2nd Edition

Transactional Analysis 100 Key Points and Techniques

By Mark Widdowson Copyright 2024
    424 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    424 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The second edition of Transactional Analysis: 100 Key Points and Techniques synthesizes developments in Transactional Analysis (TA) and psychotherapy research, making complex ideas accessible and offering therapists practical guidance on refining TA psychotherapy skills.

    Divided into seven parts, the 100 key points cover:

    • The philosophy, theory, methods and critique of the main approaches to TA
    • New developments and approaches in TA
    • TA perspectives on the therapeutic relationship
    • Client assessment, diagnosis and case formulation
    • Contracting and treatment planning using TA
    • A troubleshooting guide to avoiding common pitfalls
    • Refining therapeutic skills

    Specific updates incorporate emergent approaches in TA, recent developments in the understanding of neurodiversity and current best practice thinking.

    This book is essential reading for trainee and beginner TA therapists, as well as experienced practitioners looking to update their field knowledge for a skilful and mindful application of this cohesive system of psychotherapy.

    Preface to the second edition


    Part 1: Approaches in Transactional Analysis Practice

    1.     Schools and Approaches in TA

    2.     The Classical School: Foundations

    3.     The Classical School: Methods

    4.     The Redecision School: Foundations

    5.     The Redecision School: Methods

    6.     The Cathexis School: Foundations

    7.     The Cathexis School: Methods

    8.     Radical Psychiatry

    9.     Eco-TA

    10.  Integrative TA: Foundations

    11.  Integrative TA: Methods

    12.  Psychodynamic TA 1

    13.  Psychodyanamic TA 2: Intensive Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy

    14.  Psychodynamic TA 3: Interpretive Dynamic Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy

    15.  Relational TA: Foundations

    16.  Relational TA: Methods

    17.  Co-Creative TA


    Part 2: The Therapeutic Relationship

    18. The Initial Sessions

    19. Therapeutic Enquiry

    20. The Centrality of Empathy

    21. Accounting for the Impact of Diversity in the Therapeutic Relationship

    22. Conceptualizing the Therapeutic Relationship

    23. Strengthening the Working Alliance by Attention to Tasks, Goals and Bonds

    24. Considering Adapted Child Responses as Indicators of Alliance Rupture

    25. The Therapeutic Alliance: Rupture and Repair

    26. Understanding Transference and Countertransference

    27. The Drama Triangle as a Tool to Explore Countertransference

    28. Transference and Countertransference: An Aide-Mémoir of TA Models

    29. Ending TA therapy


    Part 3: Assessment, Diagnosis and Case Formulation in TA

    30. The Importance of Observation

    31. Conducting a Structured Intake Assessment

    32. Assessing Suitability for TA Therapy

    33. Using Berne’s Four Methods of Diagnosis

    34. Developing a Conversational Interviewing Technique

    35. Using Pro-forma’s for Rapid Script Diagnosis

    36. Using Functional and Structural Analysis of Ego States

    37. Accounting for Internal Ego State Dialogue

    38. Accounting for Cultural and Religious Parent

    39. Accounting for Intersectionality and Oppression

    40. Accounting for Neurodiversity

    41. Building up the Script System

    42. Exploring Drivers

    43. Analysing Games

    44. Escape Hatches as a Framework for Understanding Client Safety

    45. Suicidal Ideation: A Brief Introduction

    46. Diagnosis Checklist


    Part 4: Contracting

    47. Contracting for the Tasks and Goals of Therapy

    48. Doing Goal-oriented and Process-oriented TA Therapy

    49. Using a Standard Written Business Contract

    50. Contracting with the Unsure Client

    51. Using Homework and Behavioural Contracts

    52. Dealing with Resistance or Non-compliance with Homework and Behavioural Contracts

    53. The ‘Good Enough’ Contract

    54. Contracting: Preparing for Conflict and Negative Transference


    Part 5: Treatment Planning

    55. Comparative Treatment Sequences

    56. Formulating Individualized Treatment Plans

    57. Monitoring and Revising Treatment Planning

    58. Accounting for the Impact of Trauma

    59. Treatment Planning for Experiential Disconfirmation

    60. Tackling ‘the Splinter’ and ‘the Bent Penny’

    61. Awareness, Spontaneity, Intimacy, Autonomy and Homonomy


    Part 6: Avoiding Common Pitfalls

    62. Being Realistic about Treatment Length

    63. Directionality and Avoiding Therapy Drift

    64. Reducing the Risk of Iatrogenic Shaming

