SeraphCorp Institute

Transactional Analysis (TA): Exploring TA & Its Benefits

What is Transactional Analysis?


Transactional Analysis (TA) is a fascinating field within social psychology that provides a practical framework for understanding human behaviour and improving interpersonal relationships. 

Developed by psychiatrist Eric Berne in the late 1950s, Transactional Analysis delves into the intricate dynamics of communication by identifying three ego states—Parental, Adult, and Child—and explores how transactions between these states shape our interactions.

Ego States in Transactional Analysis


In Transactional Analysis, social interactions (or “transactions”) are analysed to determine the ego state of the communicator as a basis for a better understanding of human behaviour.

These three ego states form the foundation of TA:

  1. Parental (critical and nurturing)
  2. Adult (rational), and 
  3. Childlike (intuitive and dependent) 

Transactional Analysis is often described as the study of human interactions, examining how individuals communicate and respond to each other, as well as the roles they adopt. The main objective is to improve these interactions, so they become more productive, balanced, and healthy.

TA helps shed light on how our behaviour and relationships reflect exchanges between different ego states established early in life. 

They serve as comprehensive systems of thought, feeling, and behaviour. Recognising and understanding these ego states during social interactions allows for a deeper comprehension of human behaviour.

  • The Parent ego state originates in early childhood under parental influence, embodying social norms, cultural customs, and appropriate behaviour. Within this state, individuals unconsciously emulate parental figures, engaging in actions such as criticism, scolding, advising, guiding, nurturing, and caring.
  • The Child ego state represents the innate aspect of personality, devoid of societal constraints and regulations. It serves as a conduit for raw emotions and unfiltered perceptions, housing our creativity, spontaneity and wonder. However, it’s also the source of less favourable traits like resentment, moodiness, sudden anger, and other impulsive reactions.
  • The Adult ego state embodies rationality and objectivity, enabling individuals to analyse situations impartially and draw logical conclusions. This is the most objective state of the three. Characterised by stability and reason, the Adult state enables a rational approach to decision-making and problem-solving.

Transactional Analysis recognizes that the human personality is made up of the above three ego states; each of which is an entire system of thought, feeling, and behaviour from which we interact with another person. The Parent, Adult, and Child ego states and the interaction between these states form the foundation of transactional psychology and TA theory.

TA uses the concept of these ego states to explain the structure of an individual’s psychology. According to transactional psychology, all personalities are made up of these three ego states. Not all are active at the same time, but each may come up in different situations.

Understanding Transactional Analysis with an Example


Have you ever encountered a conversation like the following: 

Supervisor: Hi, have you completed the project report? I need to present it to the management tomorrow, and I’d appreciate reviewing it beforehand.

Employee: Why do you keep reminding me? I assured you I’d complete it, and I will.

Supervisor: Well, I really need it, so please ensure it gets done. By the way, that kind of attitude is entirely unnecessary.

Employee: (frowning and looking down) Fine, you’ll have it this afternoon, but I’ll have to prioritise it over other tasks.

Sound familiar? This scenario not only induces frustration but also suggests a breakdown in communication. Does the employee come across as a disobedient child? And does the supervisor seem like an irritated parent? Surprisingly, this analogy isn’t too far from reality.

This is where the study of Transactional Analysis—examining human interactions—comes into play. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the concept of TA and demonstrate how it can help identify the roles you assume during conversations. Additionally, we’ll delve into some of the patterns that may emerge when people adopt these roles.

Exploring the Benefits of Transactional Analysis


Transactional Analysis (TA) training proves valuable in various situations, offering practical insights into human interactions and personal development. Here’s various aspects of life where TA can be useful:

1. Improving Relationships:

  • TA serves as a helpful tool for understanding relationship dynamics.
  • It allows individuals to recognize and change communication patterns that hinder connections.
  • Identifying crossed or ulterior transactions becomes a catalyst for behavioural improvements and better communication.
2. Enhancing Interpersonal Skills:

  • TA provides insights into the structure of challenging relationships.
  • With TA knowledge, people can navigate communication challenges, resolve issues, and gain clarity on relationships.
  • Understanding derived from TA helps evaluate whether a relationship should continue, leading to a more eased and fulfilling life.
3. Self-Discovery and Personal Growth:
  • Particularly beneficial for those facing emotional or mental health issues, TA explores the underlying dynamics of interactions.
  • Understanding these dynamics promotes self-awareness and supports personal growth by addressing root causes of challenges
4. Improving Communication

  • TA acts as a catalyst for refining communication skills and strengthening connections.
  • It is especially useful for those dealing with social anxiety or difficulties in forming relationships.
  • Whether refining communication, addressing emotional challenges, or deepening self-understanding, TA is a practical tool for personal and professional success.

In summary, TA offers an opportunity to understand and improve communication patterns in both professional and personal settings. Its impact extends beyond communication, positively influencing personal and professional aspects of life.

Who can benefit from Transactional Analysis training?


Because of its two-person focus, transactional analysis is a great tool to understand yourself and others and a wide range of people from all walks of life can benefit from an understanding of TA.

Transactional Analysis training can help almost anyone in improving their communication & interpersonal skills, relationships, as well as in developing self-awareness and personal growth.

Transactional Analysis can be especially beneficial for: 

  • HR personnel
  • Leadership & Management
  • Teachers and Educators
  • Parents
  • Coaches and Therapists

Let’s explore these roles and the advantages TA offers for each:

1. HR personnel

Transactional Analysis is particularly valuable for HR personnel as it allows them to analyse and enhance interpersonal interactions within the organisation. By facilitating a deeper understanding of individuals’ needs and behaviours, transactional analysis helps HR professionals improve workplace relationships and foster a collaborative and positive work environment.

