male Armed Forces Veterans in the UK presenting with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

© 2014 David Harford and Mark Widdowson



This paper presents findings from a two-year research project conducted within a live-in residential charity setting in the UK, examining clinical outcomes of TA psychotherapy among 15 male armed forces veterans presenting with severe PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other comorbid disorders. Outcomes were measured for short-term (24 sessions) and long-term (52 sessions) transactional analysis (TA) treatment using the quantitative CORE-OM (Evans, Mellor-Clark, Margison, Barkham, McGrath, Connell & Audin, 2000), PHQ-9 (Kroenke, Spitzer & Williams, 2001) and GAD-7 (Spitzer, Kroenke, Williams & Löwe, 2006) questionnaires and the qualitative Change Interview (Elliott, Slatick, & Urman, 2001, as cited in Frommer & Rennie, 2001). Quantitative findings show that positive Reliable Change on global distress, depression and anxiety has taken place within both the short-term and long-term treatment groups with some clients achieving Clinically Significant Change on these measures. Qualitative findings arising from thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) indicate that a broad spectrum of therapist factors and psychotherapy process factors within the TA therapy delivered were beneficial for this particular client group. The negative influence of a number of psychosocial factors on the veterans’ well-being is also discussed based on numerical data and interview responses. Overall, these results suggest that TA psychotherapy can be effective in the treatment of PTSD among combat veterans.

Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy for a Case of Mixed Anxiety & Depression: A Pragmatic Adjudicated Case Study – ‘Alastair’

© 2014 Mark Widdowson



Using an original method of case evaluation which involved an analysis panel of over 80 Italian psychologists and included a lay case evaluation, the author has investigated the effectiveness of transactional analysis psychotherapy for a case of mixed anxiety and depression with a 39 year old white British male who attended 14 weekly sessions.  CORE-OM (Evans, Mellor-Clark , Margison, Barkham, Audin, Connell and McGrath, 2000), PHQ-9 (Kroenke, Spitzer & Williams, 2001), GAD-7) Spitzer, Kroenke, Williams & Löwe, 2006, Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (Hamilton, 1980) were used for screening and also for outcome measurement, along with Session Rating Scale (SRS v.3.0) (Duncan, Miller, Sparks, Claud, Reynolds, Brown and Johnson, 2003) and Comparative Psychotherapy Process Scale (CPPS) (Hilsenroth, Blagys, Ackerman, Bonge and Blais, 2005),  within an overall adjudicational case study method.  The conclusion of the analysis panel and the lay judge was unanimously that this was a good outcome case and that the client’s changes had been as a direct result of therapy. Previous case study research has demonstrated that TA is effective for depression, and this present case provides foundation evidence for the effectiveness of TA for depression with comorbid anxiety.

Volume 5 Issue 1 2014

A Thematic Analysis of Preferences of Young People using Online Support to Discuss Suicide Ideation – UK

© 2014 Sally Evans



Young people (mainly 15-17 years) using an online counselling, support and advice website were asked about their preferences for online versus face-to-face discussion of suicidal feelings.  Thematic analysis of results (n = 24) yielded a main theme of ‘anonymity’ with sub-themes of ‘safety and freedom’, ‘confidentiality’ and ‘control’.  Issues of safeguarding distressed young people who have chosen to remain anonymous are raised.

An Analysis of Working Styles in Different Professions in Russia

© 2014 Dmitry Kasyanov



A convenience sample of 861 people (451 female, 410 male) working in a range of organisations and professions in Russia completed a translation into Russian of the Working Styles Questionnaire (Hay 1992).  Statistical analysis indicated adequate discrimination between styles and it was possible to create norm tables based on the full sample.  Average patterns are presented for each of 15 occupations including engineers, information technology, public relations, secretarial, sales, accounting, economists and HR roles.  It can be seen that Be Perfect style predominates in every occupational pattern, with Please People a close second in most and Hurry Up least evident in most.

Application of Redecision Therapy in Executive Coaching Workshops: Part 1 – the Workshop

© 2014 Mil Rosseau, Rik Rosseau & Mark Widdowson



First in a series of three, this paper describes how the redecision approach (Goulding & Goulding 1979) has been applied over many years within executive coaching workshops internationally. The potential controversy about using a therapeutic approach in a business context is addressed, participant profiles and leadership characteristics are described, the impact of the group environment is considered, and the links between working on ‘problems’ and Berne’s (1961) stages of cure are explained.  The stages of working are related to those described by Goulding & Goulding (1979) and supplemented with material from McNeel (1999-2000) and Allen & Allen (2002). This paper describes the interventions that are evaluated qualitatively by Widdowson & Rosseau (2014) and that will be further evaluated quantitatively in the future.

