Training in TA is available to established professionals seeking to diversify and develop skills, new professionals seeking to strengthen skills and experience and individuals developing new career options.
Introduction to TA
The first step is to take a TA 101 course, the official introduction to transactional analysis, which follows an internationally agreed syllabus and covers basic theory. Many trainers and training establishments require that you attend this course before you join courses of advanced training.
Workshops, PD events
If you do not intend to undertake training to certification level, there are many workshops, events and activities held by trainers and other TA practitioners through which you can extend your knowledge. These can often be attended without having first taken the TA 101 course.
Certified Transactional Analyst
To qualify as a Certified Transactional Analyst (CTA) in one of the four fields generally requires three to five years part-time study before doing written and oral exams. The actual time will depend on factors such as the area of specialisation and the trainee’s existing level of experience and personal development. During this time you might expect to attend monthly two or three day training programmes, which are often available at weekends. In addition, the purchase of books and journals will be essential.
Whilst training you will be supervised by an accredited TA supervisor. In addition within your peer group, training might include case presentations and discussions, diagnosis and treatment planning, and audio or video tape critique. Psychotherapy trainees are required to undergo therapy throughout training and therapy is strongly recommended for all trainees. The overall training process, including supervision and psychotherapy, places great emphasis on the resolution of personal issues as they arise from the process of working with clients. Whilst in training, seminars and conferences offer many opportunities for trainees to establish professional relationships locally, nationally and in the larger arena of the international TA community. In this way, trainees are also educated in a variety of related theoretical and practical approaches.
One of the principles of TA is that trainees actively plan and structure their training and take responsibility for themselves as well as for their training process. The Principal Supervisor is responsible for supporting and assisting the trainee according to his/her individual personal and professional needs and bears part of the responsibility for the trainee’s adequate preparation before taking the examination. Accordingly, the Principal Supervisor can request certain training elements which he/she thinks are necessary in this context.
Training in TA can continue for as long as you would like it to, it can be a life-long journey of discovery and development or it can be a brief introduction that opens your mind and gives you a better insight into yourself and your surroundings.
The Four Fields
- The counselling specialisation is chosen by professionals working in such diverse contexts as social welfare, health care, pastoral work, prevention, mediation, process facilitation, multicultural work, and humanitarian activities, to name a few.
- Educational transactional analysis is used by practitioners working in training centers, preschools, primary and sencondary schools, universities, and institutions that prepare teachers and trainers as well as in support of learners of all ages to thrive within their families, organizations, and communities.
- Organisational transactional analysts work in, or for, organisations using transactional analysis concepts and techniques to evaluate an organisation’s developmental processes and challenges as well as its dysfunctional behaviours.
- Psychotherapists utilise transactional analysis to facilitate their clients’ capacities for self-actualisation and healing by learning to recognise and change old, self-limiting patterns.