Transactional analysis of Eric Berne: techniques, concepts, purpose, exercises, feedback

Transactional analysis is a set of techniques that analyze and psycho-correct human destiny and life. Such a technique is actively used in narcology for the purpose of treating severe addictions like alcoholism or drug addiction.

Transactional analysis of E. Bern in narcology

Transactional analysis - a method of therapy consisting of three bases:

  • Structural analysis - analysis of personality and its ego states;
  • Transactional analysis - evaluation of interpersonal interactions, communication;
  • Scenario analysis is an assessment of the life scenario that a person subconsciously adheres to throughout his life.

The creator of the technique is Eric Berne, the analysis is based on personality theory, which, depending on a particular situation, can reside in three different states: the parent, the child and the adult. Throughout life, a person alternately resides in one of these ego-states.

Concepts of

The transactional method of Eric Berne's analysis is often called the evaluation of communication, because such a technique analyzes a person on the basis of his interaction with other people.

The basic concepts of transactional analysis are:

  • There are no mentally unhealthy people, we are all normal, therefore everyone has the right to respect for one's own personality and opinion. Each person has a certain importance and weight in the society;
  • Every person builds his life story himself, so he is able to change her script, not relying on earlier decisions;
  • Everyone is able to think, unless there are any acquired or inherited mutations, disorders and injuries, and also with the exception of the state of unconsciousness.

Purpose of

The founder of the methodology Erich Berne, stated that the purpose of such an analysis is to relieve the patient of the addictions that he once acquired and cause the patient to return to them again. A person must be taught to interact with other members of society so that he receives some psychological benefit.

This kind of psychotherapeutic technique helps a patient to get rid of life scenarios, by someone or something imposed at some time.

The general essence of

In general, such an analysis is aimed at a deep understanding of one's own personality, the knowledge of rational interaction with others, and, most importantly, the destruction and change of an unacceptable life scenario associated with any addiction such as addiction or alcoholism.

The use of a variety of transactional analysis dependencies in therapy makes it possible to identify and eliminate obstacles that impede a full and sober life. The essence lies in the fact that a person forms new behavioral models and revises his life scenario. The patient understands his inner world and himself better, which encourages him to find a certain way out of the existing difficulties and to make attempts to resolve them.
On the video, the essence and objectives of transactional analysis:

Basic concepts and technique

Each state of the ego is a reflection of a certain achievement, and quite often these ego states are combined, influencing each other. Alcohol or drugs have a specific effect on the ego states and the patient's consciousness. With increasing intoxication, ego states are ejected. At first, consciousness eliminates the Parent, who adheres to moral prohibitions and critical condemnation.

Then the Adult is eliminated, i.e., memory and rationality. Such processes are conditioned by the faded consciousness, in which the child does what he wants. When an alcoholic, being in the state of "Child", is deprived of both "Adult" and "Parent", he can do what he wants, for example, sexual satisfaction or forbidden actions that he is unable to commit until he expels the "Adult" and"Parent".

The psychiatrist uses transaction analysis techniques to improve the patient's life. The analysis is conducted through a dialogue between the patient and the dependent. In fact, the transactional technique was developed for group work, so specialists recommend practicing such therapy in groups of anonymous alcoholics or drug addicts.

Transactional analysis is contractual therapy, in which some promise is made and it is expected to be implemented in the future. Alcoholism or drug addiction here is seen as an unacceptable life scenario leading to destruction which the patient must change.

Personal roles for Bern

Basic exercises

Techniques and exercises of transactional analysis are very diverse and numerous, but they all boil down to the study of human ego states, awareness and further laying down a life plan. Any person can be in the state of an adult, child or parent, so it is very important to teach the patient to understand himself in each of these ego states, which are a certain part of the personality.

  • For the first exercise, the physician asks the patient to give an example of each ego state in the last 24 hours, with the patient describing the feelings and thoughts present in each of these states. The patient needs to remember how he behaved, being in the "Child", "Parent" and "Adult".
  • The second exercise is to return to each of the conditions described by the patient.
  • The third basic exercise requires the patient to remember the last day when he was in a state of "positive child".The patient should clearly present and describe his behavior at this time. Then the memories should touch the "negative child", where he also describes his behavior, emotions, thoughts.
  • The fourth exercise consists in reproducing and describing the behavior of the "negative and positive parent", when in the past day he was in a similar state, who specifically copied from his parents at these moments, etc.
  • 5 exercise is to build an egogram that is necessary fordetermine the rating of each state.
  • In the sixth exercise, the therapist finds out if the patient has a desire to change something in his own egogram, specifies what exactly needs to be changed.


Unfortunately, there are very few reviews on such therapy on the Internet, however, the following information can be drawn from the information found:

  • Psychoanalysts consider Berne's theory to be very effective in defining and understanding the problem. But it is not always possible to solve it with the help of transactional analysis. Perhaps the reason lies in the lack of information about the algorithms for its use. But in general, when combining this technique with other areas and with its group use, it is quite worthy of approval.
  • Regarding patients who underwent similar therapy, they were not found. Although the therapists themselves argue that a successfully treated patient does not particularly extend to psychotherapeutic care, arguing that it all came down to himself. Patients subconsciously seek to forget themselves in the state of alcoholic or drug addicts, so even talk about the methods of treatment try to avoid.

So, in general, the technique of transactional analysis in skillful and experienced hands is quite effective, but the problem is that these hands are not enough for today, skilfully using the foundations of this theory in practice.

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