Application of Redecision Therapy in Executive Coaching Workshops: Part 2 – A Qualitative Exploration of Participants’ Changes

© 2014 Mark Widdowson & Mil Rosseau



This is the second paper of three and describes an investigation into the way that executive coaching as a growing field of organisational development can be based on transactional analysis theory and methods. Twelve participants who had attended a coaching workshop based on Goulding & Goulding’s (1979) redecision therapy approach completed a follow-up Change Questionnaire adapted by the first author from material by Elliott et al (2001) and responses were analysed using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke 2006). Participants reported experiencing a wide range of personal growth experiences, positive interpersonal change and growth in their business, managerial and leadership skills as a result of participating in the work-shops. Limitations are described including the possible impact of the transferential artefact of wanting to please the workshop facilitator. The thematic analysis findings suggest that such an approach can provide an effective framework for executive coaching workshops.

Volume 4 Issue 2 2013

TA Treatment of Depression – A Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study – ‘Linda’ – a mixed outcome case

© 2013 Mark Widdowson



Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design (HSCED) is a systematic case study research method involving the cross-examination of mixed method data to generate both plausible arguments that the client changed due to therapy and alternative explanations. The present study is the fourth article of a case series which has investigated the process and outcome of transactional analysis psychotherapy using Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design (Elliott 2002). The client, Linda, was a 45 year old white British woman with mild depression who attended nine sessions of therapy. The conclusion of the judges was that this was a mixed-outcome case: whilst the client improved over the course of therapy and was positive about her experience of therapy, her changes did not last when she experienced considerable stressful events during follow-up. Linda provided a detailed and idiosyncratic description of the aspects of the therapy which were most helpful for her. A cross-case comparison with other cases in this series suggests several interesting features which are worthy of further investigation. Specifically, the use of a shared theoretical framework and an egalitarian therapeutic relationship were helpful. As with other cases in this series, the client experienced positive changes in her interpersonal relationships suggesting that this outcome of TA therapy warrants further investigation

TA Treatment of Emetophobia – A Systematic Case Study – ‘Peter’

© 2013 Colin Kerr



This study reports on the application of elements of Hermeneutic Single Case Efficacy Design (HSCED) (Elliott 2002) to a 39 session TA-based psychotherapy intervention with a 19 year old white male student in the UK who was suffering from emetophobia. The author, who was also the researcher, provides literature reviews on emetophobia clinical characteristics, contrasts it with other phobias, and reviews prior research including TA-based approaches to phobias generally. HSCED Methodology is briefly described; quantitative outcome measures are obtained and analysed using GAD-7 (Spritzer et al 2006) and SPQ (Elliott et al 1999), and qualitative measures via a rich case record, session recordings/transcripts, and a 4-month follow-up interview.  Bohart at al’s (2011) 56 criteria for evidence adjudication were used alongside HSCED criteria. There was strong evidence of significant client changes, and that these changes were the result of the therapy.

Preliminary Evaluation of Outcomes of Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy for Armed Forces Veterans presenting with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

© 2013 David Harford



This brief outline presents some initial findings from a pilot project conducted within a charity setting in the UK, examining clinical outcomes for a cohort of armed forces veterans presenting with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Outcomes were measured using CORE-OM (Evans et al 2000), PHQ-9 (Kroenke et al 2001) and GAD-7 (Spitzer et al 2006). Preliminary findings show that positive Reliable Change on global distress and anxiety had taken place within 16 sessions. These results suggest that transactional analysis psychotherapy has promise for treatment of PTSD with this client group and that further research is warranted.

An Analysis of Dominant Working Styles in Different Professions in Macedonia

© 2013 Marina Pavlovska



A convenience sample of 90 employees working as Economists, Legal Advisors or IT Experts within three companies in Skopje, Macedonia completed the Working Styles Questionnaire (Hay 1992) and it was found that there were statistically significant differences in working style preferences between the professions.  These differences are discussed in relationship to the National Nomenclature of Professions of Macedonia (State Statistical Office 2011) and implications for human resources management are briefly reviewed.  Limitations are identified relating to the size and specific location of the subjects.  It is concluded that the hypothesis that there will be differences between dominant working styles of the professions is accepted.  An explanation is included which clarifies the distinction between drivers (Kahler & Capers 1974, Kahler 1975, 2008) and working styles (Hay & Williams 1989, Hay 1993, 2009).

