What is Transactional Analysis?

It is a theory of personality, developed by Eric Berne (1910-1970). This american psychiatrist had a psychoanalitic training, and his goal was 'curing' the patient in the shortest period of time. His work was impulsed by this aim, that took him to create the theory of Transactional Analysis.

We can define Transactional Analysis as a theory of individual and social behavior that facilitates and fosters personal responsibility, rational thoughts, realistic decission making, personal satisfaction, authenticity in interpersonal relationships, and self-awareness, through the use of a clear and simple language, that can be used by people with no training in the field of psychology.


We call 'analysis' to the interchange of stimulus and responses among people, what is known as 'transactions'.

The main characteristics of Transactional Analysis are:

  • It is simple and logical, as an everyday vocabulary is used, which does not require any previous knowledge.
  • It is objective, it addresses observable behaviors.
  • It is effective, it allows the immediate understanding of behavior, and often, a quick implementation, achieving stable changes through the fostering of self-awareness and personal responsibility.
  • It is predictive, its techniques allow, with high probability, to foresee the behavior of groups and individuals.
  • It is integrative, the Transactional Analysis can be used as the frame of reference to translate complex concepts from other disciplines, and can be combined with other sciences of behavior.
  • It stimulates the experience and commitment with the present, as it focuses in the here-and-now, so rational goals for the future can be stablished.


These characteristics of Transactional Analysis explain its promminent dissemination and acceptance during these last years, not only in the field of psychology, but also in the fields of education and bussiness.

Other theoretical approaches

Download February newsletter of European Association for Transactional Analysis


Eric Berne


Everybody shows his or her personality by the thre Ego States.

Ego State: a coherent, observable, and recurrent series of patterns of behaviors, attitudes, opinions and feelings.