HR professionals leverage transactional analysis to identify and tackle communication and relationship challenges in the workplace proactively. Understanding ego states enables them to recognize behavioural patterns and address potential issues before they escalate. For instance, if an employee consistently communicates from the Parent ego state, they might unknowingly convey a condescending tone, impacting colleague interactions negatively. By guiding employees to communicate more from the Adult ego state, HR professionals can foster a more collaborative and respectful work environment.

2. Leadership & Management

Transactional Analysis can be a valuable asset for leaders and managers. It can help them understand and adapt their communication style to different situations, foster a positive work environment, and motivate and coach team members effectively.

An understanding of Transactional Analysis can contribute to your effectiveness as a leader, peer, and communicator. It also provides an approach to enhance team communication, avoiding instances of poor communication, and developing more productive relationships.

Furthermore, since TA encourages self-reflection and introspection, through a deeper understanding of one’s own communication patterns and motivations, leaders can make more conscious choices about how they interact with others.

3. Teachers and Educators

A better understanding of who we are and how we are wired improves how we learn and help others learn. Transactional Analysis is a powerful tool in the classroom since it helps learn more about human development, personality, and communication patterns, equipping educators with a deeper understanding of how people interact & learn. 

For educators, an understanding of transactional analysis means being attuned to students’ responses and behaviours, allowing for conscious adjustments in teaching methods and communication styles to foster more effective interactions. 

Through TA, educators acquire a structured framework for navigating social dynamics in the classroom and cultivating a supportive atmosphere conducive to optimal learning. For example, utilising the ego states, an educator can figure out what’s going on with their students’ thinking, feeling, and behaviour and respond rather than react.

4. Parents

Transactional Analysis can also be applied to improve family dynamics, in particular in parenting. TA can be used to improve communication among family members, understand parent-child interactions, and foster healthier family dynamics.

5. Coaches and Therapists

Transactional Analysis (TA) offers valuable insights for coaches, enabling them to better understand their clients’ personalities through observation of verbal and non-verbal cues. By deciphering clients’ needs, coaches can tailor their approach more effectively, fostering a deeper connection and facilitating personal growth.

In therapeutic settings, TA serves as a powerful tool for enhancing self-awareness among individuals. By delving into their behaviours, reactions, and emotions, clients can gain profound insights into themselves. These insights can empower them to navigate everyday interactions with improved communication skills and emotional intelligence.

Transactional Analysis Training in Singapore The Transactional Analysis Course at Seraph (Online & In Person)


SeraphCorp, founded in 2007, is a thought leader in leadership learning. We are pioneers in the application of Transactional Analysis in Singapore and the region in organisations and the educational field. The theory of transactional psychology underpins all our leadership training programmes. 

Our 2-day course on Transactional Analysis, “The Official Introduction to Transactional Analysis (TA101)” is designed to equip you with enhanced self-awareness, improved communication skills, and an ability to develop better & healthier relationships. 

During this 2-day transactional analysis course, participants will be introduced to key ideas in Transactional Analysis in a fun, experiential, and interactive format.

You can choose to take our Transactional Analysis course online or in a face-to-face classroom format. This can be a standalone course or may lead you to further training in organisational or educational TA.

Our TA course follows an internationally standardised syllabus and participants are awarded an official Transactional Analysis Certification that is recognised internationally.

Key Highlights of our Transactional Analysis Course:

  1. An opportunity to understand how we communicate. This can be in relation to colleagues and teams at work, or in your personal relationships.
  2. Designed to equip you with enhanced self-awareness, improved interpersonal skills, and an ability to develop better & healthier relationships.
  3. You will be introduced to the main concepts of Transactional Analysis (TA), in a fun, experiential, and interactive format.
  4. Creative activities and learning from everyday experiences.
  5. Valuable professionally and in the private world.
  6. You will be awarded a Transactional Analysis Certification recognised internationally upon completion.
  7. We offer our Transactional Analysis course in both online and face-to-face formats for your convenience.

This 2-day transactional analysis course is a good starting point for individuals who may want to use TA in their professional or personal lives to enhance their self-awareness and their ability to relate to others, improve their communication & interpersonal skills, as well as develop healthier relationships. 

Some of the topics covered in our Transactional Analysis course include:

  • Theory of personality (Ego States) 
  • Theory of communication (Transactional Analysis proper)
  • Theory of life patterns (Scripts)
  • Psychological Game analysis
  • Overview of the development of Transactional Analysis

About our facilitators:

Our Transactional Analysis training is facilitated by JM Grace Lam PTSTA (O) and JE Karen Lam PTSTA (E), the first two Certified Transactional Analysts (CTAs) in Singapore, specialising in the education and organisational fields

JM Grace Lam is the Executive Director of SeraphCorp Institute. Grace is a Certified Transactional Analyst specialising in the application of modern TA in organisations. Grace graduated from NUS with a B. Soc. Sci (Honours) in Political Science and a Masters in Organisational Leadership from Monash University. Grace is currently pursuing a PhD. in Systems Psychodynamics. 

Jr-Earn Karen Lam is the first Certified Transactional Analyst in the Education field (CTA, E) of Transactional Analysis in Singapore. She uses TA to understand how to lead learning groups more effectively as an adult educator, and to design programmes that do so.


SGD$700/learner (UTAP funding available)

Learn More: 

You can experience the transformative benefits of Transactional Analysis by enrolling in our course “The Official Introduction to Transactional Analysis (TA101)”. 

Fill out a form here to register your interest and our team will get in touch with you. 

You can contact us directly so we can tell you more about our Transactional Analysis training or help you pick a course that’s right for you:

P: +65 6100 7372 | E:

Note: SeraphCorp also provides more advanced TA training to help for the international TA qualifying examinations, as well as a special Transactional Analysis class for educatorsFor a list of all our courses, see here.