Volume 4 Issue 1 2013


This issue contained the papers from the EATA TA Research Conference.

Volume 3 Issue 2 2012

TA Treatment of Depression – A Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study – ‘Denise’

© 2012 Mark Widdowson



Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design (HSCED) is a systematic case study research method involving the cross-examination of mixed method data to generate both plausible arguments that the client changed due to therapy and alternative explanations. The present study uses HSCED to investigate the outcome of short-term TA psychotherapy with a woman with severe depression. The objective of the research was to investigate the effectiveness of short-term TA therapy for the treatment of depression and to explore and identify key aspects of the TA therapy process and associated factors promoting change amongst effective cases. To enhance rigour and to address potential for researcher allegiance, independent psychotherapy researchers have adjudicated the case and offer a verdict on outcome. The conclusion of the adjudicators is that the client changed substantially, and that these changes were substantially due to the effects of therapy.

Additional rigour was introduced into the HSCED approach for this 2nd case through the use of a more stringent classification of change, an increased reliable change index score, a higher standard of proof, the use of two teams to develop the affirmative and sceptic cases, and the addition of a third judge.

TA Treatment of Depression – A Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study – ‘Tom’

©2012 Mark Widdowson



Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design (HSCED) is a systematic case study research method involving the cross-examination of mixed method data to generate both plausible arguments that the client changed due to therapy and alternative explanations.  The present study uses HSCED to investigate the outcome of short-term TA psychotherapy with a man with moderate depression and comorbid social anxiety The objective of the research was to investigate the effectiveness of short-term TA therapy for the treatment of depression and to explore and identify key aspects of the TA therapy process and associated factors promoting change amongst effective cases.  To enhance rigour and address potential for researcher allegiance, indep-endent psychotherapy researchers have adjudicated the case and offer a verdict on outcome.  The majority verdict of two judges in this case was that this was a positive outcome case and that the client had changed substantially and that these changes were substantially due to the effects of therapy.  The third judge’s conclusion was that this was a mixed outcome case, and that the client had changed considerably and that this had been considerably due to therapy.

This is the 3rd case reported on and additional rigour was introduced into the HSCED approach in the same way as reported in the accompanying paper about the 2nd case.  (IJTAR 3:2, 3-14)

The presence of injunctions in clinical and non-clinical populations

© 2012 Danijela Budiša, Vesna Gavrilov-Jerković, Aleksandra Dickov, Nikola Vučković, Sladjana Martinovic Mitrovic



Various authors within the transactional analysis community have postulated that a person’s life script is formed on the basis of received injunctions, that people with mental disorders have more destructive and numerous injunctions and that people with depressive and paranoid pathology have different sets of injunctions, with Don’t belong being more common in paranoid disorders and Don’t be important in depressive disorders.  This research was conducted to check such assertions, and used Script Injunctions Scale (Gavrilov-Jerković et al., 2010) applied to a convenience sample of 100 adult subjects identified as non-clinical via interviews and 100 adult subjects, equally divided between paranoid and depressive, identified by psychiatrist classification based on ICD-10 criteria.  The results provide partially expected validation, with statistically significant difference between the non-clinical and clinical part of the sample.  The clinical group had statistically significantly higher scores on the 12 injunctions studied.  Subjects with depressive characteristics had seven Injunctions which were more pronounced Don’t feel, Don’t exist, Don’t be well, Don’t be a child, Don’t, Don’t think, and Don’t be close Injunctions.

Volume 3 Issue 1 2012

TA Treatment of Depression – A Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design Study – ‘Peter’

© 2012 Mark Widdowson



Hermeneutic Single-Case Efficacy Design (HSCED) is a systematic case study research method involving the cross-examination of mixed method data to generate both plausible arguments that the client changed due to therapy and alternative explanations. The present study uses HSCED to investigate the outcome of short-term TA psychotherapy with a young man with severe depression. The objective of the research was to investigate the effectiveness of short-term TA therapy for the treatment of depression and to explore and identify key aspects of the TA therapy process and associated factors promoting change amongst effective cases. To enhance rigour and to address potential for researcher allegiance, independent psychotherapy researchers have adjudicated the case and offer a verdict on outcome. The conclusion of the adjudicators is that the client changed considerably-substantially, and that these changes were substantially due to the effect of therapy.

