Relationships: Understanding the Role of Transactional Analysis

Transactional Analysis (TA) is a theory of psychology and psychotherapy that was developed by Eric Berne in the 1950s. It is based on the idea that individuals have three ego states – Parent, Adult, and Child – that interact with one another in transactions, or social exchanges. These transactions are thought to shape our behaviour and emotions in significant ways.

For ‘The Self’

In TA therapy, the focus is on helping individuals understand their patterns of behaviour and communication, and to recognize when they are operating from different ego states. The goal is to help clients shift from unhealthy or unproductive ego states to healthier ones, in order to improve their relationships and overall psychological wellbeing.

For Your Relationships

In relationship therapy, TA can be particularly useful for couples who are struggling with communication and conflict resolution. By exploring the transactional patterns between partners, the therapist can help couples identify negative or unproductive interactions and work towards resolving them. The therapist may also help each partner understand their own individual ego states and how they contribute to the dynamic of the relationship.

Below is just one of the diagrams that may provide areas to explore in relationship counselling around relational conflict – and also what may be complementary and of value to our relationships.


Overall, TA offers a unique framework for understanding and improving relationships. By exploring the transactional patterns between partners and helping individuals shift to healthier ego states, TA therapy can lead to more fulfilling and satisfying relationships.

Do let us here at Anglia Counselling Ltd know if you’d like to know more on this or any other matter that is emotionally, behaviourally, or psychologically affecting you or any of your relationships.

About the author
Managing Director / Counsellor at Anglia Counselling Ltd | 07747042899 | [email protected] | Business Website

Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.

Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).