    65. Avoiding ‘Racket OKness’

    66. Avoiding Marshmallowing


    Part 7: Refining Therapeutic Skills

    67. Balancing Challenge and Support

    68. Developing Emotional Awareness and Granulation

    69. Soothing the Child Ego State with Emotion Regulation Techniques

    70. Deepening Affect

    71. Promoting Healthy Expression of Emotion

    72. Tracking where the Client is Open, and where they are Defended on a Moment-by-Moment Basis

    73. Encouraging Journaling to Promote Self-awareness and Self-reflection

    74. Differences between Decontamination and Deconfusion

    75. Disconfirming Script Beliefs

    76. Using Alliance Rupture and Repair for Deconfusion

    77. Using Metacommunicative Transactions

    78. Therapy of Games

    79. Therapy of Injunctions

    80. Interventions and Approaches to Therapy of Injunctions and Injunctive Messages

    81. Escape-hatch Closure Revisited

    82. Client Protection

    83. Potency and Permission

    84. Impasse Theory Revisited

    85. Using Chair Work in TA: Some Guidelines

    86. Using Visualization and Mental Imagery in TA

    87. Working with the Child Ego State to Resolve Trauma

    88. Revisiting Discounting: Incorporating Cognitive Biases into TA Theory

    89. Confrontation

    90. Evaluating your Clinical Effectiveness

    91. Using Deliberate Practice to Enhance Therapeutic Skills

    92. Writing Clinical Notes in TA Therapy

    93. Strengthening the Adult by Cultivating Mindfulness

    94. Script Development: an Ongoing Process

    95. Helping Clients Identify and Build on their Strengths

    96. Exploring the Therapist’s Motivations

    97. Using Self-disclosure and Authenticity

    98. The Adult Ego State Revisited

    99. TA as an Existential Psychotherapy

    100. Analysing Transactions


    Mark Widdowson is a UKCP registered psychotherapist, based in Manchester. He is a senior lecturer in counselling and psychotherapy at the University of Salford, Associate Director of The Berne Institute and Director of Manchester Psychotherapy Foundation.

    TA 100 Key Points is a must-read for all transactional analysis practitioners, both beginning and advanced. The book provides a refreshing and holistic account of transactional analysis and its connections with cutting-edge science and the theory of psychotherapy and related fields. Mark Widdowson masterfully integrates the wisdom of early transactional analysts with current developments in TA psychotherapy theory and practice. The book is full of practical wisdom and clinical insights and will serve as a guide into the complexities of the psychotherapy journey from the initial session to the end of psychotherapy. I highly recommend it.’

    Gregor Žvelc, PhD, TSTA, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Ljubljana

    ‘In Transactional Analysis: 100 Key Points and Techniques, Mark Widdowson offers a powerful and richly described account of how a master therapist pursues their craft. While providing a comprehensive overview of Transactional Analysis theory and practice, this book is also highly relevant to both experienced practitioners, and new trainees, in any approach to counselling and psychotherapy. The focus on key choice-points in therapy makes it possible for the reader to learn new options and strategies in relation to supporting clients through the therapy journey. Important aspects of this book include an engaging account of how TA has evolved since the pioneering work of Eric Berne, Claude Steiner and their colleagues, alongside an appreciation of the significance of responding in a respectful and empowering way to socio-cultural difference, marginalisation and oppression. Thoughtful links are consistently made to ideas and techniques from other therapy traditions, and current research evidence. The first edition of Transactional Analysis: 100 Key Points and Techniques was a best-seller, whose value was recognised by counsellors and psychotherapists from a wide range of theoretical orientations and areas of practice. This new edition is even better, and is warmly recommended as essential reading for anyone interested in deepening and broadening their capacity to work resourcefully with clients.’

    John McLeod, Emeritus Professor of Counselling, Abertay University

    ‘Dr. Mark Widdowson provides an excellent book on transactional analysis. Of particular note is how contemporary it is. Full of very up to date information and ideas on TA and the relationship to many other approaches and ideas. An excellent and highly recommended read for students, TA trainers and people of a wide range of expertise and knowledge.’

    Nataliia Isaieva, PTSTA -P-EATA/ITAA, Ukraine, Honorary Member of the Ukrainian Society of Transactional Analysis USTA