The author provides detailed appendices to encourage others to replicate the research and add to the body of knowledge based on the HSCED process

Volume 2 Issue 2 2011

Transactional Analysis as Psychotherapy Method – A Discourse Analytic Study

© 2011 Roland Johnsson



Operational definitions of categorisations by McNeel (1975) were developed and applied by the author and an independent assessor to complete discourse analysis of 72 hours of transactional analysis group therapy in the style of Goulding & Goulding (1976, 1979) conducted during 1984/85. Results showed that the therapist used an average of 42% of the discourse space and that the therapy did indeed contain TA components, with the two main categories being ‘Feeling Contact’ and ‘Contracts’, and with particular use of TA techniques of ‘talking to Parent projections’, ‘make feeling statement’, ‘mutual negotiation’ and ‘specificity/clarity’. Inter-rater reliability was 46.2% (Araujo & Born 1985), Cohen’s (1960) kappa coefficient shows a spread from slight to moderate agreement, and the Odds Ratio (Viera, 2008) is above 1.0 for most categories.

Client Assessment in Transactional Analysis – A Study of the Reliability and Validity of the Ohlsson, Björk and Johnsson Script Questionnaire

© 2011 Roland Johnsson



A script questionnaire and associated checklist developed by Ohlsson, Johnsson & Björk (1992) was used by the author and two professional colleagues to independently assess ten clients of a year-long transactional analysis therapy group conducted by the author. Ratings based on written responses at start of therapy were compared to ratings based on videotape interviews conducted by the author six years after termination of therapy. Moderately high inter-assessor reliability was found but intra-assessor reliability was low for the independent assessors; agreement increased for script components ‘primary injunction from father,’ ‘racket feeling’, ‘escape hatch’, ‘driver from father’ and ‘driver from mother’.

Evaluating the Outcomes of Transactional Analysis and Integrative Counselling Psychology within UK Primary Care Settings

© 2011 Biljana van Rijn, Ciara Wild, Patricia Moran



The paper reports on a naturalistic study that replicated the evaluative design associated with the UK National Health Service initiative IAPT − Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (CSIP 2008, NHS 2011), as previously used to assess Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), with the aim of evaluating 12-session treatments for anxiety and depression, applying Transactional Analysis and Integrative Counselling Psychology approaches within real clinical settings in primary care. Standard outcome measures were used in line with the IAPT model (CORE 10 and 34, GAD-7, PHQ-9), supplemented with measurement of the working alliance (WAI Horvath 1986) and an additional depression inventory BDI-II (Beck, 1996), and adherence to the therapeutic model using newly designed questionnaires. Results indicated that severity of problems was reduced using either approach, comparative to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; that initial severity was predictive of outcome; and that working alliance increased as therapy progressed but was not directly related to outcomes. Adherence was high for both approaches. Several areas for enhancements to future research are suggested.

The Impact on Self Perception of Ego States of a Transactional Analysis Introductory Training Course (TA 101)

© 2011 Traian Bossenmayer



The research examines the effects of transactional analysis (TA) 101 training upon self perceptions of ego-state dynamics, using the model of ego states incorporated into the Adjective Check List (Gough & Heilbrun, 1980). Subjects completed the questionnaires at the beginning and end of the training and one month later. The only statistically significant change was that Critical Parent decreased after the training and was still lowered one month later, although not as much. It was also found that gender was significant, but age was not.

Volume 2 Issue 1 2011

Studying Acculturation using Transactional Analysis Theory: the Interplay between Existential Positions and Acculturation Styles

© 2011 Lena Kornyeyeva



This article is a partial report about quantitative research on the role of the Negative Existential Position in Authoritarian Personality formation (reported on elsewhere) and acculturation features among immigrants with authoritarian backgrounds in a democratic milieu (Germany). Data were collected among respondents of different backgrounds: immigrants in Germany from Turkey, the former Soviet Union and Western countries, and native Germans as a quasi-control group (N=1318), with each subsample encompassing at least 200 respondents. Various statistical analyses were performed in order to validate the empirical outcomes (from correlation analysis to structural equation modelling). The hypothesis that a Negative Existential Position is more articulated among individuals who were exposed to an authoritarian socialization was confirmed. The hypothesis that a Negative Existential Position serves as a predictor for the so called Acculturation Dysfunction was confirmed as well. The conceptual analogy between Existential Positions and Styles of Acculturation was examined and the hypothesis that four possible styles of acculturation (Berry et al., 1987, Berry & Kim, 1988; Berry et al., 1989) are correlated with correspondent Existential Position found support.

