Transactional Analysis - your views?


Hi All,

My T specialises in Transactional Analysis, amongst other types of therapy. So she brings a lot of this into our work together. I've read a couple of books about it to try and understand the theory more. Some of it makes sense, some of it I'm still considering what it means for me.
Basically, my T says I'm now in the stage of "deconfusion of the child ego state".
The type of person I am (someone who wants to "fix" this trauma malarkey, like, yesterday), I'm trying to find info about what deconfusion feels like(other than total confusion and being overwhelmed) and how to come out of it etc, and what that feels like.

Have you had transactional analysis focused therapy?
How do you make sense of some of the theory?


Not much help as forgot to read it but meant to, a friend here downloaded and forwarded me a book on TA, and i can only recall the 1st pages saying terms like 'child' and 'ego' and other things we may have a pre-defined definition for, are not used in the same context or with the same meaning we are accustomed to in TA, and so therefore it was critical to start from the beginning of the book and abandon our notions of what such terms meant or referred to.


My T uses this method too. I don’t understand it very well. I think there are various child states and ego states and adult states. She also is a big fan of Adler. Sorry I can’t offer more details but I’m interested in what you learn about it or what others have to say.


It’s not really my cup of tea... but I can’t think of any of the psychoanalytic spin-offs that are. Makes sense, as those theories mostly revolve around childhood patterns (both trauma & non-trauma) becoming adult problems.

Eclectic therapists (who use TA as just one of many many different modalities, from several schools of thought) tend to do fine with clients like me; but purely psychoanalytic-spin-offs (transactional analysis, psychodynamic, etc.) tend to be pretty baffled by someone whose problems didn’t originate in childhood, and in point of fact, took a rather sharp turn away from the lessons learned & personality shaped way back when. My problems don’t “fit” their world view; I don’t react/respond like I “should” given my upbringing, the problems they’d expect me to have I don’t, the problems they can’t see me having I do. It creates a rather large disconnect. But that’s one of the things about complex trauma, later in life. It can drastically alter the course of one’s life... so much so that people who are familiar with “who” children tend to grow up into (or in reverse, can look at an adults behaviors, and predict what their childhood was like), can’t recognize this adult from that child.

That said? It’s my understanding that it can be a very useful method for identifying & sourcing patterns of thinking & behavior in one’s life that one wants to change. Similar to how identifying & sourcing cognitive distortions & core beliefs can provide a framework/foundation for changing patterns of thinking & behavior one wants to change.


Thanks all. It's a funny old therapy type. I think I like it, but the terminology of some of the theory really confuses me. (It's too intellectual for me I think?).

I like the 'script' theory. (Although I prefer the word 'narrative'). That as children we were given and/or developed scripts that we live by (core beliefs). And it's about undoing those and changing those.
And I like thinking about the adult, parent and child ego states. It helps with working with parts.
But this deconfusion of the child ego state thing. No frigging idea. All I can find, when reading books and articles, is the theory. Nothing about anyone who has been through it to say what it actually is. What it feels like. How to navigate it.

I'm just in a constant state of confusion. Which is unsettling and irritating.
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The part about TA that confused me was the regression. But as I sit here to write this I can think of countless occasions in session where I felt regressed for about 20 minutes, usually in the middle or toward the end. And sandwiched by parent or adult.

So that is the TA process for me. Transference happens during the regression.

Last time T said, “Your inner child hasn’t felt like she has had time with me?”

And it knocked me over in self defense.

I felt bewildered that she would invite the child.

I said I didn’t think that she wanted the child there.

And she said something like she didn’t want the petulant demanding child there.

and I said I was afraid that the petulant demanding child would show up.

and she asked me what do I do when my daughter is petulant and demanding.

and I said something like hold boundaries.

and I don’t remember what was said after that but I wrote about it in my diary something about how I thought the implication was that I could be petulant and demanding and T would hold the boundary. And @Freida said something like what if the implication is that you will hold that boundary with yourself.

and I whined about it.

because it was true.

why did I want to hold onto petulant and demanding child? Maybe to change the outcome? To have T present when I was petulant and demanding and not be mocked or beaten or sexualized. As the silent witness blocking me from my dad.

that’s what that video clip taught me. That T is a witness. And when I regress it is wrapped in a pillow of adulthood.


Thanks for sharing that @Self-Determined , it's made me ponder.
I think I'm still stuck on wanting more from T, rather than repairing these things and holding the boundary for myself.
A clue I'm just focused on T is all my googling about countertransference to get information about how she might care for me, rather than working me out.
It's all highly confusing.
But sounds like what you wrote above is a breakthrough?