What Is Transactional Analysis Training?

Many people use transactional analysis (TA) professionally or for their own personal growth and development, maintaining their interest  and growth through workshops, conferences, and so on.

The TA 101 course (see Handbook Sec. 04.pdf) is the official introduction to transactional analysis, it history, and key concepts. Students who participate in the whole course are awarded the TA 101 Certificate by the ITAA and can apply for the appropriate category of membership in the ITAA.

Those interested in further developing their expertise in applying transactional analysis in the fields of psychotherapy, counseling, education, or organizational consultancy may engage in a transactional analysis training program. This is a competency-based training that frequently uses interactive group approaches to learning and professional supervision, including input, case presentations and discussions, peer-group training, diagnosis and treatment or intervention planning and often audio or videotape critique.

It’s all about our clients!

If we could look inside the head and the heart of Eric Berne when he developed ITAA and its training & certification system, what would we notice? Maybe we would see that he was impressed by the high quality of the TA model as such, on both the theoretical and the practical level. We would probably realize that he was motivated to at least maintain that high service level by offering high quality TA training and supervision to TA professionals. We would notice that, to monitor that high level of quality, he promoted an examination and certification system. But first of all we would become aware that Berne did so because he constantly had his (and our) clients in mind and heart. In the end it is all about them! They should profit from high quality TA therapy, TA counseling, TA education and TA organizational consultancy in order to live a better life or to deliver a better performance.

Fields of Application

Training towards certification can be in any one of four fields: counseling, education, organizations, and psychotherapy. Transactional analysis has a well-defined process of training and certification that leads to qualification in each field. Details of requirements can be found under "Qualifying in TA.'

Training can lead to:

  1. Practitioner level certification in one of the fields (Certified Transactional Analyst)
  2. Endorsement (via TEW) to teach and supervise practitioners in your field (Provisional Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst)
  3. Qualification as a teacher and supervisor of practitioners in your field and also of supervisors and trainers of TA. (Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst)

The Counseling field of specialization: TA Counseling is a professional activity within a contractual relationship. The counseling process enables clients or client systems to develop awareness, options and skills for problem management and personal development in daily life through the enhancement of their strengths, resources and functioning. Its aim is to increase autonomy in relation to their social, professional and cultural environment. The field of counseling is chosen by those professionals who work in the socio/psychological and cultural fields of practice. Some examples amongst others are: social welfare, health care, pastoral work, prevention, mediation, process facilitation, multicultural work and humanitarian activities.

The Education field of specialization is for practitioners who work in the area of learning and study in pre-school, school, university and post university contexts or for the support of child, adolescent and adult learners within the family, the institution or society. The work may be applied to the development of teaching teams and institutions. The aim is to further personal and professional growth, both scholastic and social.  TA can be used as a practical educational psychology that offers a way of transforming educational philosophy and principles into everyday practice. Educational TA is both preventive and restorative. The aim is to increase personal autonomy, to support people in developing their own personal and professional philosophies and to enable optimum psychological health and growth.

The Organizations field of specialization is for practitioners who work in or for organizations, taking into account organizational frames of reference and contexts as well as the organization’s development. Their work is aimed at the development, growth and increased effectiveness of people working within organizations. Transactional Analysis is a powerful tool in the hands of organizational development specialists. Through presenting the basic concepts of transactional analysis and using it as the basic theory to undergird the objectives of their clients, organizational development specialists build a common strategy with which to address the particular needs of organizations and to build a functional relationship, as well as eliminate dysfunctional organizational behaviors.

The Psychotherapy field of specialization is for practitioners who aim to facilitate the client's capacity for self-actualization, healing and change. The psychotherapeutic process enables the client to recognize and change archaic, self-limiting patterns – ‘to deal with the pain of the past in the present so that they are free to live their lives in the future’. The aim is for clients to understand themselves and their relationships and create options to live their lives in an aware, creative, spontaneous way and open to intimacy. There may be national legal restrictions on who can practice as a psychotherapist, and it is important that trainees discuss these with their Principal Supervisor when choosing this field of specialization.

A task force from each field has drawn up a set of core competencies (see Handbook Sec. 05.pdf), which articulate the knowledge, attitudes and skills expected from a certified transactional analyst in that field.