Impact of Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy Training on Self Awareness and Ability for Contact

© 2011 Biljana van Rijn, Ciara Wild, Heather Fowlie, Charlotte Sills, Servaas van Beeku



This research was a small scale quantitative study involving students undergoing Relational Transactional Analysis psychotherapy training at Metanoia Institute in London in the UK between September 2007 and July 2008. The researchers aimed to evaluate the impact of the training on students’ psychological health, using the ‘Autonomy Questionnaire’ (Beekum & Krijgsman, 2000). This allowed measurement of developments in students’ self awareness and ability for contact with others during their second year of training (first year of clinical practice) compared to students in their 4th and final year. The scope of the study and the findings are exploratory. The research raises questions for further research in the areas of psychotherapy training and supervision.

Case Study Research Methodology

© 2011 Mark Widdowson



Commenting on the lack of case studies published in modern psychotherapy publications, the author reviews the strengths of case study methodology and responds to common criticisms, before providing a summary of types of case studies including clinical, experimental and naturalistic. Suggestions are included for developing systematic case studies and brief descriptions are given of a range of research resources relating to outcome and process measures. Examples of a pragmatic case study design and a hermeneutic single-case efficacy design are given and the paper concludes with some ethical considerations and an exhortation to the TA community to engage more widely in case study research.

Volume 1 Issue 1 2010

Scientific evidence base for transactional analysis in the year 2010

© 2010 Thomas Ohlsson



The International Journal of Transactional Analysis Research, IJTAR, has been created to stimulate research and support the continued effort to build a scientific evidence base for transactional analysis (TA). This article is an attempt to locate the starting point for the journal, to identify, evaluate and draw conclusions from what has already been done, and to articulate the existing scientific evidence base for TA in the year 2010.

Mathematical Calculation Procedures and Drivers in Action in the Learning Environment

© 2010 Cesare Fregola



The paper reports on the qualitative results of the experimental phase of a study to examine the links between children’s learning experiences associated with two digit division and the transactional analysis concept of drivers. The author presents results obtained from a process that used a questionnaire developed during a prior heuristic phase of research, combined with undergraduate student observations of the children, drawings produced by the children, and teacher observations on permission transactions used. Examples are provided for each of the five drivers.

The Relationship between Teaching Transactional Analysis Theory and College Students’ Locus of Control: an Empirical Research

© 2010 Yang Mei



An investigation, through empirical research, of the relationship between education in Transactional Analysis theory and the Locus of Control of college students. Two questionnaire surveys were conducted before and after the Transactional Analysis classes, and personal narrative reports by the students were collected. It was found that psychology education in Transactional Analysis correlated with a reduction in scores for the External Control proclivity of the 81 students, and their assignments displayed similar proclivity. Transactional Analysis knowledge was shown to help students discover and explore their own potentials and liberate their creativity. It is proposed that an increase of transactional analysis theory in the education of college students should be considered.

The affective dimension of alliance in transactional analysis psychotherapy

© 2010 Roland Johnsson and Gunvor Stenlund



The study describes an investigation of the significance of the affective dimension of the therapeutic alliance (Bordin 1979), in a psychodynamic form of transactional analysis therapy after the style of “Redecision therapy” (Goulding & Goulding, 1979). We explored the client’s pattern of affective relationships by use of CCRT (the Core Conflictual Relationship method, Luborsky & Crits-Christoph, 1990, 1998) and examined how the therapist responds to the client’s affective messages (“tests”) by use of the Plan Diagnosis method (Weiss & Sampson, 1986). We found that “emotional” aspects play a more decisive role than has been envisioned in the TA redecision method and similar approaches of TA psychotherapy that emphasise contracts, tasks of therapy and a rational approach.

The Empirical Basis of Medicine in search of Humanity and Naturalistic Psychotherapy in search of its Hermeneutic Roots

© 2010 (English) Pio Scilligo


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