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Transactional Analysis


Is there an age above which TA becomes only/more applicable and if so, what is it and why? Does phschological development have anything to do with it?
Paul Hollands

3 Responses

  1. Depends what applicable means…
    Given the Child ego state described by Eric Berne and others I’m not sure what your “is TA applicable to children?” means.

    In particular the “sub sets” of Child such as Little Professor were illustrated in some of the books such as Born to Win by James and Jongeward (Addison Wesley, 1971 pp131-133) by directly describing the actions and motivations of children.

    If the question is should you use it with children then that raises different issues. My kids were able to understand some of it at around 10/11 (I’m OK You’re OK stuff) but it was more in the nature of illustration than any intentional teaching or training.

    I’m interested to know how you’re using it or planning to use it, having been introduced to it nearly 30 years ago. We are starting to use it again in some of our Communications and Influencing modules on our f@sterclass and m@sterclass management development programmes. It is very well received and seen by operational managers we work with as more insightful and less intense/introspective/manipulative than any mention of the mysteries of NLP.

    Now there’s a debate that could run and run….

    Clearworth for f@sterclass
    Blended learning for managers in the fast lane

  2. TA & Children – More Info
    Whilst I have a basic understanding of TA I have never used it in training. I have also heard of Eric Berne, but would not say I am familiar with his work. I was approaching this issue from having been looking at the differences between the way adults and children learn, the andragogical vs pedagogical models (Knowles et al.). It occurred to me that one of the key differences between adults and children is the way that they interact and view the world and others around them. I can clearly see ‘adult’ and ‘parent’ roles being adopted in the relationships my two kids have with their friends, but Knowles suggests that the only real difference between the way adults and children learn is that adults have more experience to base their new learning on.

    From a psychological point of view we can consider that we become adult when we are able to take control of our lives and become self directed. If that is so, then is there a difference between the way in which something like TA can be applied to children? If children lack the reference experiences that enable them to act within the adult and parent roles can TA actually be applied to them?

    As far as NLP goes there are so many ‘models’ that fall into the NLP ‘toolbox’ I would hesitate to even begin any debate on the topic. I have used many of the NLP ‘techniques’, in training, particularly the language patterns. The sensory acuity stuff than comes out in some of the change processes like dealing with difficult people and in the NLP for negotiators can be useful in class and in management development, but is getting off the subject a bit. (I have found that NLP works very well with children, though you sometimes need to be more careful with choice of words – I think this again links back into our stages of psychological development).

    I’m not currently planning to use TA in the training I do, but I am keen to learn more about it as I expect to be developing some new courses later this year that will have a more humanistic approach. (Trying to move our current content based pedagogical training organisation into the 21st century!). Any thoughts/comments welcome!

  3. TA for parents!
    There is a fabulous book called “How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk”

    TA for parents!



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